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The William Monroe student shot 65, his lowest score ever in competition, at the VSGA Junior Stroke-Play Championship.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
On most days, a chip-in at No. 18 might have been the highlight of Logan Yates’ round.
On Wednesday, it was preceded by a hole-in-one.
Yates, who began his round at No. 10, used a 5-iron from 214 yards to ace the 15th hole at Hidden Valley.
He also had four birdies en route to a 5-under-par 66 and a five-shot lead going into the final round of the Virginia State Golf Association Junior Stroke-Play Championship.
It was the first hole-in-one in competition for Yates, a rising junior at William Monroe High School in Stanardsville.
“I wasn’t thinking ‘hole-in-one’ when it was in the air,” Yates said, “but, when it hit 10 feet from the hole, I definitely thought it had a chance.”
Yates lives in the unincorporated community of Quinque but lists his hometown as Ruckersville, approximately 20 miles northeast of Charlottesville.
He plays out of Greene Hills Country Club, also the home course of Virginia Tech standout Mikey Moyers. Yates’ career low, a 63, came at Greene Hills, but Wednesday’s 65 was his lowest in competition.
Yates’ hole-in-one was framed by his only bogeys of the day, at Nos. 14 and 16. The chip-in at No. 18 was the first of four birdies in a five-hole span.
Yates, two shots back after an opening-round 68, now finds himself five shots ahead of Connor Messick from Fairfax County.
Mark Lawrence, whose opening-round 66 gave him a two-shot cushion, is tied for third with Ian Hildebrand after a 76.
“I didn’t do what I needed to do today,” Lawrence said. “It wasn’t even close to what I was hoping for. I just struggled from the first hole.”
Nathan Chuwait from Herndon was in fifth place at 1-over 143. A four-way tie for sixth included two Timesland players, Drew Lagan from Cave Spring and Korey Watts from James River.
Yates was no stranger to Watts, a rival from the Group A ranks.
William Monroe and James River finished 1-2 in the Group A state tournament last fall in Big Stone Gap, where Yates tied for third individually behind John Bryant of Galax and Gunar Frazier of Giles.
While word of Yates’ ace quickly got around Hidden Valley, Watts didn’t know until he reached No. 15.
“Somebody told me about the hole-in-one and I said, ‘Bet he shot a good score,’ ” Watts related.
Yates was the medalist at the State Junior Match-Play earlier this summer but when asked about his most noteworthy accomplishments in golf, he responded, “Nothing really.”
He identified Lawrence as the player to beat going into the tournament. Now, that role falls to Yates.
“I’ll just try and stick to my game plan,” Yates said. “I want to stay aggressive and not really change anything.”
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