WH’s Martin, 14, tops entire Junior Tour field

The way Grayson Martin looked at it, maybe he didn’t play well, but he scored well.

In fact, the 14-year-old from White Hall had the lowest score overall in Friday’s Arkansas PGA Junior Tour stop at Pine Bluff Country Club.

Martin shot a 9-over 80 to take the 14- to 15-year-old division title. He shot three strokes better than the 16-18 winner, White Hall senior Jeffery Manning.

“I wasn’t hitting anything that good except for putts,” said Martin, an eighth-grader. “I had two putts the first two holes, (where) I went birdie-birdie. But the next two holes, I went double bogey-double bogey, so it was up-and-down.”

Martin won his division by seven strokes over Baylee George, but it was a tigher race in the older boys’ division. Manning beat Ridgway Christian senior Micah Cottrell by one stroke.

“I was pretty sloppy with my irons,” Manning said. “They kind of held me from shooting better, but I was hitting pretty good off the tee and I was making putts.”

Manning birdied twice during the day.

Cottrell, the 2012 Arkansas Association of Christian Schools champion, said he had a rough time playing on the front side.

“(Hole) one was definitely the kicker for me,” he said. “I didn’t play that one well at all. Two was a pretty good hole I chipped in. It was going to be bad, but it ended up OK. I had a rough time on the front side more so than the back.

“It was close there, but it is what it is.”

With temperatures dropping to the lower 90s Friday, the summer heat didn’t seem to take a toll on any of the golfers.

“I play golf every day in the heat at The First Tee of Central Arkansas in Little Rock,” he said. “They only have so many carts, so I walk every day in the hot weather.”

The tournament was the final stop on the Arkansas PGA Junior Tour’s Southeast Region itinerary. Next for the golfers is the Tour’s state championship at Maumelle Country Club on Aug. 1.

PGA Junior Tour at Pine Bluff Country Club

Boys 16-18

1. Jeffery Manning, 83

2. Micah Cottrell, 84

3. Regin Reginio, 93

4. Hudson Wells, 95

5. Michal Ingram, 98

Boys 14-15

1. Grayson Martin, 80

2. Baylee George, 87

3. Nic Acosta, 88

4. Chad Maloch, 96