From the start, Bartram Trail Golf Club's annual free junior tournament has been billed as an event for players across the entire golfing spectrum.
"We've got kids that have never played golf before all the way through high school varsity players," said John Carney, a member of the club who helps head professional Robby Watson and assistant professional Lee Henry coordinate junior golf.
The fourth annual Columbia County Junior Golf Tournament, held Nov. 21-22, was no different.
Brent Roberson, a junior at Evans High School and member of the course, won the division for players 15 and older. While he didn't come close to his course record of 7-under 65, Roberson shot rounds of 71-74 to finish 1-over.
"I came out thinking that I just needed to go out there and shoot around even and maybe I could win it," said Roberson, who bested runner-up Taylor Guilibeau (76-71) by two shots. "I hadn't played in two weeks, so I was expecting to play bad.
"I guess I played OK."
While Roberson represented the seasoned veteran, some younger players got their first taste of tournament golf.
Drew Pond, 7, a second-grader at River Ridge Elementary, and Riley Pond, 10, a fifth-grader at River Ridge, both were playing in their first tournament.
"I think it's fabulous," their mother, Kim Pond, said. "I think it's just a great opportunity for the kids. ... It's a wonderful event for them to experience golf hands-on."
Charles Griffen shot 76-72 to take the crown in the 13-14 division. Chip Allen was second after shooting 77-76.
In the 11-12 division, Hunter Dunagan topped Cole Madison by a single stroke. Dunagan finished with rounds of 83-75, while Madison shot 77-82.
Chancellor Huggins was the runaway winner in the 9-10 division. He had rounds of 46-47, while Carter Harwell (53-49) was the runner-up.
In the 8-Under division, both Alex Colligan (35-30) and Owen Sanders (34-31) finished with scores of 65.
Colligan won in a scorecard playoff.
Carney said another benefit of the tournament is that younger players can watch older players and learn from them.
It's something 9-year-old Madison Harwell appreciated.
"It's nice to be around some other people and know what they do," said Harwell, a fifth-grader who is home-schooled through the Georgia Cyber Academy. "You can just get better by listening and watching."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.