Heart of Ohio Junior Golf Association honored Guest Speaker Ralph Ballenger, a notable golfer, doctor, teacher and champion of many Ohio amateur tournaments during the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s including the Ohio Senior Amateur Winner three times.
He qualified and played in two USGA Senior Amateurs. Junior members and volunteers were also honored at the 32nd Year-End Awards Banquet held at Kings Mill Thursday.
Presentation of awards followed Ballenger, as Justin Brackenridge of Fairbanks received top honor of the season and was presented the David J. Wensinger Player of the year $2000 scholarship award and the rotating trophy. He earned 119 points to top the 16-18 division, and his low-scoring average of 75.8 entitled him to the low-scoring rotating trophy.
Big Walnut’s Zack Herbert was runnerup to Brackenridge with 89 points and received the Ross Carley Memorial Player of the Year first runnerup $1500 scholarship. Mallory Graham of Mount Gilead with 86 points received the Wensinger Family Player of the Year second runnerup $500 scholarship. Herbert also earned the HUCOR Steel Marion “Most Improved” $500 scholarship award, improving 5.8 strokes from 2017-2018. Hayes Bentley of Mount Gilead was voted his division’s “Sportsman of the Year” and was presented the Knights of Columbus $500 Sportsmanship scholarship.
Eli Shultz of Colonel Crawford won the HOJGA 3-Year Accumulative Points $750 scholarship and the Marion County Youth Foundation M.E.R.I.T. $1000 scholarship was presented to Robbie Bean of Olentangy. Pleasant’s Brennon Newell received the Charles Emans Memorial Patriot $500 scholarship.
Graham was second in 16-18 low-scoring average with 78.4, Herbert was third at 79.6, Bentley followed at 80.4, and Newell at 83.8.
Minoy Shah of Pleasant was winner with 101 points to top the 13-15 group and receive the HOJGA Player of the Year $750 scholarship award with rotating trophy and Nathan Stewart of Delaware Christian was second in low-scoring average of 80.0 to receive the rotating trophy award.
Stewart was second in points with 89 and Logan Bocsy of Fairbanks was third with 83. Fairbanks Alex Crowe and Talan Monticue of River Valley tied for fourth with 61 points, and Spencer Keller of Galion at 56 to round off the top five in points.
Shah was second in low-scoring average at 82.4, followed by Bocsy at 83; Monticue at 85.6 and Crowe at 87.6. Stewart was presented a plaque for his win of the Chad A. Wheeler “Best of the Best” Tournament.
Other division sportsmanship winners were Caden Nicholson of River Valley in 13-15 and Nathan McMullen of Galion who received the honor in the 12 and under class. All honorees received plaques.
Plaques were presented for most birdies in 16-18 to Brackenridge who collected 16, Bocsy and Monticue in 13-15 tied with seven, and Dina Shah who won most pars in 12 and under at 20, with also one birdie and one eagle, as well as Brackenridge and Emily Wilson of Fairbanks whom are members of the Eagle Club.
Max Longwell of Galion was top seller of raffle ticket sales and received $100 and the winner of the raffle prize — a complete set of Callaway X416 Series Irons (4-AW) — was Craig Yurkovich of Mount Gilead. Winning ticket sold by Cody Yurkovich.
Information received from Heart of Ohio Junior Golf Association.