Local Golf Notes

Cloninger, White in spotlight

bspear@thestate.comDecember 14, 2013 

South Carolina Golf Day, set for Jan. 11 at Columbia Country Club, will take on the appearance of a rerun with Todd White and Rick Cloninger again reaping the top individual honors.

White, a history instructor at Hilton Head High, earned the SCGA’s player of the year award for the fourth time. Cloninger, from Fort Mill, collected his second straight senior player of the year honor.

In addition, Karen Ferree of Hilton Head Island and the late George Cobb Sr. will be inducted into the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame.

White, who captured the top player prize in 2004, ’10 and ’12, spent much of his summer in national tournaments in his quest to be selected for the U.S. Walker Cup team. He tied for fifth in the Northeast Amateur and shared sixth in the Jones Cup to highlight his season prior to the Walker Cup.

In the competition against a team of amateurs from Great Britain and Ireland, he won his singles match and capped his year by qualifying for match play in the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship.

Cloninger sparked his run to his second senior player of the year award with victories in the Carolinas Seniors Amateur and the Chanticleer National Seniors, then advanced to the round of 32 in the U.S. Senior Amateur.

The induction of Karen Ferree into the Hall of Fame will give the shrine its first wife and husband couple. She joins husband Jim, who was inducted in 2008.

A trailblazer for women’s golf, Karen Ferree has competed in three U.S. Women’s Amateurs, three U.S. Women’s Opens, three U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs and 10 U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

George Cobb, who will be inducted posthumously, designed the first seven golf courses on Hilton Head Island and did the preliminary routing for the Harbour Town Golf Links. Cobb also designed the Surf Club in North Myrtle Beach, Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte and the par-3 course at Augusta National Golf Club.

Junior players of year

Trace Crowe of Easley and Reona Hiari of Summerville have earned the South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s player of the year awards.

Crowe, who won seven tournaments, will be presented the Jay Haas award today at the Thornblade Club in Greer. Hiari also won seven titles to earn the Beth Daniel award for the second straight year and will be honored during the Sea Pines Junior Heritage in February. Hiari and Kelli Murphy of Elgin swapped the lead in the player of the year standings much of the year, and Hiari pulled ahead in the year’s final event.

Chip shots

Clemson freshman Ashlan Ramsey have been named one of the 10 finalists for women’s college golf’s Annika Award watch list, which recognizes the best female player in the college game. ... Memory Matters, a Hilton Head nonprofit that is a beneficiary of the RBC Heritage, has been named the PGA Tour’s Charity of the Year. Memory Matters provides services for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and support for families and caregivers.

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