Ninety-nine golfers are scheduled to descend on Champions Retreat Golf Club this week for the inaugural Club Car Junior. The American Junior Golf Association tour stop has PGA Tour golfer and Augusta native Charles Howell's name on it.
When the event was first announced, its promoters promised a big-time tour feel. It will probably deliver.
Some of the nation's top junior golfers from 15 states are registered.
There will be some stiff competition from the locals. Evans residents Cody Shafer and Jacob Tilton have been invited. Former Augusta Prep golfer Lee Knox will play, as will Augusta juniors Shepherd Archie, Nick Edry, Dykes Harbin, Chase Parker and Clark Palmer.
More local golfers could join the field today via a qualifier that begins at 8 a.m. at Forest Hills Golf Club.
A Junior-Am fund-raiser tournament will be held Monday morning, followed by a practice round. The 54-hole tournament begins Tuesday morning and will finish Thursday.
The tournament is another reason to laud the area's golf scene. Events like the Columbia County Junior, which provided free food and no entry fee, and a recent initiative to allow juniors to play for free at local courses, are building a solid base of players in the area. Four of the top 10 players on the Georgia State Golf Association points leaderboard are from the Augusta area.
Jeff Knox finishes 10th at Dogwood
Augusta Prep golf coach Jeff Knox finished 10th at The Dogwood Invitational, a prestigious amateur tournament in Atlanta on June 24-28. Knox finished 13-under-par, eight shots behind winner Rory Hie.
Knox and Hie were tied to start the final round, but Hie closed with 62 to tie the Dogwood single-round record.
There's no shame in finishing behind Hie. The University of Southern California golfer is ranked the No. 13 amateur in the world by Golfweek magazine. He was named a Ping All-American this season as a sophomore. He has his own Web site: www.roryhie.com.
Knox is ranked by Golfweek, as the No. 86 amateur in the U.S. and leads the GSGA men's points standings. He was playing in the group ahead of Hie and said he didn't hear until he finished that Hie was 10-under with a hole to play.
Knox played with Hie when they were paired together during the 2006 Southern Amateur.
Knox's son, Lee, an Augusta Prep graduate, shot even-par for three rounds at The Dogwood Invitational but didn't make the cut, which was set at 3-under-par. Lakeside graduate Brian Carter also missed the cut after finishing at +4.
Last week, Lee played in the Rice Planters Amateur in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Jeff will compete in the Georgia Amateur Championship held Tuesday through Friday at Idle Hour Club in Macon.
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