Local golf: Barr, Chavis set pace in Rowan Junior Open
By Mike London
KANNAPOLIS — Parker Chavis, a South Rowan graduate who will be a freshman at Pfeiffer University, shot 3-under 68 to lead a strong field in the 16-18 division of the Rowan Junior Open on Monday, but Charlie Barr was even better.
Barr, a Salisbury youngster who will be a rising freshman at Cannon School, is competing in the 14-15 age division, but he’s also the overall leader and is eligible for the title. He fired a 5-under 66 at The Club at Irish Creek in the opening round. The course layout was 6,849 yards from the blue tees for the all golfers from 14-18.
“Charlie is just an amazing young golfer,” Chavis said. “Conditions were pretty tough today with a lot of rain and wind also being a big factor. To shoot 66 in that weather, that’s a great round.”
The Rowan Junior Open is an unusual tournament in that it’s played on two different courses. The venue switches to Warrior Golf Club in China Grove for today’s concluding 18 holes.
Barr, Chavis and Caleb Henson, a rising junior at Buford High in Lancaster, S.C., will be in the final group teeing off today at 9:10 a.m. Henson shot 71 on Monday.
Chavis is the first to admit he hasn’t had a great summer. He missed the cut at the recent Dogwoood State Junior Boys Tournament with a pair of 82s, but he got back on track on Monday.
“I had the lead after the first round of the High Point Junior, but after that, July turned into a really tough month for me,” Chavis said. “But Monday I felt like I was back in control. I had a really good tempo, was hitting my irons well.”
Chavis was consistent in a round that included four birdies and one bogey.
“I hit 17 greens (in regulation), played a stress-free round,” Chavis said. “Those last five or six holes, we were hitting straight into the wind, but I was able to stay out of trouble. I made a few putts, but I could’ve made more. It’s like my dad told me, ‘That was really good, but you left a few out there.’ But you always leave a few out there.”
A lot of familiar locals are in the tournament. East Rowan’s Austin Miller, second behind Barr in the 14-15 division, shot 74. Carson’s Zain Tucker and Carson graduate Patrick Street, who will be joining Chavis at Pfeiffer, checked in with 76s. East Rowan’s Bryson Sprinkle shot 77. Will Fowler, a rising freshman who made a hole-in-one at the Country Club of Salisbury over the weekend, carded a 77 and is tied for sixth in the 14-15 division.
This tournament has been played annually since 2008. Former East Rowan star Nick Lyerly, who will be a freshman at UNC Greensboro, won the last two.
“This is one of those tournaments where a lot of your friends are playing,” Chavis said. “That makes it exciting, and it’s even more exciting to be back in contention.”
Ben Childress’ 81 paced the 12-13 age division. Jaden Sprinkle’s 36 for nine holes led the 8-11 division. Abbie Daquila of Mount Pleasant shot 90 and is the leader among the girls.
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