Cole Hand Defeats Bowles

HURRICANE-Wheeling’s Cole Hand defeated Oceana’s Colin Bowles in a a sudden death playoff hole to claim the 2014 West Virginia Junior amateur at Sleepy Hollow Golf Club Wednesday.

The final round was delayed for 1:45 shortly after the leaders began play Wednesday morning.

When play resumed, it was a back-and-forth battle for the overall championship from the opening hole.

Hand, who has helped Wheeling Park to three straight state golf championships, struck first with a birdie on the par-5, second hole to take a one stroke lead over Bowles, who is actually 14, but played up a division to compete for the overall championship.

After trading a few birdies and bogeys the pair both made spectacular birdie putts on the ninth hole covering over sixty feet between the both of them.

Heading into the back nine Bowles, who will be a freshman at Westside High School this fall, found himself down two strokes.

Quick to shorten the gap, Bowles made birdie on No. 10, bringing him to within one stroke.

That is where they stood until No. 18.

After both players laid up, Bowles’ approach shot found long and left of the green, forcing him to make an unbelievable up and down for the chance to force a playoff.

After Hand’s birdie putt ran by the hole, three feet was all that separated him from victory.

Taking a moment to overlook the putt Hand made his stroke but the ball just missed falling.

Both players then found themselves again standing on the No. 18 tee for the sudden death playoff. It was a mirror image of the shots that both hit during regulation as Bowles once again found himself long and left forcing his need for an up and down save. After his chip attempt left him twenty-five feet away from the hole all that was needed from Hand was a two-putt for victory.

After his birdie putt just missed, Hand confidently stepped up and drained his par putt claiming the 2014 Junior Amateur title.

Both players carded two-over par, 74’s, on their way to a tournament total 1-over 145

In addition to their overall victory and runner-up performances, both Bowles (playing up in the 15-16 division) and Cole Hand (17-18) won their respective age divisions. Claiming the boys 13-14 division was Mason Williams of Bridgeport who also finished with a tournament total 1-over par, 145. Williams’ round included five bogeys and three birdies as he took a one shot victory over Howie Peterson IV of Weirton and Josef Dransfeld of Huntington who both carded 146 for the tournament.

In the 12-and-under division it was Sam White of Hurricane who took home champion honors as he fired a closing round 75 on his way to a tournament total of 155. This was good enough for a 17 shot victory over second place finisher Nathan Neville of Hurricane.

Lauryn Davidson of Vienna who finished the tournament with a 5-over-149 won the girls’ Junior Amateur championship.

Elizabeth’s Adeena Shears, who posted the low round of the day for the girls, finished second. Her two over par 74 included three birdies and an eagle as she finished the tournament at seven over par, 151. Rounding out the top three was Abigail Roberts of Parkersburg who posted a tournament total of 178. In the Girls 10-14 Division, Olivia Hart took home honors as she posted a tournament total of 191.