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Local golfers have large presence at Vaughn Taylor tournament

Posted: July 20, 2014 - 12:00am
Greenbrier's Tyler Barker watches his putt on the 10th green during the E-Z-Go Vaughn Taylor Championship at Jones Creek Golf Club. Photo by Jim Blaylock
Greenbrier's Tyler Barker watches his putt on the 10th green during the E-Z-Go Vaughn Taylor Championship at Jones Creek Golf Club. Photo by Jim Blaylock

When S.M. Lee finished his final round of the AJGA’s E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf at Jones Creek Golf Club on Thursday, Greenbrier High School senior Tyler Barker was there to offer his congratulations.

Lee, who Barker said he met through golf, shot a final round 2-under 70, winning the three-day event by three strokes, finishing at 6-under for the tournament.

Barker was the county’s top scorer, shooting 74, 71, 73 (218) to finish in eighth place at 2-over.

Barker thought his play was solid throughout the tournament.

“The first two days my putting was on fire,” Barker said. “I was making putts outside 15 feet, but only a few of them, which is good on this course. Today I played great golf, got a few bad breaks and couldn’t wrap it all up coming down the stretch,” he said, noting a par save out of the woods on 17 before bogeying 18.

The tournament, which was named the AJGA’s 2013 Tournament of the Year, did not disappoint.

“It was a great
experience, I love this tournament,” Barker said. “The things they do for us at this tournament are just awesome. The course is in the best shape I’ve ever seen it. The greens were smoother this year than they were last year so that’s a definite positive. Overall this tournament’s
great.”

Lakeside’s Hunter Dunagan was in the same group as Barker and shot a 4-over on Thursday, finishing at 7-over and tied for
13th.

Other county boys included States Fort (T23, 227), Salil Ghamande (T38, 233), Jack Rautenstrauch (T49, 240) and Joseph Kim (53rd, 245).

Trailing by a shot to enter the final day, the girl’s tournament was won by Greenville, S.C. junior Carly Burkhardt.

Burkhardt was the only female to shoot even-par on Thursday and finished at 2-over, 218 to win by five strokes.

Augusta Christian senior Sarah Harrison finished in second place at the tournament a year ago and had high hopes entering the tournament, but finished tied for 12th at 25-over.

“The experience was OK, I regret letting local people down,” said Harrison ruefully.

Harrison, who shot 82 on Wednesday and Thursday, said she couldn’t sink any putts among other things.

“I hit in the water on one hole, it was not good. I got some birdies, but it was still bad.”

Lakeside junior Megan Sabol, who was paired with Harrison, carded an 83 on the final day and finished 15th at 27-over.

Sabol thought she should should have done better.

“It’s disappointing,” said Sabol who had to break in new clubs for the tournament. “It is my home course and I should have at least shot in the 70s and I didn’t.”

Sabol will travel to Florida this week to play in the 2014 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.

“I’m definitely going to practice before we leave on Sunday (today),” she said.

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