Locals open strong at state golf championship

Published 10:47 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two teens with Suffolk ties played their way into the top 16 advancing through the first two days of the 21st Virginia State Golf Association Junior Match Play Championship on at The Piedmont Club in Haymarket Tuesday and Wednesday.

Golf: Suffolk’s John David Sanderson, here in a tournament at Nansemond River Golf Club last summer, shot an even-par round of 72 on day one of the VSGA Junior Match Play Championship Tuesday at The Piedmont Club in Haymarket.

Chesapeake’s Ashton Newsom came within a stroke of the course record in a competitive event, junior or otherwise, by firing a seven-under-par 65 with nine birdies on Tuesday, the first day of two stroke play rounds determining the 16 golfers who move on into the match play bracket.

Newsom, son of Tim Newsom, the golf professional and director of operations at North Suffolk’s Riverfront Golf Club, topped the field by five shots in the first round.

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Newsom really caught fire through the middle of his round, making five birdies in six holes capped by rolling in a 35-foot birdie putt on the 179-yard, par-3 13th hole. Newsom went 4-for-4 making fours on the par fives at The Piedmont Club.

“I’ve been hitting the ball better than I’ve ever hit it,” Newsom said. “The only thing holding me back has been the putter and it kind of clicked today.”

Suffolk’s John David Sanderson shot a fine round despite making a double-bogey six on the second hole. He made it back to even par with an eagle on the 512-yard, par-5 18th hole.

Sanderson is a member at Cedar Point Country Club and a student at Summit Christian in Newport News. He’s qualified for the VSGA Amateur Championship being held next week at The Virginian Golf Club in Bristol, doing so by shooting 147 in two rounds in a qualifying event at The Tradition Golf Club at Kiskiack in Williamsburg in May.

King’s Fork’s Adam Peebles shot an 81 in round one and 76 on Wednesday to miss the cut.

Newsom shot 76 on Wednesday to finish tied for second. Richmond’s Adam Ball shot consecutive 70s to be the No. 1 seed by a stroke.

Sanderson shot 76 in the second round, falling from fifth to start the round to a tie for 16th. Sanderson defeated Lovettsville’s Maclain Huge in a sudden-death playoff for the last spot advancing to match play.

Sanderson’s reward is facing Ball in the first match on the course Thursday morning, starting at 7:30 a.m., in Haymarket. Newsom is paired against Forest’s Zachary Bauchou.

The round of 16 and quarterfinals are scheduled for Thursday. The semifinal and final matches will be Friday.