ELIZABETHTOWN — Cade Hancock recently added six birdies and his first eagle to his list of under-par holes in the American Junior Golf Association’s ACE Grant program.
Hancock, 15, of Elizabethtown, is participating in the program in an effort to raise at least $3,000 — the final total will be split between the AJGA’s college scholarship program and the Operation Smile charity, chosen by Hancock in honor of his older sister Cassie, who was born with a cleft chin and palette.
On March 2, Hancock opened his high-school golf season at Harrells Christian Academy with a four-team competition at River Landing’s River Course in Wallace. The Crusaders finished second behind Class 4-A New Hanover out of Wilmington, but ahead of both Class 2-A Wallace-Rose Hill and Class 3-A White Oak out of Jacksonville.
For his part, Hancock was the day’s medalist after carding a 74 with a trio of birdies.
On Saturday and Sunday, Hancock competed in the N.C. Junior Golf Foundation’s sixth annual UNC-Chapel Hill Spring Championship on the UNC Finley Golf Course.
Hancock had a rough first day and carded an 82 with just a single birdie.
“The conditions were pretty rough … windy and cold,” said Cade’s father James. “But it was the same for everybody.”
On Sunday, Hancock put together a round of 74 with a pair of birdies to finish with a two-day total of 156 — tied for 2oth among a field of 72 youth golfers. That finish allowed Hancock to qualify for the Optimist International Junior World Championships, which will be played July 23-28 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Hancock now has a total of 23 birdies and one eagle for the grant program, which continues through the end of September. — and Hancock continues to accept pledges and one-time contributions toward his goal.
How to contribute
The top nine money raisers in the ACE Grant program will have the chance to play golf with PGA Tour professional Ricky Fowler, as well as meet Jack Nicklaus.
Individuals and groups who would like to help Hancock reach and exceed his goal can do so online anytime during the next seven months. Simply go to www.ajga.org/LL, click on “Websites” — “Find a Junior,” then click on Cade Hancock. Go to DONATE NOW and fill in the necessary information. Donors can make one-time contributions or a specific dollar amount pledge for each birdie and eagle Hancock makes.
Checks should be made out to American Junior Golf Association with Hancock’s name in the memo line. The address is: AJGA-leadership Links, 1980 Sports Club Drive, Braselton, Ga. 30517.
Tax letters for donations totaling at least $100 will be emailed upon receipt.
Anyone who might have difficulty with the website or has questions can call James Hancock at 910-874-4435 for assistance.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.