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Armstrong, York among winners at Tri-Cities PGA Chapter's Junior Amateur

Pat Kenney • Jul 13, 2009 at 12:00 AM

BRISTOL, Va. — Lucas Armstrong of Church Hill and Lacie York of Kingsport were the big winners Monday in the Tri-Cities PGA Chapter’s Junior Amateur at The Virginian Golf Club.

Armstrong shot a 2-over-par 74 to take a one-shot victory over defending champion Nick York of Kingsport in the 16-18 boys age group.

In the girls’ 15-18 division, Lacie York put together a steady 75 and beat runner-up Allison Woodward of Unicoi by eight shots.

In addition to the first-place trophies, both winners also earned berths in the upcoming AJGA Junior event to be held at The Virginian on July 27-30.

Since Armstrong had won an AJGA tournament last year, he was already qualified for the upcoming tourney at The Virginian, so as runner-up Nick York got the invite.

With his exemption already in hand, Monday’s tournament was like playing with house money for Armstrong, who will be a junior at Volunteer High School this fall.

“There was no pressure for me,’’ said Armstrong, who won the 14-15 age group two years ago. “Since I knew I was qualified already, it was like any other day on the course. I just wanted to win.’’

Armstrong, despite only hitting three fairways, continually gouged his approach shots out of the deep rough and onto the greens.

“I was 3 over after five holes,’’ he said. “From there I just settled down and tried to make pars. A couple of birdies helped me get back on track.’’

Nick York, while disappointed he could not defend his crown, saw the big picture.

“Getting to play in the AJGA event makes up for not winning today,’’ said York, who will attend Tusculum College in the fall. “I wanted to defend really bad, but Lucas just played better today.’’

Coming off a 69 at last week’s TGA Junior tour stop at Graysburg Hills, Lacie York felt confident entering the Tri-Cities Junior Am.

“I felt good about my game,’’ she said. “I hit a lot of greens today and had a good feel on my putts.

“The exemption was on my mind, I really wanted to win and get that.’’

And as for having her brother also qualify for the AJGA tournament?

“It’s good to keep that in the family,’’ Lacie joked.

Kingsport’s Allyson Dunn won the 12-14 girls division with a nine-hole score of 43.

“My first couple of holes didn’t go so well,’’ she said. “But my father told me to calm down and finish strong.

“He was right,’’ added Dunn, who will be an eighth-grader at Colonial Heights Middle School. “Things came together over my final few holes.’’

Kingsport’s Seth Crawford won the 10-11 boys age group while Brogan Beckner won among the 8- and 9-year-olds.

Abigail Owens of Bristol took the 8-11s girls title and Drew Poland of Johnson City won the the 12-13s boys crown. Conner Hayden of Chilhowie finished first in the 14-15s boys competition.

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