Hunter leads Suffolk golfers at Eastern Amateur

Published 8:25pm Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ben Hunter of Suffolk made the cut for the first time at the prestigious Eastern Amateur Golf Championship held at the Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club last weekend.

Hunter was one of five players competing who either are from Suffolk or attend school in the city, and he was the only one to make the cut. He shot rounds of 74, 67, 75 and 66, totaling a two-over par 282, good for a share of 40th place in a field of 168 players from 11 different countries.

Ben Hunter of Suffolk sinks a putt during the Eastern Amateur Golf Championship last weekend at the Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club. Hunter made the cut and shot a two-over par 282, tying for 40th out of 168 players from 11 different countries in his second appearance at the highly esteemed event.
Ben Hunter of Suffolk sinks a putt during the Eastern Amateur Golf Championship last weekend at the Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club. Hunter made the cut and shot a two-over par 282, tying for 40th out of 168 players from 11 different countries in his second appearance at the highly esteemed event.

He said he felt great about his play because after missing the cut by one shot in his first time at the event in 2012, “This year, my ultimate goal was just to make the cut and try to put myself in contention.”

Hunter explained what gives this particular championship its prestige and appeal, saying it “is one of the biggest amateur golf tournaments that they have, and a lot of great names have won it.”

Previous winners include recognizable names from Professional Golfers’ Association history like Tom Strange, Ben Crenshaw and Curtis Strange.

Karl Quinn, chairman of the Eastern Amateur, noted the long history of the event when he said, “This was the 57th year, and we continue to draw a full field every year, so we’re doing something right.”

While the players tend to be college sophomores through seniors, competitors ranged in age from about 16 to 57.

Suffolk’s John David Sanderson, in his third year at the tourney, experienced a result similar to Hunter’s 2012 outcome. He said it was “tough to miss that last putt and miss the cut like that.”

He scored 71-74 for a five-over par 145.

Keith Cooper, who attends and plays for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, scored 74-74 for an eight-over 148.

Two of his NSA teammates also competed: Trey Wren shot 81-73—154 and Will Comer shot 84-79—163.

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