The 6th Annual Carolinas-Georgia Junior Championship will be played today and Monday at Mt. Vintage Plantation Golf Club in North Augusta. The invitational event brings together the top boys and girls players from Georgia, South and North Carolina for an individual and team competition over the MLK Holiday Weekend. College coaches will be on hand to see up close recent commitments and signees soon to be headed to the world of collegiate golf.
For the Carolina team, Trace Crowe is returning to defend his title. Since winning last January, he has captured three more junior titles and posted many more top 10 finishes. Most recently, he was named the Jay Haas, South Carolina Junior Player of The Year for 2013.
The 17-year-old junior has made plans to continue his golf career at Auburn University, having made a verbal commitment to the Tigers. The defending champion will have his hands full trying to repeat with 17 of the top 20 South Carolina juniors entered, along with 16 of the top 20 North Carolina juniors entered, and 11 of the top 20 Georgia juniors teeing it up for a two day battle royal.
Among the familiar faces taking part in the competition will be Aiken’s Jake Carter. The sophomore at South Aiken High School, who was a key part of last year’s state championship team, will be playing in a group along with Georgia’s Brennan Bogdanovich and North Carolina’s Harrison Frye.
In addition to Carter and Crowe, South Carolina will be led by junior Bryson Nimmer, of Bluffton, senior Keenan Huskey, of Greenville, and Josh Fickes, a senior from Ladys Island. Nimmer finished as runner-up for player of the year honors to Crowe, while Huskey has numerous victories over the past year on the junior circuit and Fickes is the current South Carolina Junior Champion. Nimmer and Fickes are Clemson bound when they finish their high school careers while Huskey has signed to play for South Carolina this fall.
John Yi, a Georgia Regents University Augusta signee from Marietta will return this year, and is among the boys on the Georgia team to keep an eye on. North Carolina is the most experienced boys group boasting 12 seniors out of the 21 players scheduled to participate. That group will be led by senior Will Blalock.
After three years of domination over the girls division, former Strom Thurmond star McKenzie Talbert has moved on to the college ranks, playing at Clemson. Two-time Beth Daniel Player of The Year, Reona Hirai, will return to try and win the title that slipped thru her hands last year. She’ll be joined on the South Carolina team by Kelli Murphy, the No. 2 ranked girl in the state and future Auburn University player.
The action will begin today at 10:30 a.m.