Elite amateur tournament is back in the Garden City

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The Georgia Junior Championship is making a return to Augusta after a four-year absence.

Clark Palmer nearly won last year's Georgia Junior Championship at the University of Georgia. His final-round 72 left him one back.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Clark Palmer nearly won last year's Georgia Junior Championship at the University of Georgia. His final-round 72 left him one back.

That could be good news for local golfers.

The 43rd annual event begins at 7 a.m. Monday at Augusta Country Club. The 54-hole tournament runs through Wednesday, with the field of 144 being cut to the low 70 and ties after 36 holes.

The event features male amateur golfers between the ages of 14 and 17.

The last time the tournament was held in Augusta (2004), current University of Georgia golfer Michael Green won at Augusta Country Club, his home course.

He became the first Augustan to win the tournament since Adam Cranford in 1997.

Last year, another Augustan nearly captured the title at the University of Georgia Golf Course. Clark Palmer shot a final-round 72 and fell one stroke shy of Acworth's James White Jr., a Georgia Tech signee who shot 76 in the final round. Palmer tees off on No. 1 at 11:48 a.m. Monday.

Palmer and Lee Knox, also of Augusta, head up a group of local golfers vying for the title.

Knox is an Alabama signee who finished his prep career by winning the Georgia Independent Schools Association Class AAA championship. He is paired with Ollie Schniederjans, of Powder Springs, who finished sixth in this event last year and also advanced to 2008 U.S. Open sectional qualifying. They go off the No. 1 tee at 8:57 Monday morning.

The following pairing (at 9:06 a.m.) features two-time Georgia High School Association state champion Brian Carter, of Evans.

Augusta's Chase Parker, who finished tied for sixth last year, goes off at 8:21 a.m.

Overall, the Augusta area will be represented with 24 players.

The top eight finishers will qualify for the Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Match, July 18-19 at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or chris.gay@augustachronicle.com.

43RD ANNUAL GEORGIA JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

WHEN: Monday-Wednesday; tee times begin at 7 a.m.


WHERE: Augusta Country Club


WHO: Top 144 male amateur golfers in the state between the ages of 14 and 17


NOTABLE: Twenty-four local players are competing, including GISA champion Lee Knox, two-time GHSA champion Brian Carter, and 2007 Georgia Junior runner-up Clark Palmer.


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