Willis rallies to win Esposito Junior

Tommy Braswell/Staff Ethan Willis (left) beat Jamie Wilson by one shot in the Al Esposito Junior golf tournament Wednesday at Charleston Municipal Golf Course.


Ethan Willis rallied from a three-stroke deficit heading to the back nine to slip past first-day leader Jamie Wilson in the 60th annual Al Esposito Junior golf tournament Wednesday at Charleston Municipal Golf Course.

Willis, 15, a rising sophomore at Palmetto Christian Academy, finished the two-day tournament at 70-70-140. Wilson, a rising junior at Bishop England, shot 67-74-141. Christopher DeMarco was third in the boys 15-17 division with a score of 148.

Drayton Stewart won the boys 13-14 age group with a 158; Luis Thompson had a two-day total of 73 to win the boys 10-12 division; and Chase Edens and Reid Warden tied for the low score in boys 9-under with 84s. Taylor Mayers shot 164 to win the girls 15-17 age group; Delanie Mortier won the girls 13-14 age division with a 167; and Ella Dodd won the girls 12-under with an 83.

"This was my third win this summer, but this was a little more impressive because I beat Jamie Wilson," said Willis, who won a pair of Hurricane Junior Golf Tour events in the Hilton Head area.

Willis said it was "fairways and greens" on the back nine that helped him pass Wilson. He shot 33 both days on the closing nine. Willis made a 15-foot putt to save par on the 16th, got up and down for a birdie on the 17th and made a scrambling par to stop Wilson.

Wilson said the wind picked up earlier than he expected and he "just hit some errant shots where I didn't need to be."

"I'm a little disappointed," Wilson added. "I wanted to do the same thing I did the first round, but there were a few holes that got away from me."


Boys 15-17: Ethan Willis, 140; Jamie Wilson, 141; Christopher DeMarco,148; Wilson Yearout, 150; Wil Sheppard, 152; Ky Matsumoto, 157; J.R. Stark, 161; Dane Henderson, 162; Christian Woods, 163; Jake Bryan, 167; Jackson Trigiani, 170; Chase McDonald, 171; Maxwell Kastenholz, 171; Nicholas Bunker, 173; Jared Rushton, 175; Mathew Ponte, 179; Jacob Ponte, 206.

Boys 13-14: Drayton Stewart, 158; Jacob Morris, 161; Carson Crocker, 168; Jacob Daley, 168; J.J. Keene, 170; John Paul Velasquez, 172; Davis Yearout, 177; Willis Rogers, 193; Cooper Tillman, 239.

Boys 10-12 (9 holes each day): Luis Thompson, 73; Austin Mosher, 76; Price Lenoir,85; Andrew Kaslick,87; Jackson McGowan, 93; Brock Connelly, 95; Mathew Mongillo, 101; Arden Richter, 122; Charles Akerman, 128; Jack Akerman, 135.

Boys 9-under (9 holes each day): Chase Edens, 84; Reid Warden, 84; Sky Thompson, 127.

Girls 15-17: Taylor Mayers, 164; Carolyn Annette Paxton, 173; Price Crenshaw, 190; Jocelyn McGill, 225.

Girls 13-14: Delanie Mortier, 167; Danielle Paxton, 182; Olivia Erwin, 182; Telie McCoy, 187; Lexi Lucarelli, 191; Kennedy Broadway, 228.

Girls 12-under (9 holes each day): Ella Dodd, 83.