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Maumelle golfers lead Arkansas in Southern Junior Cup

Top left - Coach Carrie Hall, Ian Bellisario, Ryan Spurlock, Chandler Cain, Conner Neil, Tripp Croom, Miles Smith and coach Bryant Fortin. Bottom left - Coach Laura Martin, Elizabeth Moon, Josie Roberson, Taylor Loeb, Allie Weiner, Christian Barrett and Casey Ott
Top left - Coach Carrie Hall, Ian Bellisario, Ryan Spurlock, Chandler Cain, Conner Neil, Tripp Croom, Miles Smith and coach Bryant Fortin. Bottom left - Coach Laura Martin, Elizabeth Moon, Josie Roberson, Taylor Loeb, Allie Weiner, Christian Barrett and Casey Ott

Oklahoma remained undefeated in the Southern States Junior Cup, and Maumelle golfers picked up two of Arkansas’s three points in the singles competition recently at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Oklahoma won its third team title in the third year of the competition, which pits the Sooner state against Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi. Oklahoma rolled with 19 points, followed by Missouri, 10 1-2; Mississippi, 9 1-2; and Arkansas, 9.

“We were in second after the first two rounds, but in the singles matches, we only got (three) points out of 12,” said Maumelle’s Ryan Spurlock, 16, the Arkansas State Golf Association’s Junior Boys Player of the Year for 2014.

Joining Spurlock to represent Arkansas were Allie Weiner, 15; Taylor Loeb, 16; and Josie Roberson, 13, all of Maumelle. Other boys on the team were Chandler Cain of Greenbrier, Connor Neil of Springdale, Miles Smith of Little Rock, Tripp Croom of Russellvile and Ian Bellisario of Fort Smith. Other girls representing Arkansas were Elizabeth Moon of Forrest City, Casey Ott of Conway and Christian Barrett of Camden.

Spurlock and Weiner were paired for the first day’s four-ball and foursome matches.

“We struggled,” Spurlock said. “We played two really good players (Quade Cummins and Kaitlin Milligan of Oklahoma in the four-ball) and they were making birdies left and right.”

Loeb was paired with Smith; Roberson with Bellisario. Loeb and Smith won both their four-ball and foursome matches, both against Mississippi golfers. Roberson and Bellisario won their four-ball and halved their foursome.

Spurlock then defeated Cummins in their singles match, 2 and 1. Weiner beat Missouri’s Brooke Thompson, 5 and 4.

“I played really well in my singles match,” Weiner said. “That was probably some of the best golf I’ve ever played — ever.”

Loeb halved her match with Kate Goodwin of Oklahoma.

“I was the only girl to actually tie with an Oklahoma girl,” she said.

Roberson lost to Karly Whittington of Mississippi, 2 and 1.

Despite the lack of team success, the Maumelle contingent was excited to participate.

“I loved it,” Spurlock said. “It was so fun doing team play. That was my first time.”

Weiner called the experience “awesome.”

“The teams we went up against were all really strong,” she said. “I loved my partner and everybody there. I definitely want to end up on that team again next year. It was a good experience.”

Loeb said she would play more on the American Junior Golf Association tour next year but would be happy to return to the Southern Junior competition should she make the team in 2015.

Roberson said being paired with a teammate was the best part.

“It made you want to make more putts and more good shots because you knew your partner wanted you to do it, too,” she said.

The high school golf season opened while they were in Missouri. After their return, Spurlock, a Maumelle Hornet junior, won the North Little Rock Invitational at North Hills last week, carding one-under 70. Weiner is a sophomore at Central Arkansas Christian. Loeb is a junior for Mount St. Mary; Roberson, an eighth grader at Mustang Mountain, is a year away from high school golf.

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