Maumelle’s Ryan Spurlock finished runner-up last week in the Arkansas State Golf Association’s first major of the year, the ASGA Junior Boys Stroke Play Championship.
Spurlock, 16, shot 69-73—142, two-under-par, at Shadow Valley Country Club in Rogers but fell on the third hole of a playoff against Garrett May, 17, of Hope, who fired 74-68—142. May parred all three extra holes.
"There was pressure there, definitely, after the first day," said Spurlock, who will be a junior at Maumelle High School this fall. "Everybody was right behind me. On the second day, I got off to a bad start, but I was pleased with the way I finished."
He birdied Nos. 15, 16 and 17 and got up-and-down for par on No. 18 to force the playoff.
"I had a feeling something was up because all my buddies and my family were around 18 green," Spurlock said. "I missed the green left but chipped on and made a five-footer for par. They said I was heading to a playoff."
Both golfers parred the first two extra holes before Spurlock three-putted from 50 feet on the third, No. 10.
Despite that bump, he was pleased with his tournament.
"I was so happy I got into the playoff," he said.
Spurlock still leads the rankings for the ASGA’s Junior Boys Player of the Year race, 334.5 to May’s 250 and Whit Parker of Conway (230). He said he had six or seven more ASGA tournaments scheduled for this summer in pursuit of that goal, which would make him captain of the Arkansas team in the Southern Junior State Cup Matches, a competition among juniors from Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri and Oklahoma, which will be in Missouri later in July.
"Ryan is a great young man and has been playing as good, if not better, golf than anybody in Arkansas this summer," said Bryant Fortin, the ASGA’s director of junior golf.
Spurlock will play in the Bubba Smart Junior Stroke at Pine Bluff Country Club Wednesday and Thursday.
Hannah Bakalekos, 15, of Sherwood won her age division and finished third overall with 86-81—167. Josie Roberson, 13, of Maumelle won the Young Junior division with 85-84—169 and tied for fifth overall. Allie Weiner and Alexa Goodlow of Maumelle tied for eight with 87-84—171 and 85-86—171, respectively.
Elizabeth Moon, 14, of Forrest City won the girls tournament with 79-77—156, a stroke better than Kirsten Garner, 18, of Hot Springs, an Arkansas State commitment.
Moon leads the Junior Girls Player of the Year race with 474 points, followed by Roberson, 295; and Weiner, 226. Bakalekos is ninth with 150; Goodlow is 13th with 92.
Maumelle’s Taylor Loeb finished 10th last week in the American Junior Golf Association’s Stacy Lewis Junior Open at Lot Springs Golf and Athletic Club in Rogers.
Loeb, 16, a junior-to-be at Mount St. Mary, shot 75-75-78—227, 11 strokes behind the winning score (Chloe Horton of Miami, 71-71-74—216).
Loeb had finished second in the qualifier with a 75.