CHAPEL HILL — Cade Hancock of Elizabethtown joined 53 other junior golfers from across the country this past weekend to compete in The North Carolina Junior Golf Foundation’s UNC-Chapel Hill Spring Championship.
Played on Finley Golf Course, home to the Tar Heels’ golf teams, the junior from Harrells Christian Academy overcame a tough start to finish the two-day event at even par and brought home the championship trophy.
On the opening day, Hancock and the field were challenged by gusty winds — and Hancock had an up and down trip across the first 18 holes, carding four bogeys and three birdies to go along with his 11 pars. But his 73 total put him just one shot off the pace.
“Cade was paired with a young man from Fairfax, Va., who shot an even-par 72 on that first day,” said James Hancock. ” An interesting side note … this junior golfer has already signed a letter of intent to play golf at Div. I University of Virginia. Needless to say, Cade had his hands full with such an accomplished golfer.”
On the second day, Hancock got out to a better start.
After a par on the first hole, the Bladen County youth birdied the second hole, carded a par on the third hole and birdie on No. 4 to open a one-shot edge.
“From that point forward, (he) never relinquished his lead,” James Hancock said.
Hancock finished the 14 holes with one bogey, one birdie and 12 straight pars to finish the second day at 71. His two-total of 144 gave him a three-stroke edge over the next-closest competitor.
“Not only did Cade win, but it gained him entry by qualifying for two huge events: The Optimist International at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., plus The IMG World Championship in San Diego, Calif., to play at the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course,” James Hancock said.
But that was far from the only recent good news for the junior golfer.
Hancock was nominated by The United States Golf Association and The American Junior Golf Association for The President’s Leadership Award. This award was created to recognize one boy and one girl who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the Leadership Links program — a joint initiative founded by the USGA and AJGA in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-862-4163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.