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home : sports : golf August 27, 2015

7/5/2013 7:21:00 AM
Inman youth captures 61st Grant Bennett Florence Junior Invitational Tournament

The Florence Country Club hosted its 61st Grant Bennett Florence Junior Invitational tournament on Thursday and Friday. Trevor Phillips of Inman captured the win in a convincing fashion. Hanging around one under par for the tournament, Phillips birdied 15 to take a one shot lead. The entire grouping birdied the tough par three 16th. Phillips then proceeded to birdie 17 and 18 for four birdies in a row to win by four shots. In the boys 13-14 division, playing the same set of tees as the older boys has Ryan Marter as champion. The Columbia native fired a 76 to win by one stroke over Trevor’s brother, Trent. The boys 11-12 bracket played 18 holes each day and Graham Corbin took the title as his 148 two day total was good for a seven shot margin of victory. The youngest players, boys 10 and under has Zach Adams as champion after he birdied the last hole. He and Gene Zeigler were tied coming into their 18th hole and Adams sealed the deal with a four footer on the tough par five finish hole. The Rock Hill native was recently heralded for his two nines of 29 in the Hootie Summer Tour in Mount Pleasant to combine for a 18 hole score of 58. The event is in the 61st year of playing and is held in honor of Grant Bennett, a past professional of Florence Country Club, and a founding father of junior golf programs in SC. He was a highly decorated PGA member and member of the SC Golf Hall of Fame and was known as not only a great player, but a fantastic teacher as well. Haynsworth Sinkler and Boyd , PA have joined forces with First Bank to sponsor this must play event in the Pee Dee. The tournament has been hosted since inception by the membership at Florence Country Club. The Florence Junior, now known as the Grant Bennett Florence Junior Invitational, is the longest running junior boys championship in South Carolina with 2013 being the 61st year, six year the elder of the SCGA Junior Championship which just celebrated its 55th year in existence. The first Grant Bennett Florence Junior Invitational was played at the Florence County Club in 1952, one year after the legendary Grant Bennett arrived at the Florence Country Club as the head professional. Upon Bennett’s arrival, he quickly invigorated a junior program that cultivated young players from the area into championship level competitors via the “ladder system” as 2012 SC Golf Hall of Fame inductee Bert Atkinson commented. From 1956-1970, Bennett’s high school golf team that he coached won an unprecedented 11 SC High School Championships, while losing only one match on the way to becoming a dynasty. From 1956-’58, pupils of Bennett, John Orr and Buddy Baker both made it to the big stage playing in the U.S. Junior Boys Championship. In 1958, Billy Womack also made the field. Out of those three players, Orr made it to the third round, Womack to the semi-finals and Baker earned the title of the 1958 U.S. Junior Champion. Bennett’s efforts and successes earned the blessings of USGA and in 1963, Florence Country Club hosted the U.S. Junior Boys Championship. In 1964, Bennett headed for Columbia and while junior golf was still at the forefront, it simply wasn’t the same without the leadership and efforts of one Mr. Grant Bennett. The Grant Bennett Florence Junior Invitational is open to junior boys between the ages of 8-18 who live in South Carolina. The field was based on June 1 rankings for the 18 hole divisions, and the Pee Wee Championship and 2012 All Stars assisted in determining the nine hole brackets. The field was expanded to 96 players this year. Presenting Sponsors were First Bank and Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA. Legacy Partner was Susan and Kennedy Breeden. Joe Pearce Sponor Am Partners were Aiken Bridges Attorneys At Law; BB&T; IGA; McLeod Health; Wells Fargo Advisors; Chewning & McDonald Oral Surgeons; The Connell & Green Families; Paul T. Davis, DMD; Schipp Johnston; Dr. Webb Jones, Mr. and Mrs. John Orr; The Pearce Family; Carroll Player, DDS; Robert B. Stith III. Tournament Sponsors and Supporters were Stifel, Aiken & Company Insurance and Real Estate; John Chapman; Walter Lawson; and Lawrence B. Orr.








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