A select field of 84 of the best junior golfers from North Carolina and South Carolina are ready to take on the Camden Country Club in this weekend’s sixth annual Jimmy Creed Memorial Junior Boys’ Invitational Golf Tournament.
The field, which includes four players with Kershaw County ties, opens its two-day, 36-hole run on Saturday over Camden Country Club’s 6,400-yard, par 70 layout. The age divisions are 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18.
The field includes Lugoff’s Tyler Gray, a senior at Thomas Sumter Academy who is signed to play collegiate golf at Coastal Carolina University. In addition, three members of the Camden High golf team which finished 13th in last week’s AAA state championship tournament --- David Bishop, Wills Kelly and Evan Younghans --- will also be taking to their home course this weekend.
The tournament was devised by Camden Country Club head golf professional Matt McCarley as a way to honor his friend, Creed, a Camden native and avid golfer and a popular member of the Camden Country Club. McCarley pitched his idea to the Carolina Golf Association whose leadership was well acquainted with Creed and his contributions to the junior golf program and golf, in general, in Camden.
“I grew up playing golf with Jimmy and I always looked up to him. He was a unique person,” McCarley said of Creed. “Jimmy loved children and even though he was five or six years older than me, he always loved playing golf with kids in my age group. As the years went on, he was always very generous in donating money, whenever we needed it, to our junior golf program or our (the Camden High) golf team.”
Tee times will begin at 12:30 p.m. each day with threesomes starting from the first and 10th holes.
There are several different ways in which golfers qualified for the tournament. Exemptions are handed out to the top 25 finishers from last year’s Creed Invitational, the top 25-ranked players in the most recent South Carolina Junior Golf Association (SCJGA) rankings, the top 25 players in the most recent North Carolina junior rankings, the top 10 finishers from the SCJGA Caddie Classic, the top 10 finishers from the Archdale Junior Open in North Carolina and the top five finishers from the CGA’s Jimmy Anderson Boys’ Tournament. After that, there were 25 available spaces up for grabs and those were filled following last week’s qualifier at the Lancaster Country Club, which drew a field of 90 golfers.