Last week in St. Simons, Ga., Team Georgia dominated Team South Carolina at the 29th Annual Junior Challenge match.
The event pits the top eight junior players from both states, and while Georgia had a record of 18 and 10, South Carolina had won the last two challenge matches.
So as you might guess, Team Georgia had something to prove.
The teams are composed of the top eight finishers at each state's Junior Amateur Championship. The Georgia team was led by Junior Amateur Champ Michael Green of Richmond Academy, but Green wasn't the only local player on the squad.
Columbia County natives Rob Bennett (Augusta Prep) and Ryan Blackburn (Lakeside) were also team members and both came up big for their team.
Georgia crushed South Carolina 12.5 to 3.5, with Bennett going 2-0 and Blackburn going 1-0-1.
On the final day of competition, Blackburn edged Daniel Bowden of Easley, S.C., which proved to be the deciding match as it gave Georgia 8.5 points and clinched the victory.
Bennett crushed his opponent, Billy Belair of Myrtle Beach, S.C., on the final day 6-5. Bennett beat Garland Ferrell of Greenville, S.C., 2-1 on the first day, while Blackburn tied Orangeburg's Harrison Ford.
Over the years, PGA tour stars like Larry Mize, Davis Love III and Bob Tway - all major champions - have represented Team Georgia in this event.
So congrats to Bennett and Blackburn for helping to bring home the title.
In other golf news
Ten years ago former Evans standout Chris Kuhlke was playing golf at Augusta State University, and during the 1994 City Amateur he edged Kevin Ratcliffe in a playoff to claim the title.
On Sunday at the 2004 City Amateur at Forest Hills Golf Club, he trailed another Columbia County native, a player Kuhlke can probably relate to. Like Kuhlke, Zac Tilton was a terrific high school player at Evans. Tilton, 20, is also only a few months younger than Kuhlke was when he won the Amateur in 1994. Tilton is also a college player coming off a solid year at Kennesaw State.
Unfortunately for Tilton, their scores on Sunday were vastly different.
As overnight leader Tilton limped in with a final round of 80, Kuhlke rallied from three down with a two over 74. Kuhlke finished the event with a five over par total of 221 (79-68-74).
Tilton finished second, three shots back at eight over par.
Obviously, the county had a big week on the golf course.
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