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By: Warren Mayes


Marquette’s Frankie Thomas

Marquette’s Frankie Thomas

Frankie Thomas, who will be a junior this fall at Marquette, showed he will be a force to be reckoned with come spring in golf for the Mustangs.

Thomas finished fourth in the Class 4 state tournament in May.

He has put himself among the upper echelon of state golfers with his victory in the Missouri Golf Association’s Junior Amateur Championship. There were 131 youngsters taking part in the tourney for boys ages 14 to 18 at the Paradise Pointe Golf Complex just north of Kansas City.

Thomas won the state junior tournament with a two-day score of 139, posting  rounds of 69 and 70. He needed an extra hole to pick up the title.

“The last day I shot 70, and Jack Litzelfelner from Jackson came back from one shot back and we tied,” Thomas said. “We went into a sudden death playoff.”

Showing steady nerves with so much at stake, Thomas birdied the first playoff hole to win the tournament.

It was Thomas’ third appearance in the state junior championship.

While one part of his game was not working, he relied on other parts to score the big victory.

“I wasn’t hitting the ball particularly well, but I was chipping and putting the ball fantastic,” Thomas said. “My short game really saved me when I missed the green.”

• • •

Ballwin native Joe Midgal is going to compete in the USGA’s U.S. Amateur.

The De Smet Jesuit and University of Central Missouri graduate earned medalist honors in the qualifier held recently at the Jefferson City Country Club.

Midgal had the only 36-hole under par total. He fired back-to-back 69s for a 4-under par 138 and a spot in the prestigious U.S. Amateur, which will be played Aug. 11-17 at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

• • •

When St. Louis’ Ellen Port competes in a golf tournament, she’s always a favorite to win.

The 76th MWGA Amateur Championship was played at The Golf Club of Creekmoor in Raymore, Missouri. The annual championship was 54 holes of stroke play, and the course setup was 5,728 yards with par of 72.

Port, who coaches golf at John Burroughs, captured her ninth state title. Port has had a successful year in golf already. She was the victorious Curtis Cup team captain as well as the Metropolitan Women’s Amateur Champion.

Port found herself challenged by younger competitors, tied with Oregon grad Hanule Seo, who is from Chesterfield and graduated from MICDS.

Port amazingly hit all 18 greens, several times from deep rough approaches. Seo wasn’t able to mount a charge at the lead, apparently struggling with a sore back. She shot 76 and finished tied for fourth along with first round leader and medalist Brooke Cusumano, a Westminster Christian Academy graduate who will be a sophomore at Southern Illinois University, and Logan Otter, of St. Peters, who will be a senior at John Burroughs.

Otter, the recent Missouri Junior Champion, appears ready for the next phase and has her sights set on Michigan State after next year. Otter’s 1-under round earned her the Peg Ludlow Trophy for low junior.

Defending champion Catherine Dolan, of Ballwin, wound up in seventh place.

Port now has her sights on defending her U.S. Senior Amateur title in September.

• • •

Ballwin’s Catherine Dolan, a graduate of Parkway West and Missouri State, made the cut with a strong second-round score of 72 in the stroke play portion of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links to finish with a 148 at the The Home Course in DuPont, Washington. It was her third trip to the USGA event.

The U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, which is often called “the WAPL,” began in 1977 as a national championship for women who play the nation’s public courses. The 2014 WAPL will be the last contested as the USGA is retiring the championship, along with the U.S. Amateur Public Links. The two events will be replaced in the competitions calendar by the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball championships in 2015.

 

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