The Greater Cincinnati Golf Association 1905 Junior Tour will make a stop in Maysville next week.
The Junior Chippeways, a tournament for GCGA members ages 7-18, will return to Maysville County Club for the 50th time for a one-day, stroke play event on Monday.
“I think there will be quite a few spectators – there seems to be a lot at junior events, parents or other kids. I expect to see some good golf,” said Teron Bay, who took over the pro shop at the course in April. “I expect some of the older kids to really play well. Maysville Country Club is a different course. The greens are so small they may not hit many greens, but they’ll still score well. The greens are hard to hit because of their size. I expect some of the sophomores to seniors in high school to really play well. The course is still in amazing shape.”
The tournament was first played in 1969 and was the brainchild of Gene Downing, Ray Rayburn and James Striplin Jr, according to a June 26, 2013 article by The Ledger Independent. This year’s Junior Chippeways was pushed back later in the summer because of turnover in the pro shop, but it was important to those involved to keep the tradition going.
That includes Bay, who played in the Junior Chippeways while growing up.
“It kind of puts me in a unique position. I actually played in it. Helping run it gives me a lot of pride to give back to golf, especially for the kids, because that’s where the future of golf is – younger kids,” said Bay. “Anything to help with kids and golf, I’m all for it.”
The event is one day this year, but the plan is to make it a multiple days again in the future. According to the tour’s website, there are 23 registered to play in the tournament and it’ll be broken into age divisions. The divisions for girls 7-9, girls 10-12, boys 7-9 and boys 10-12 will play nine holes, according to the organization’s website, while girls 13-18, boys 13-15 and boys 16-18 will play all 18 holes.
There will be some local competitors, according to pairings listed on the 1905 Junior Tour website. Bryan Walton, a recent Mason County graduate who won the his age division last year with a two-day 27-over 171, is among those competing, as well as Lance Sininger, a rising senior at Georgetown who fired a 5-under 67 to finish first in the Southwest Ohio Division III sectional golf tournament at Walden Ponds Golf Course last fall.
They, along with others, will look to join a list of successful past tournament winners. One is St. Patrick graduate Mark Blakefield, who won the event five times. He was named Kentucky’s Mr. Golf in 1999, continued his career at the University of Kentucky and currently plays on the Web.com Tour. Last Sunday, he finished tied for 12th in the Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth.
Others that have won include Brad Fabel in 1972, Ralph Landrum in 1975, Jodie Mudd in 1976 and Steve Flesch in 1985. They all went on to play on the PGA Tour.
“It shows that you have to compete at a fairly high level as a junior to be able to move on and showcase your skills to get to college or the next level,” said Bay. “Playing against other kids gives the local kids encouragement to keep going, get better, to strive to beat these guys and not to let them come into their home course and walk away with the trophies.”
Bay believes looking at some of the local players that won the tournament can motivate them for their golf future, too. Troy Grooms won the Junior Chippeways title in 1989 and Eric Schumacher won back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993. Both have gone on to win several local tournaments, including the Chippeways and Laurel Oaks Classic.
Less than two weeks ago, it was another former Junior Chippeways champion making noise on the Maysville golf scene. Jackson Frame claimed his third Chippeways title, and he only recently finished his career at Northern Kentucky University.
“Look at Jackson Frame winning. He’s about five years out of high school – not a whole lot older than some playing. He’s winning one of the biggest local tournaments around against some of the guys that have been playing golf for many years,” said Bay. “It gives them something to look forward to and something to strive for.”
Winners will be awarded 110 Player of the Year points, while others in the top 10 will receive points depending on the place they finish. The tournament is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., according to the 1905 Junior Tour website.