Latest News from the Scott Robertson Memorial
ROANOKE — With her junior golf days now in the final months, Macy Pate was still looking for some marquee championships before moving on to college.
After numerous close calls, Pate got a big win on Sunday, winning the 39th Annual Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament Girls 15-18 Division.
Pate, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, birdied four times on the way to 2-under-par 69 and a three-shot victory over second-round leader Molly Davidson.
Pate, who finished tied for 15th in last year’s SRM, had added sevenn-straight top-20 finishes in AJGA-level events since last May, including three top-10s. But finishing on top feels a little different, she admits.
“Winning feels really good,” said Pate, who will enroll at Wake Forest in the fall. “I stayed really focused today, stuck with my game plan and stayed in the right mindset. It really paid off for sure.
“I’m looking to take (this feeling) into my next tournaments.”
Pate, whose three-day total of minus-5 208 and Davidson, who ended up minus-2 211 were the only girls to finish under par.
Mia Hammond of New Albandy, Ohio, finished third, with a three-day total of plus-2 215.
Pate and Davidson traded the lead back and forth on the front nine until took the lead on the seventh hole when Davidson’s three-putt bogey put her one shot behind.
Pate then added a birdie on the par-5 eighth to go up by two. Birdies on the 12th and 17th holes padded her lead, as she teed off at No. 18 with a four-shot advantage.
“On the last nine, the biggest challenges were not getting ahead of myself,” Pate said. “I knew when we made the turn that I had a two-shot lead and it’s easy to see yourself in this moment but not see yourself on the course. It was just important for me to say to myself you still have holes to play and to go shot by shot.
Davidson, the Springville, Alabama, resident who shot a tournament-best 66 on Friday, had numerous birdie putts on her last 10 holes, but could not get one to fall.
Pate said she had been looking forward to coming back to Roanoke for this year’s SRM ever since she said her goodbyes last spring.
“Everybody here treats you great,” Pate said. “I’ve kind of gotten to know one of the tournament directors really well, which is always cool. … This is a tournament I’ve always like to play in, and I’m thankful to get a win in my last year here.”
in the 14-under Division, Grace Carter of Jupiter, Florida, finished her weekend with a 4-over-par 75 and won by two strokes over Macie Rasmussen of Chesapeake. Carter, 12, had three-day total of 8-over-par 221.
Sophie Cao of McLean was third, four strokes off of the pace.
The low round of the day in the 14-under group was shot by Zoe Cusack of Potomac, Maryland. She shot 71 and tied for fourth with Asnoor Kaur of Roanoke, six shots back.
ROANOKE — Tyler Mawhinney was just looking for a drama-free Sunday in his final round of the Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament.
He couldn’t control what might happen around him, but Mawhinney, a rising sophomore from Fleming Island, Florida, kept to his plan. His even-par 71 led to a five-shot victory in the Boys 15-18 Division.
“I just wanted to limit big mistakes and big numbers,” said Mawhinney, who opened the tournament on Friday by shooting 33 on his front nine and then led wire to wire. “When I got into trouble, I’d just try to hit it back into play and have a chance at par. If the putt went in that was great. If not, then I’d just move on to the next hole.
“This will definitely help me get into some other events, and it’s a big confidence booster into the summer. … Confidence is a big thing, and sometimes things can go your way and sometimes they won’t.”
Mawhinney took on a tough Sunday layout and finished with a round including four birdies and four bogeys. His three-day total of 6-under-par 207 was one of just two under-par scores of the tournament. Runner-up Boyi “Barry” Zhang shot a 2-under 69 to finish with a three-day total of 1-under 212.
If there had been a final-day charge, Mawhinney said he probably wouldn’t have known. Since there was a standard bearer displaying the scores, the leader knew where he stood against the other players in his threesome, but had no idea what had been happening in other groups.
“I didn’t know where I was at (compared to the others) until my second shot on 18,” Mawhinney said. “I was surprised I was ahead by that much, but it was definitely a relief.”
Mawhinney said he enjoyed the challenge that he faced at Roanoke Country Club and said that to have a drama-free day, it took a lot of concentration.
“The pin locations were very difficult and the greens were pretty fast,” he said. “That makes it pretty hard. To get birdies, you have to hit the ball in the right spot. If you’re in the wrong spot, you have to just take your par and move on.”
In the Boys 14-under Division, Zabe Shores of Pinehurst, North Carolina, shot a 1-over-par 72, to finish the week with an even-par score of 213. That was good enough for a four-shot win over Jaden Peterson of Port St. Lucie, Florida.
ROANOKE — Grace Carter said as a 12-year-old, she hasn’t had a chance to play in too many three-day golf tournaments.
“Maybe five or six,” said Carter, who is from Jupiter, Florida and wrapping up sixth grade.
She’s hoping to fall back on some of those past experiences on Sunday in the final day of the Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament at Roanoke Country Club.
Carter comes into Sunday’s round with a two-day score of plus-4 146. That’s one shot better than Macie Rasmussen of Chesapeake. Carter said there were plenty of little things she’d like to get corrected for Round 3.
“My first day, the front nine was a little rough, but I feel like I came back strong on the back nine,” Carter said. “On the second day, I felt I did good on the front, but I hit my putts a little hard on the back nine.”
But the best advice she said she’ll give herself, pretend it’s not a third round.
“I don’t really think about it, really,” she said. “I just try to keep my focus and go shot by shot, I guess.”
One three-day tournament that did go well for her was last November’s Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship in Kinder, Louisiana.
Carter went into the final day of that three-day tournament one shot behind the leader. But a final round of 72, which was one shot off the low score of that day, gave her a one-shot victory in the 11-12 Division, and one of her biggest wins so far in her short career.
In the girls 15-18 Division, first-round leader Molly Davidson still holds the lead, but her advantage over Macy Pate of Winston-Salem, North Carolina is just one stroke with one round to play.
Davidson said after her first round, the lead may allow her to be more aggressive. However, she said she did not hit the ball as well on Saturday, which led to her shooting a 1-over-par 72. She sits at minus-4 138 with Sunday’s round left to play.
“The pin placements were a little more difficult today,” said Davidson, who will be a junior next fall at Springville (Ala.) High School. “Some of the pins were on slopes, so it was definitely tougher today.”
Pate, who shot a 1-under 69 said her comfort on the course was much better, as was her putting. It might have had something to do with how her pre-round preparations went.
“Yesterday, I actually misjudged my (arrival) time in the morning, so I didn’t come here with enough time to do as much putting as I normally do,” she said. “But today, I got here in plenty of time, and putted a little bit better.
Pate, who had previously committed to play just down the road from her home at Wake Forest, reclassified between her sophomore and junior year and will graduate this month from Reagan High School in Winston-Salem.
That means she will be joining the Demon Deacons in the fall.
But before that, she has a number of big youth tournaments left to play, including the a 24-player AJGA event that will be played in concurrence with the LPGA’s Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey. It will be Pate’s first trip to New York City.
“I’m really excited to see the course,” she said. “I’ve heard so many good things about it, and you can see the New York City skyline. … I have a lot of friends playing, too, so I’m looking forward to all of it.”
ROANOKE — There are several ways to earn exemption invitations into the Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament.
For junior golfers in the Roanoke and New River valleys, a summer series of events offers a unique chance.
Cameron Sharp of Blacksburg punched his ticket last year when he won the overall championship in the Lanto Junior Tour, a series of junior events held in Southwest Virginia and named after former Blacksburg High School golfer and current PGA Tour member Lanto Griffin.
Sharp, who is finishing up his freshman year at Blacksburg High School, was given the option of either playing in the 15-18 Boys Division, or the 14-under division. He decided on the 14-under event.
“It was my first year here, and I wanted to see what the tournament was about before I jumped into the older division,” Sharp said. “Plus, there was no cut line in this division.”
Even if there had been a cut, Sharp would not have been in danger. He’s in the hunt for a win.
His first-round score of 4-under-par 67 put him one shot behind the lead. He followed it up with a 76, but is still just two shots behind leader Zabe Shores of Pinehurst, North Carolina.
“Today, it wasn’t great,” he said. “I just didn’t make many putts. Yesterday, it was pretty much the exact opposite. I hit a lot of fairways and I made a lot of putts.”
First-round leader Finn Watson, who shot 66 on Day 1, fell back after shooting 81 on Saturday. Vishruth Badiga of Lake Mary, Florida is three shots off the lead after he shot 71.
In the 15-18 Division, first-round leader Tyler Mawhinney of Fleming Island, Florida, takes a two-shot lead over Jack Vojtko of Stow, Ohio, and Langley High School’s Chase Nevins.
“I just kept the course in front of me and did what I needed to do to keep me in the tournament,” Mawhinney said.
As for going into the final round with the lead, Mawhinney said he doesn’t expect to approach it any differently.
“There is a difference, but I’m going to try to stay as mentally strong as I can and see what happens,” Mawhinney said. “(The pins) will probably be in tougher spots and there will be a few sucker pins — the normal last day pins. But you just have to put it in the right spots.”
Trio of tournament veterans lead boys division at Scott Robertson Memorial
ROANOKE — Tyler Mawhinney and Chase Nevins came into Friday’s opening round of the Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament with a good amount of knowledge of what it takes to get around Roanoke Country Club.
It seemed to be an advantage for at least one round.
Mawhinney, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Jacksonville, Florida, had six birdies and just two bogies on the way to shooting a 4-under-par 67 to take a two-stroke lead in the boys 15-18 age division.
“I got off the tees well today, and made some putts that I should have made,” said Mawhinney, who was part of the last trio of 15-18 Division players to tee off on Friday. “I never really put myself in any trouble.”
Mawhinney has experienced some good rounds recently. Just last month, he finished tied for fourth in the AJGA’s Justin Thomas Junior Championship in Goshen, Kentucky.
“Today was obviously one of my better days,” Mawhinney said. “Lately, I’ve been able to get off the tee and my short game is saving me when I need to scramble.”
Nevins, who will be a senior next fall at Langley High School in Northern Virginia, is one of the two players who shot 69 and are Mawhinney’s closest competition at this point.
Nevins, who will attend Vanderbilt and play golf for the Commodores after he graduates in 2024, made the SRM his first major junior tournament of 2023. He’s hoping to continue the hot streak he had late in 2022. It included a victory in the AJGA Keith Mitchell Junior Championship last July in Hilton Head, South Carolina, a top-20 finish in the Boys Junior PGA Championship in August. At Langley, Nevins was part of the Saxons’ VHSL Class 6 state championship golf team. Now, he just wants to keep the good times rolling.
“I’ve come in this year with the mindset that I can win this,” Nevins said. “If I just play solid golf, I can do that. I’ve played this course plenty of times, so I’m comfortable and know what shots you have to hit out here.”
This isn’t the first time Mawhinney and Nevins have been this close in the standings. Last year both were part of a six-way tie for 39th, with three-day scores of 8-over-par 221.
Also shooting 69 on Friday was another repeat competitor — Drew Woolworth of Lake Oswego, Oregon. In 2022, Woolworth shot 68 on the final day of the 14-under division and finished fourth overall.
There are plenty of others in the chase as well. Eleven players, coming from eight different states shot 1-under-par 70 on Friday.
Defending champion Byungho Lee of Plano, Texas, shot 72 and tied for 20th.
In the 14-under Division, a pair of Virginians lead the way. Finn Watson of Arlington had a 5-under-par 66 and holds a one-shot lead over Cameron Sharp of Blacksburg who is the son of Virginia Tech men’s golf coach Brian Sharp.
– Steve Hemphill
Davidson holds four stroke lead on Girls 15-18 Field
ROANOKE — Molly Davidson took one major mental note as a result of playing a practice round at Roanoke Country Club in advance of the 2023 Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament, which began on Friday.
“I liked it a lot,” she said of the round she played on Thursday. “You just need to make sure you keep the ball on the fairways and greens.”
Davidson, from Springville, Alabama, did just that on Friday, making seven birdies on the way to a 5-under-par 66 and taking a four-shot lead in the Girls 15-18 Division.
Davidson continued to gain momentum as the round went on. After shooting 35 on her first nine holes, Davidson had five birdies on her second nine and only needed 13 putts to go in at 31.
“I started making more and more putts and felt really confident on the greens,” she said.
Davidson is coming off a victory in last month’s AJGA Junior at Canebrake, which is played in her home state of Alabama. That win improved her AJGA Ranking to No. 73.
A two-tourney winning streak would be nice to have, she said.
“I need to keep being aggressive, but play smart, too,” Davidson said. “I did a little of that today, but I need to keep it up.
In the 14-under Girls Division, Grace Carter of Jupiter, Florida, shot a 1-over-par 72 and has a one shot lead over Macie Rasmussen of Chesapeake. Ashnoor Kaur of Roanoke who won the 14-under division in 2021, is another shot back, tied for third with Sophie Cao of McLean.
Defending champion Lee excited for chance to defend title.
ROANOKE — Toward the end of his practice round on Thursday, Byungho Lee found the tree at Roanoke Country Club that was planted in his honor.
“It’s still pretty small right now,” Lee said. “I think they just planted it a few weeks ago.”
As it turned out, winning the 15-18 boys division of the 2022 Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament was just the beginning of a summer most high school kids would envy.
Lee, the Plano, Texas, resident who won last year’s Scott Robertson by xx shots, followed that win up with another big victory — he claimed his first-ever AJGA event at the exclusive Polo Golf Junior Classic on the famed Bethpage State Park Black Course in Farmingdale, New York.
A little later in the summer, Lee topped that by announcing that he had decided he would attend and play golf in college at Pepperdine after he graduates from Plano’s Spring Creek Academy in 2024.
“I like their coaches and the way they work there,” Lee said. “It’s amazing out there.”
The Wave will be getting a top-shelf player. Lee enters this weekend ranked second in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. In addition to the victories at the SRM and Polo Classic, finished tied for eighth in last year’s Rolex Tournament of Champions and tied for second last March in the 2023 Junior Invitational at Sage Valley in South Carolina.
“Quote about how his game has improved and what he’s doing better.”
This week will be Lee’s third year he’s been a Scott Robertson Memorial participant and he gained valuable experience in both of those trips.
In 2021, Lee said while he didn’t have a great scoring weekend, he did have the opportunity to play with Caleb Surratt, who is now playing at Tennessee and was recently named the SEC Freshman of the Year.
“I really learned a lot from him,” Lee said of Surratt. “I learned how to play (in a tournament like this).”
Last year, he said being able to do what was necessary to pull out a one-shot victory was an even more valuable experience.
“Winning here helped me with a lot of the other amateur tournaments I’ve played since then,” Lee said. “This was probably one of the best tournaments I had won (up to that point).”
Lee added that he has also come to enjoy his trips to the Roanoke Valley, which also prompted him to come back.
“I just like this city,” Lee said. “It’s calm out here and not a bunch of buildings around the course. I thought why not come back this year.
“And I wanted to see the tree, too.”
Lee is one of four former champions participating this year.
Also back is the 2022 boys 14-under winner Bradon Sipe, from Yorktown. Sipe is moving up to the senior boys division this year.
On the girls side both the 2021 14-under girls winner, Ashnoor Kaur and last year’s 14-under winner Alisa Davidova. Both are from Roanoke and are still playing in the younger girls division.
The final spots for this weekend’s Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament were filled on Wednesday
ROANOKE — The final spots for this weekend’s Scott Robertson Memorial Golf Tournament were filled on Wednesday, with five boys and one girl clinching spots in the event’s last-chance qualifier at Roanoke Country Club.
Benjamin Siriboury of Clarksville, Maryland, had four birdies and an eagle on the way to shooting a 1-under-par 70 to earn medalist honors in the qualifier, which added five players into the 15-18 boys field for the 39th Scott Robertson, which begins on Friday.
Siriboury, a junior at River Hill High School a a two-time state high school boys golf champion in Maryland, was two shots better than a pair of North Carolina golfers — Reece Sanders and Jack Halloran — who both shot 1-over-par 72s.
Halloran, who is a freshman at The O’Neal School in Southern Pines, North Carolina, helped his high school team to a second-place finish in the NCISAA Division III state meet on Monday. He tied for sixth place in the individual standings.
A pair of Virginians also qualified for the main tournament this weekend. Alejandro Carballo, a former Roanoke Valley resident who now lives near Williamsburg, and Wytheville’s David Goode both shot 74 and survived a three-player playoff to qualify.
Goode, a freshman at George Wythe High School, finished fourth in last October’s VHSL Class 1 state golf tournament.
A total of 45 players competed in the boys division of the qualifier.
On the girls’ side, Saia Rampersaud, a sophomore from Durham, North Carolina, ran away from the five-player field, shooting a 3-under-par 68 to claim the one open spot in the field by 11 shots. Rampersaud was a participant in the 2021 Augusta National Drive, Chip and Putt Finals.
A total of 165 junior golfers will be competing in four divisions in this year’s Scott Robertson Memorial, including defending champion in the 15-18 Division, Byungho Lee of Plano, Texas.