Spears leads area contingent at Callaway Tour

WAVERLY -Alston Spears and Lauryn Davidson showed flexibility in their busy golf schedule and arrived at the Golf Club of West Virginia in time to turn in low rounds for their respective age divisions during Friday’s stop for the Callaway Junior Tour.

Several golfers who originally were entered in the West Virginia Junior Match Play at Edgewood Country Club in Sissonville altered their plans when they found out the stroke play there was canceled because of immense flooding.

Davidson and her mother already were on the road when they heard the news, while Spears pulled into the parking lot at the Golf Club of West Virginia minutes before the shotgun start.

Spears, who will be entering his senior year at Roane County High School in the fall, turned in a 1-over par 71 and produced a four-stoke margin of victory in the 17-18 age division.

“The Junior Match Play got canceled at the last second, so I thought I would buzz up here and play,” said Spears, who made five birdies but also had six bogeys. “I kind of got the jitters just because you are trying to hurry to get here. I just had to calm down and play some golf.

“I’ll take that 71 any day of the week. I played well today.”

Matching Spears’ 71 was Buckhannon 14-year-old Christian McKisic, who won his age division by three strokes. In order to determine the outright winner for the United Bank Low Round of the Day award, the two golfers started at the 17th hole for a playoff. McKisic made par and claimed the award.

The girls division experienced a similar outcome as future Parkersburg High School teammates, Davidson and Whitney Milhoan, both carded an 82. Milhoan, who will be a freshman at PHS, was one of only two girls in the 10-14 age division, while Davidson finished seven strokes ahead of runner-up Kyra Senchyshak (Parkersburg) in the 15-18 age group.

Both Milhoan and Davidson bogeyed the first playoff hole at No. 18. On the second playoff hole at No. 10, each girl converted a beautiful chip shot to reach the green. Milhoan missed her putt from more than 20 feet, but Davidson converted her putt from 5 feet away for par to claim her third straight title for the girls United Bank Low Round of the Day.

“I left the putt on the high side, but speed was enough to let it roll in,” said Davidson, who was coming off rounds of 75 and 76 in her past two showings on the Callaway Junior Tour. “I was really disappointed with the 82. I know this course really well, but I had more doubles and more bogeys than I wanted.”

Davidson, who is entering her junior year at PHS, has her itinerary set next week as a caddy for her father, Parkersburg Country Club PGA professional Scott Davidson at the West Virginia Open.

“I’m so proud of my dad and how hard he works,” Lauryn Davidson said. “He’s helped me through everything. He’s my coach; he’s my motivator. He’s what keeps me sane with golf.”

Belpre’s Sam Petty just missed on the low round title, but did manage to shoot a 72 to win the 15-16 age division by one stroke over runner-up Coleman Lamp (St. Marys). Petty, who just completed his sophomore year at Belpre High School, is just now getting into the swing of things with his golf game after a deep run into the postseason for track.

The 16-year-old overcame a double-bogey, which resulted in a lost ball and 7 on the 13th hole.

“Otherwise, I played pretty well,” said Perry, who continues his pursuit in the Callaway Junior Tour standings with stops at Marietta Country Club on Monday and at Greenhills Country Country in Ravenswood on Tuesday.

Capturing an age division title for second time was Vienna’s Carson Okraska. The 12-year-old golfer established a personal low round of 76 to claim the 12-under grouping by 16 strokes. His previous best of 78 occurred last year at Woodridge Golf Club.

“I loved how well I played,” Okraska said. “The putts were not as good, but my chips were excellent.”