Former Evans golfer Adam McKenney recently turned professional after a solid college career at Georgia Southwestern.
He is playing on the Carolina Tour's Winter Series, which is part of the NGA Hooters Tour.
McKenney wasted little time showing he belonged.
He opened his professional career with a runner-up finish at Tidewater Golf Club in Little River, S.C., just minutes from Myrtle Beach. For his efforts, he earned $1,350.
Finishing second in his very first pro start was special, but what he did next was remarkable.
McKenney posted rounds of 72-70-72 to earn a spot in a three-way playoff at Crow Creek Golf Club in Calabash, N.C.
He defeated Tony Parrish of North Myrtle Beach and Luke Hart of Blythewood, S.C., to notch his first professional win.
McKenney earned $2,500 and put himself in position to make a run at exempt status for the 2010 Hooters Tour. First-place checks on the tour are usually in the $30,000 to $40,000 range.
McKenney is eighth on the Winter Series money list with $3,850 in just two starts. There are four events left, and the top five players on the money list at the end of the series earn their Hooters Tour card for the season.
McKenney started in the hole, missing the first six events of the 12-event series. He will need to stay hot in order to lock up a spot on the Hooters Tour for the rest of the year.
Former North Augusta High standout Kyle Bradley also is doing well in the Winter Series. He is seventh on the money list with $4,725.
Best 9 Sports Academy held a winter baseball showcase at their facilities last weekend, and several Columbia County products impressed the attending scouts.
The CSRA Elite Winter Clinic gave the participants a chance to work out in front of college and pro scouts.
There were scouts on hand from eight colleges and six major league teams, and several area players rose to the occasion.
Perhaps no player helped his cause more than Lakeside pitcher Zach Hayden. According to local baseball scout George Blackburn, the Middle Georgia signee had quite a day. He threw some pitches clocked at 87-90 mph and has put himself in position to get attention when the draft rolls around in June.
Hayden is the cousin of former Augusta Christian star Josh Whitaker. Whitaker, who now plays at Kennesaw State, likely will be taken in the top 10 rounds in June, and possibly the top five rounds if he has a big junior season.
Hayden's Lakeside teammate, Kody Belcher, was also impressive at the clinic. The talented junior is a surefire Division I signee and could get pro attention.
The Greenbrier duo of Shawn McCain and Kyle Timmerman also had great workouts. Timmerman flashed some big-time power, while McCain, who already has signed with Western Carolina, topped out at 87 mph on the mound.
There was also some updated draft news on a few former Columbia County prep standouts.
Former Greenbrier ace Brandon Cumpton had a good fall and likely will be drafted in the top five rounds. He is projected to go in the second or third rounds, according to Blackburn.
Cumpton's Georgia Tech teammate, former Greenbrier star Jeff Rowland, will also be a hot commodity in June. He was drafted last year in the 21st round but elected to return to the Yellow Jackets for his junior season. Rowland should go much higher this June.
Blackburn also had some great news on former Lakeside pitcher Ryan Hutchins.
Hutchins came on strong as a senior and had plenty of attention from pro scouts. He chose to play junior college ball at Gordon Junior College.
Hutchins has continued to add velocity in the past six months. Being clocked in the low to mid-90s, he appears to be a future draft pick.
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