Morris hangs on to win Junior Al Esposito golf title

Jacob Morris won the 2016 Junior Al Esposito golf tournament played at Municipal Golf Course. Tommy Braswell photo.

In the end 16-year-old Jacob Morris left Charleston Municipal Golf Course Wednesday with what he most wanted, the winner’s trophy in the Junior Al Esposito golf tournament.

Morris, a rising senior at Charleston Charter School, shot a final-round 77 and earned a two-stroke victory over Max Kastenholz. Morris finished the 36-hole tournament at 4-over-par 148 while Kastenholz made a spirited run with a final-round 72. Kyle Sawyer finished third at 152 in the Boys 15-18 age group.

Abigail Schimpf shot 72-75--147 to win the Girls’ 13-18 age group by six strokes over Gaby Martinez with Rachel Rich finished third at 155.

Other age group winners included: Girls 12-under (9 holes each day), Catherine Hagood, 115. Boys 13-14, Luis Thompson, 158; Boys 10-12 (9 holes each day), Luke Walmet, 76; and Boys 9-under (9 holes each day), Tyler Taber, 74.

Morris, who plays for West Ashley High School, enjoyed a comfortable lead for most of the final round but struggled at the finish, bogeying three of the last four holes including the final two. Kastenholz, who started the day five shots back of Morris, had some early struggles that included a double bogey on the par-5 seventh and a bogey on the par-5 15th. But back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18 closed the gap.

“It was definitely hot out there today,” Morris said. “I was going to my towel a lot the last few holes because of the humidity.”

Boys 15-18: Jacob Morris, 71-77—148; Max Kastenholz, 78-72—150; Kyle Sawyer, 77-75—152; J.J. Keene, 79-76—155; John Thomas Verner III, 73-83—156; Jacob Daley, 83-78—161; Carson Crocker, 83-79—162; John Michael Flintom, 87-78—165; Johnny Velasquez, 79-86—165; Jenkins Dwight, 85-82-167. Boys 13-14: Luis Thompson, 78-80—158; Austin Scott, 78-82—160; Andrew Kaslick, 88-78—166; Nick Ceva, 83-86—169; Jackson McGowan, 81-88—169; Andrew Propes, 92-81—173; Jesse Nguyen, 92-82—174; Joseph Evans, 93-91—184; Jackson Reed, 93-92—185; Alex Stephens, 101-95—196. Boys 10-12: Luke Walmet, 36-40—76; Dallas Johnson, 41-40—81; Hayden Mincey, 49-43—92; Walker Felton, 47-46—93; Ryan Propes, 53-47—100; Charlie Ackerman, 56-51—107; Cody Chesser, 62-50—112; Whit Ravenel, 54-58—112; Jack Elledge, 59-58—117; Noel Mermer, 64-67—131; Sky Thompson, 71-65—136. Boys 9-under: Tyler Taber, 38-36—74; Graydon Foster, 55-54—109.

Girls 13-18: Abigail Schimpf, 72-75—147; Gaby Martinez, 77-76—153; Rachel Rich, 80-75—155; Olivia Erwin, 79-77—156; Telie McCoy, 74-82—156; Emma Schimpf, 75-81—156; Kennedy Carroll, 80-80—160; Cecilia Knecht, 84-87—171; Lexi Bennett, 90-82—172; Kayla Bartemeyer, 88-86—174. Girls 12-under: Catherine Hagood, 59-56—115.