The 2010 Beth Daniel Junior Azalea golf tournament will be remembered not so much for the three-shot victories that were posted in the boys and girls divisions, but how those wins were accomplished.
Blake Kennedy of Moore won the boys title for the second straight year, firing an 8-under-par 63 Wednesday at the Country Club of Charleston that included a double bogey on the final hole. Kennedy had a 36-hole total of 137, three ahead of Austin Langdale of Townville and four shots better than Caleb Sturgeon of Laurens.
McKenzie Talbert of North Augusta birdied the final two holes to shoot 65 and also finished at 137, three in front of Louise Oxner of Greenville and five ahead of Jessica Hoang of North Augusta. Talbert won the Junior Azalea two years ago and tied for second last year.
Kennedy, who will be a junior at Dorman High School, said the best score he had ever recorded prior to Wednesday was a 65. The 63 is not only a personal best, but also a South Carolina Junior Golf Association record.
"Putting, that's all. That's pretty much how it is every day with my game, either on or off," he said when asked to explain the 11-stroke turnaround from Tuesday. But he said he never doubted his ability to come back.
"You never know when you're going to go out and career it the next day," said Kennedy, who already has committed to play at Clemson. "A bunch of us were talking on the range about going out and shooting 66. That kind of put a number in my head. I even sent my dad a text before I teed off and said it was going to be 66 or better today."
Kennedy, who shot 67-67--134 to win a year ago, parred the first three holes Wednesday, then went on a big run with birdies at 4, 6, 7 and 8 along with an eagle-3 on the fifth hole. He made the turn at 6-under 30, lipped out for birdie on 10, had a birdie attempt horseshoe out on 11, then birdied 12, 14, 15 and 16 to get to 10 under. He had a reasonable birdie opportunity at 17, but on the closing hole he pulled his tee shot into a fairway bunker, reached the green in 3 and then three-putted from 25 feet.
"I couldn't really be mad, even though I wanted that par putt to go in. I made a couple of putts I shouldn't have," he said.
It was not known whether Talbert's round was a girls South Carolina Junior Golf Association record, but it was certainly one of the most impressive efforts of the season and a personal best for the rising sophomore at Strom Thurmond High School, who like Kennedy had a double bogey on her card but no bogeys.
"Everything was going right for me," Talbert said. "My bad shots were good. My bad putts went in. It was the kind of day everything good happened."
Talbert, who won the 2008 Junior Azalea which was shortened to 18 holes because of rain, said this one meant even more.
"I felt like I would win (in 2008) because I was playing really well, but this one feels a whole lot better. I said coming into this week that I love this golf course. I don't know what it is, but I always play good. There's something about this golf course. Something always clicks here."
Talbert made two birdies and an eagle on the way to a front-nine 32, double-bogeyed the par-3 11th, then finished with birdies at 14, 15, 17 and 18.
Blake Kennedy, Moore 74-63—137
Austin Langdale, Townville 73-67—140
Caleb Sturgeon, Laurens 72-69—141
Victor Wiggins, Gastonia, N.C. 73-69—142
Wesley Long, Bluffton 75-67—142
Taylor Zoller, North Charleston 72-71—143
Josh Lorenzetti, Blythewood 72-71—143
Preston Dixon, Hartsville 71-72—143
Carson Young, Pendleton 73-70—143
Richard Hubbard, Mount Pleasant 73-71—144
Jon Weiss, Sumter 72-72—144
Brannan Hudson, Columbia 70-74—144
Andrew Ward, York 70-75—145
Cody Proveaux, Leesville 74-71—145
Ford Blanchard, Orangeburg 73-72—145
Roy Dixon, Salisbury 74-71—145
Miles Curley, Rock Hill 73-74—147
Zack Casto, Columbia 69-78—147
Tim Godshalk, Bluffton 72-75—147
Tyler Williams, Hilton Head 75-72—147
Beau Teal, Myrtle Beach 73-74—147
Sam Jackson, Pelion 75-73—148
C.J. Liner, North Augusta 78-71—149
Joshua Chay, Greer 75-74—149
Hayden Garrett, Easley 70-79—149
Will Starke, Chapin 80-70—150
Landon Coontz, Aiken 77-73—150
Andrew Harvey, Murrells Inlet 74-76—150
John Michael Schaffer, Sumter 78-72—150
Julian Taylor, Greenville 77-73—150
Chandler Vilcheck, Bluffton 73-77—150
Austin Frick, Myrtle Beach 76-74—150
Johnson Holliday, Aynor 74-77—151
Josh Taylor, Crescent, Pa. 73-78—151
D.J. Tozier, Clifton Park, N.Y. 79-72—151
Tate Hoisington, Hilton Head 80-71—151
Weston Bell, Piedmont 75-76—151
Grant Waggoner, North Charleston 76-76—152
Chandler Sease, Mount Pleasant 77-76—153
Lee Duncan, Irmo 76-77—153
Trace Crowe, Easley 78-75—153
Wick Andrews, Columbia 76-77—153
Jackson Moore, Isle of Palms 78-76—154
Luke Coates, Florence 80-75—155
Al Dickens, Charlotte 78-81—159
Scott Simpson, Daniel Island 79-82—161
Alan McLeod, Mount Pleasant 76-85—161
Christian Sease, Mount Pleasant 84-79—163
Garris Killingsworth, Johns Island 83-86—169
Andrew Thompson, Charleston 84-85—169
McKenzie Talbert, N. Augusta 72-65—137
Louise Oxner, Greenville 71-69—140
Jessica Hoang, North Augusta 71-71—142
Chelsey Couch, Ware Shoals 72-75—147
Katy Funk, Spartanburg 78-72—150
Reona Hirai, Summerville 79-72—151
Nicole Chin, Irmo 79-73—152
L.McGetrick, Highlnds Rnch, Colo. 76-76—152
Kelsey Badmaev, Blythewood 72-82—152
Kelli Murphy, Elgin 75-79—152
Kaitlin Matheson, Easley 79-75—154
Morgan Webber, Moore 80-74—154
Lauren Stephenson, Lexington 78-77—155
Rachel Wyatt, Blythewood 77-79—156
Emiley Pagrabs, Wilmington, N.C. 76-80—156
Elizabeth Thompson, Charleston 79-78—157
Anna Jenkins, Rock Hill 83-74—157
Emily Brooks, Chapel Hill, N.C. 78-80—158
Mary Chandler Bryan, Chapin 76-82—158
Lauren Dunbar, Columbia 74-85—159
Kristi Goodman, Easley 81-79—160
Maegan Higgins, Piedmont 83-77—160
Grace Glaze, Clemson 81-80—161
Claire Brown, Hartsville 78-85—163
Brandi Hammonds, Bluffton 82-82—164
Ansley Vaughan, Mount Pleasant 84-82—166
Caroline Dula, Hilton Head 84-84—168
Sarah Timms, Moore 84-85—169
Rachel Moore, Lexington 86-86—172
Dallas Roe, Taylors 87-85—172
Cayla Smith, Easley 87-87—174
Mary-Legare Augenstein, Columbia 88-87—175
Taylor Kelley, Columbia 99-83—182