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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Brunswick County golfers Greg Hensley and Landon Patterson have qualified to play in the Tarheel Youth Golf Association Tour Championship.

The two-day event will take place Aug. 12-13 at Monroe County Club.

To be invited to the 84-player field for the championship, a golfer had to win one of the 18 tournaments and/or be one of the top seven players in points.

The competition was intense: 900 rounds of golf played by 428 participants on 18 courses from June 23 to July 22.

The TYGA Tour is a North Carolina competitive junior golf organization begun in 1997. The TYGA Tour, also known as the One-Day Series, was played on well-known golf courses across North Carolina, from Wilmington to Rutherfordton.

This year the tour expanded to include more southeastern communities in the state, with tournaments in Clinton, Fayetteville, Lumberton and Wilmington. This gave more junior golfers in the coastal counties of Onslow, Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick the opportunity to get more involved.

There were four age divisions in the TYGA Tour for the boys and girls: 11 and younger, 12-13, 14-15, and 16-18. Golfers 11 and younger played nine holes using a modified Stableford points system. All the other ages played 18 holes using a reverse points system. The top seven players in the total point standings from each age group and the winner of each tournament were recognized. Each of these junior golfers received an invitation to play in the season-ending TYGA Tour Championship.

Greg Hensley, from Holden Beach, finished fourth out of 154 junior golfers in the boys’ 14-15 age group. He played in eight of the tournaments. His biggest highlight was a fifth-place tie at Bryan Park Golf Club in Greensboro, where he shot a personal best of 37-38—75, which boosted him in the point standings.

Landon Patterson, from Varnamtown, tied for third out of 31 junior golfers in the boys’ 11-and-younger age group. He played in three of the tournaments. His biggest highlight was a first-place tie at the Pinecrest Country Club in Lumberton with a Stableford score of 27 and a first-place finish at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course with a Stableford score of 36.

His brother Holden, age 15, competed in the boys’ 14-15 age group and tied for 38th.

Kay Patterson said she was pleased about her family’s experience in TYGA.

“The opportunity for us as a family to travel and participate in a well-organized golf tournament, has been both an incredible opportunity for growth with their game and an awesome memory maker,” she said. “We’re blessed to have such an association that allows kids across the state to play against one another and develop their golf games at the same time.”

Al Arrigoni, The First Tee of Brunswick County executive director, agreed.

“The TYGA Tour is a very cost-effective way for youth to experience competitive golf,” he said. “The annual membership is free and tournaments only cost $10. Plus it has many benefits, like a free score posting service for youth to establish a USGA handicap index. The governing body of TYGA is the Carolina Golf Association (CGA). It is just a terrific organization for youth and parents to be involved in.”

Hensley and Patterson are also members of The First Tee of Brunswick County. This is the first time any TFTBC golfers other than Dalton Gore have qualified to play in any two-day N.C. ranked junior golf championship.

TYGA conducts numerous tournaments throughout the year in a variety of formats. The events are designed to introduce competitions to junior golfers.

Besides the TYGA One-Day Series in the summer, there is the TYGA Par-3 Shootout in July, the TYGA N.C. Middle School Championship in September, the TYGA Fall Championship in October and the TYGA East-West Challenge in October.

The TYGA Web site at www.tyga.org contains up-to-date information on tournament schedules, results and current member news.