Socorro boys shine in junior golf championship

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Two of the three Socorro juniors who played in the first Junior Tour Championship placed in the top five overall. Ricky Silva placed first in the 13 to 15 age group, and Sean Moore placed fourth in the same division. Will Benson, also of Socorro, tied for 18th in the 16-18 year division. No local girls participated in the tournament.

The first Sun Country Junior Tour Championship was held at New Mexico Tech Golf Course on Aug. 17-18. Qualifing juniors participated in this tournament by invitation only. It is a 36-hole stroke play competition for boys and girls ages 13-18. Juniors competed against others of their own sex, and in two divisions. To qualify for this event, the golfers had to finish in the top 30 (and ties) in the 2013 Player of the Year standings for their age division, as of Aug. 10.

“I am very proud of the performance of these young men (Ricky Silva, Sean Moore and Will Benson) in this tournament, but also for their performance throughout the year,” said Socorro High School golf coach Russ Moore, also the director of golf for the NMT Golf Course. “This tournament validates their hard work and practice over the summer. These young men come to the golf course every day to practice and compete with each other and are willing to listen to improve their golf swings. I am most proud of their work ethic and the fact that they conduct themselves as gentlemen on and off the golf course.”

The Sun Country Junior Golf Foundation, which sponsors the championship, was founded in 1999 as a collaboration of the Sun Country Section of the Professional Golfers Association of America and the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association. Each is a most efficient and excellent representative of their respective “parent” organizations — The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association.

“This was a fantastic tournament with a terrific turnout,” Daniel Hayden, spokesperson for Sun Country Golf, said. “The guys at New Mexico Tech (Golf Course) did a fantastic job. We will be back next year, without a doubt.”

New Mexico Tech Golf Course will host a Parent-Junior Team Championship tournament, another Sun Country Golf event, on Sept. 8. Entry fees are $110 per team, and entries are being accepted through Sept. 4 at http://www.ghintpp.com/scspga/TPPOnlineGolfer/Default.aspx, or call the golf course at 575-835-5335.