By RON PRESTON
The Course at Carey Park in Hutchinson will play host to the 2013 Kansas Junior Golf Association Section Team Championship on July 16-17.
Marcus Willey of Abilene has qualified to represent the North Central Section, which includes all 28 counties north of U.S. Highway 50.
Willey, 15, qualified by placing third place at Hesston on June 6 with an 83. Eleven days later he shot an 85 at the Stagg Hill Tournament in Manhattan to tie for second place in his age group.
Three days later he shot another 85 at Carey Park in Hutchinson to finish in fourth place.
His final sectional tournament was June 25 in Salina at the Salina Country Club where he fired a 78 to tie for first place.
“I played pretty well at Salina and a couple of the others. I struggled a little bit, but still managed to finish well,” Marcus said.
Willey gained 13.5 individual points to finish third in the North Central Section 14-15 year old age group. Willey’s teammates are Dylan Schmidt, Hutchinson, Cole Gritton, Manhattan and Jack Howard of Hutchinson. The team also has two alternates in Mason Alberg, Clay Center and Braden Neuschafer of Salina.
“I played against my teammates all season long in the sectional tournaments. We battled all year, we would always come in one or two shots away from each other,” Willey said.
Six sectional teams from across the state compete in a 36-hole stroke play championship to see who will take home the coveted title and bragging rites. Sixteen contestants from each section play two rounds.
Players will not only be contending for a team title, but individual awards are also up for grabs in all five-age divisions.
This is the 28th year for KJGA program, which was designed to offer competitive golf for juniors across the state of Kansas.
“These tournaments are just preparing me for my high school tournaments and the school year. My plan is to get better for next school season,” Willey concluded.
A junior golfer under the age of 19 or recently graduated from high school and has not yet enrolled in college, will be eligible to compete and earn qualifying points in the four tournaments in their section of Kansas.
Additionally, the top eight junior golfers based on the points list will comprise the 2013 Kansas Junior Cup Team.
This team will compete against their Nebraska counterparts on August 6-8 at Champions Run in Omaha, Neb.
The Kansas team is on a two-year role by winning last year at Colbert Hills in Manhattan and the year before in Omaha.
The junior cup point list will also be used to determine the 2013 KGA Junior Player of the year.