Big swings for Sanderson

Published 8:04 pm Monday, June 21, 2010

Suffolk’s John David Sanderson is one of many junior golfers in Virginia pleased Mikey Moyers is now a freshman at Virginia Tech and too old for the VSGA (Virginia State Golf Association) Junior Match Play Championship.

Sanderson, a rising junior at Summit Christian School and a member at Cedar Point Country Club, lost to Moyers in the round of 16 of last year’s tournament. Moyers went on to win his third straight state match play championship.

It was part of a busy summer for Sanderson. He qualified for and was one of the youngest players in the Virginia State Amateur Championship in June at his home course.


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Sanderson was one of eight junior golfers chosen to represent the commonwealth in the VSGA Mid-Atlantic Junior Invitational, a tournament involving players from Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland at Kingsmill in Williamsburg.

He won the Virginia Beach Junior Championship and during the past couple months, he’s had some remarkable rounds, even as he’s a little ambivalent about his game right now.

“I’d probably describe it as up and down from one day to the next. One day I’ll shoot a 67 and the next I’ll probably shoot 77,” Sanderson said.

After a good basketball season for Summit, a season that hampered his golf a little, “because basketball season went a little long,” Sanderson helped Summit’s golf team to a 13-1 record.

“Since (basketball season) I’ve definitely been playing about every day,” Sanderson said.

Not that there is such a thing, but his 67 wasn’t a run of the mill five-under-par round. It came from the championship tees at Cedar Point and was one shot away from the course record from the black tees, set by a pair of 66s on the same day of the VSGA State Amateur last summer.

Soon after coming close to the Cedar Point course record, Sanderson had rounds of 78 and 77 in qualifying for this year’s State Amateur to miss the cut.

Sanderson is eager for another chance in the VSGA Junior Match Play and for another chance to take on the challenge of match play, a rare format for most golfers, even elite ones.

Sanderson won Cedar Point’s club match play tournament last year, “so I feel pretty familiar with match play,“ said Sanderson.

“Once you’re into a round you can definitely be more aggressive,” Sanderson said. “If you mess up one hole and lose that hole, it’s okay. It’s not the same as losing two or three strokes. You definitely can change your style of play to be more aggressive.”

Sanderson knows he’s a longer hitter now versus about a year ago at the State Amateur Championship. Distance can be an advantage in match play.

At the same time, “I think it has just been a matter of being more consistent,” Sanderson said about his recent play.

Having the statewide tournament in Suffolk gives Sanderson at least one piece of consistency through what he hopes will be all four days of the tournament.

“It’ll definitely be nice to sleep in my own bed,” Sanderson said.