Stretch run for MOVJGA

PARKERSBURG -There’s something to be said for persistence.

Case in point: Steve Farley.

Several years ago when he began competing in the Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association, Farley didn’t call it quits even after turning in triple-digit scores.

Now in his final season with the MOVJGA Tour at the age of 18, Farley is in position to claim his first age division championship. Awaiting the Warren High School graduate are the final two events beginning today at South Hills Golf Club and ending with Friday’s stop at Woodridge Golf Club.

“I’ve just made leaps and bounds in all parts of my game,” Farley said. “When I first started playing golf, I couldn’t hit a driver or 3-wood. I had to hit 4-iron off every single tee because that was the only thing I knew I could hit. Driving has been a considerable help with my game. It’s a big difference when you can hit the ball 80 yards further.”

The age division title and the $1,000 scholarship which accompanies the feat is in no way a lock. Behind three second place finishes and two third-place showings, Farley has accumulated 104 points. His nearest competitor is Williamstown 17-year-old Mac McCormick at 97 points.

McCormick hit a hot streak with consecutive wins at St. Marys Golf Course, Mingo Bottom Golf Course in Elizabeth and Golf Club of West Virginia in Waverly. The victory at Golf Club of West Virginia was special because McCormick turned in the round of his life with a 68.

“My game came together,” McCormick said. “My driving was phenomenal and my putting was crazy good. If I missed the green, my wedge saved me and I was still able to get par.”

On the outside looking in in terms of the 16-18 age division standings, last year’s champion Zach McKenna ranks third with 75 points, while Belpre junior Sam Petty follows with 67 points. Shadowing Petty is Michael Sams at 66 points.

“As far as South Hills, I’ve not played particularly well there the last couple of years,” said Farley, who will be attending Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C., this fall. “But as far as Woodridge, I’ve played well there all my life. Surprisingly, it doesn’t play well with my game because I like to cut the ball and the course sets up better for a draw. I’ve been able to scoot around and throw a good round together.”

South Hills might present issues for McCormick as well, but the Williamstown junior is anxious to set foot at Woodridge, which is the same venue where he placed runner-up at last year’s Little Kanawha Conference Tournament.

“I know every bump and turn at Woodridge – that’s one course I’m looking forward to,” McCormick said.

In the 13-15 age division, Alex Easthom has the title wrapped up at 101 points. Easthom owns medalist honors from stops at Mingo Bottom and Lakeside Golf Course to coincide with runner-up showings at Worthington Golf Course and Golf Club of West Virginia.

Battling for second place are a host of individuals, including Cameron Bosner (61), Adeena Shears (60), Logan Clegg (58), Trevor Gorrell (55) and Isaac Prine (52).

The 12-under age group will go down to the wire with Zach Redmon (91), Blake Snyder (84), Wes Jenkins (81) occupying the top three positions.