Lauren Loeb of Maumelle won the nine-hole division of the Arkansas State Golf Association Junior Girls Stroke Play Championship last week at the Country Club of Little Rock.
Loeb prevailed in the 9-11 age division, firing 48-44—92 over two days, to beat Bailey Dunstan of Little Rock and Maumelle Country Club (46-48—94) and Mackenzie Lee of North Little Rock (48-49—97).
Casey Ott, 12, of Conway won the 18-hole division and overall title with 82-76—158 after making birdie on the last four holes to better Maria Emma Edwards of Texarkana, Texas, by two strokes.
Stephanie Hopkins of Maumelle, director of women/junior golf for the ASGA, said 29 girls competed.
“This was a little larger than usual,” she said. “The number of junior girls playing has continued to grow, and with the venue at CCLR, that has a lot to do with the girls wanting to play.
“It was spectacular. The course was in fabulous condition.”
Loeb, Dunstan and Lee were among several competitors with local ties. Katelyn Dunstan of Little Rock and MCC won the age 14 division with a 36-hole score of 165. Other local scores included Marlena Weatherly of Cabot, 17, 168; Taylor Loeb of Maumelle, 15, 173; Hannah Bakalekos of Sherwood, 14, 173; Josie Roberson of Maumelle, 12, 180; Allie Weiner of Maumelle, 14, 183; Alexa Goodlow of Maumelle, 14, 191; and Alexis Montgomery of Maumelle, 13, 236.
“One thing about the junior program that is outstanding is just watching the girls and boys continue to come out and play,” said Hopkins, a Maumelle resident and member of MCC who has been with the ASGA for three years. “Not only are they playing the tournaments, they’re there day after day at each course just practicing.
“We have a large number of junior girls playing this year. It’s an individual sport but it’s also a team sport because they cheer each other on.”