Former Eastern Wayne standouts set new mark
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on June 12, 2008 1:54 PM
There were spectators.
There were flashbulbs.
And there was a historic finish.
One day before the start of the 112th annual U.S. Open, Wayne County's best young golfers hit the links at Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course for the annual junior amateur.
Eastern Wayne graduate and Mount Olive College signee Kyle Ham surged from behind, and topped teammate Nick Barrow by one stroke. Ham fired a 6-under par 65 on the day, while Barrow carded an impressive 66. The duo recorded the lowest combined score among the top two finishers in Wayne County Junior Amateur history.
"I just got hot late in the day, especially on the front nine which was my back nine after I started on the tenth," said Ham. "I knew I was at least a stroke behind Nick with four holes to play, but I stayed calm and made birdie on eight and nine."
The lanky Warrior also made note of the shot that turned his day around after a slow start.
"The long putt I made on two was the shot that sticks out," said Ham. "I made birdie there and at three, which got me going in the right direction."
Ham carded birdies on five of his final eight holes.
For Barrow, it was a tale of two sides. The hard-hitting Lane Tree Golf Club regular opened the day with birdies on two of the first three holes on his way to a 3-under par front side.
"I started out great, and overall played pretty good," said Barrow. "I played aggressive and went for everything, even when maybe I shouldn't have toward the end.
"But that's just the way I play the game."
Wayne Christian's Hayden Gardner carded a 1-under 70 to finish in third place.
In the boys' 14-15 year-old division, Kenzie Robinson took first-place honors with a round of 84. John Graham bested Chris Best in a scorecard playoff after both players shot identical rounds of 86.
Jasmine Reeves, a rising junior at Eastern Wayne, fired a 92 and captured the girls' title by one stroke over Jordan Hill. Hill helped lead Southern Wayne to an appearance in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Classes 1-A/2-A/3-A women's golf championships in the fall.
Other winners on the day included Nick Adams (12-13 boys), Michael Sutton (10-11 boys) and Seth Abrahamson (8-9 boys).
The 2009 WCJA will be contested at Lane Tree Golf Club.
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