Cooper wins inaugural Sleepy Hole Junior championship

Published 9:44pm Friday, August 16, 2013

The second try made the difference for a couple of people — Keith Cooper and Sleepy Hole Golf Course’s Katie Murphy — on the links on Tuesday.

Cooper finished 18 holes of the 2013 Sleepy Hole Junior Championship tied with Will Coggins for first with respective rounds of 78. Cooper, a rising junior at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, got a second chance to clinch the championship in a sudden-death playoff and made par for the win.

He said he came out on top in the playoff because “I just felt comfortable on 18.”

For Murphy, the Ladies Professional Golf Association head golf pro at Sleepy Hole, this was the second attempt at holding a junior championship sponsored by the course. Last year the event was rained out.

“I thought we had a pretty good group,” she said.

There were 22 participants who accepted the open invitation made to anyone 18 and under.

There were different division winners based on age and gender, but only contestants ages 16-18 who were playing on the blue tees competed for the overall championship.

Murphy, who is Cooper’s coach at NSA, said a windy day and his playing back a little bit contributed to his higher-than-usual score of 78.

“That’s not his norm, but overall, I thought he handled it pretty well, got the ‘W,’ so got the job done,” she said.

Cooper managed to be confident going onto No. 18 in the sudden death playoff.

“I know I double-bogeyed it in the regular 18, and then in the playoffs I made a par,” he said. “I just felt good. I was comfortable with the opponent.”

Cooper said that he and Coggins got themselves in similar situations early on during the playoff, but on the third stroke, 100 yards out from the hole, Cooper came to within three feet. Coggins’ hit only brought him within 20-30 feet.

Following are the winners from the 2013 Sleepy Hole Junior Championship:

  • Boys, ages 16-18, and overall champion: Keith Cooper
  • Boys, ages 13-15: Chris Peoples
  • Boys, ages 12 and under: Riley Tuttle
  • Girls’ division: Kendall Turner

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