More than a hundred of the best young male golfers in Virginia came to Williamsburg this week as the Williamsburg National Golf Club hosted the 29th Virginia State Golf Association Junior Match Play Championship, from June 18-21.
Beginning with 121 golfers on Tuesday, the tournament came down to the last two by Friday afternoon, with Bryan Lee of Fairfax edging out Jimmy Taylor of Alexandria 4 and 2 in the title match.
“I know there are some very accomplished players before me that have won this tournament, and that have played against me this past week,” Lee said. “I’m glad I won this, and this is definitely at the top of my list as far as achievements go.”
A rising high school sophomore, Lee had previously won both a Youth title and a Junior Match Play title in the last three years, but this was his first time playing golf in Williamsburg.
“I’d never played here before, but it’s a fair course, some holes take some real long hitting,” said Lee. “Glad I played well this week, that a lot of hard work paid off, and a lot of hits went my way. But it doesn’t matter how well you play or how fair the course is, after a tournament like this, by the end, you’re exhausted.”
That’s a sentiment that runner-up Jimmy Taylor can sympathize with — both golfers played more than 70 holes over four days, in Taylor’s case, including two extra-holes matches in Thursday’s semifinals. He’d managed a 6-and-5 victory over his opponent Friday morning, but he couldn’t claw his way back in the final after Lee took an early lead.
“I’m pretty tired, my feet hurt, probably going to crash for the whole weekend after this,” said Taylor. “It’s tough, I’d win a hole here, then lose a stroke there, but that’s the nature of the game, and Bryan just played better golf today.”
Though somewhat disappointed by a second-place finish, Taylor will have plenty of opportunities to win on the green in Williamsburg in the future: he’ll play golf for William and Mary when he starts his freshman year in the fall.
“I’ve played at Ford’s Colony a few times, there are some great courses in the area, so I’m really looking forward to getting to spend some time in Williamsburg in the fall,” said Taylor. “I feel good moving forward, and I’m looking forward to playing here again.”
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email email@example.com, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.