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Benton shines in Jr. Gold Cup

  • Kyle Thomas of Benton tees off on the first hole at the Benton Country Club during the Benton Jr. Gold Cup held Friday. Thomas shot a 55 for nine holes in the 10-11 age group.

    Kyle Thomas of Benton tees off on the first hole at the Benton Country Club during the Benton Jr. Gold Cup held Friday. Thomas shot a 55 for nine holes in the 10-11 age group.
    Rick Hayes Photo

 
By Rick Hayes
updated: 7/25/2018 9:41 AM

A tradition spanning over 30 years, Benton hosted the Junior Gold Cup late last week at the Benton Country Club.

Over 50 junior golfers from throughout Southern Illinois participated in the Cup, over half of them from Benton.

In the boys 16-18 age group, Benton's Cy Norman paced the field with a four-under par 68. Norman is the son of Benton High School coach Reggie Norman. Brendan Luster, also of Benton, finished second with a 72. Austyn Downen of Dahlgren finished third with a 74.

In the boys 12-13 age group that played nine holes, Ashton Hall of Eldorado was the medalist with a four-over par 40. Abe Neal of McLeansboro was the runnerup with a 42 and Canon Weatherly of Eldorado was third with a 47. Luke Melvin and Preston Summers tied for fourth with 53s.

River Stilley of Marion fired a two-under par 34 to take top honors in the boys 10-11 age division. Jalen Welch of McLeansboro was the runnerup with a 43 and Grant Owens of Benton was third with a 46.

Four golfers from Benton made up the boys 8-9 age group, playing just five holes. Cole Copple came out on top, carding a 24. Chance Norman, a southpaw, beat out twin brother Trey for second place, beating him on a playoff hole. The Normans shot a 30 in regulation. Ella Groves, daughter of Benton football coach Justin Groves, finished fourth with a 34.

Just three girls played 18 holes in the 16-18 age group with Sarah Breslin of Pinckneyville taking the title with a 79. Rylee White and Jaylee Glenn also participated.

In the 14-15 age group, Daisy Schrader of Mt. Carmel outlasted Sarah Capel of Marion in a playoff after both shot a 93 in regulation. Zoe Williams of Carterville also participated in that age group.

Alyssa Downen of Benton was the only female contestant in the 12-13 age group and shot a 62 for nine holes; and Ava Groves of Benton shot a 76 in the girls 10-11 age division.

"Scores overall today were solid across the board, especially considering the wind early in the day," said Benton coach Reggie Norman, who also served as the Cup coordinator. "I'm really pleased with all the Benton kids that played today. I'm really excited about where these kids can take the Benton golf program."