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Players to Watch at Dogwood State Jr.

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SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (August 7, 2016) -- The Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) will conduct the 12th Dogwood State Junior Championship at Cabarrus Country Club in Concord, N.C. from Tuesday-Thursday, August 9-11.

Related: Pairings | Scoring | History

The 12th Dogwood State Junior Championship will feature 134 players in the Boys’ Division and 41 players in the Girls’ Division. The championship format is 54-holes of stroke play.  After 36-holes, the boys' division will be cut to low 60 players and ties. The girls' division will be cut to the low 18 players and ties.

Entry is open to any male or female amateur golfer who has not reached their 19th birthday by August 11, 2016, who has not started college, is a legal resident of North Carolina, is a member or their parent is a member in good standing of a club which is a member of the CGA and has a current USGA handicap index® at a CGA member club that does not exceed 18.4.

Some notable competitors in the Boys’ Division include:

  • AJ Beechler of Pinehurst, N.C. enters the championship as the highest ranked player in the field, checking in at No. 8 in the N.C. state rankings. Beechler, who is a rising junior, finished inside the top 20 last year. Beechler is coming off of a big win at the US Kids Golf Teen Worlds.
  • Carson Ownbey of Chandler, N.C., enters the championship after playing in the North & South Junior and United States Junior Amateur. The rising junior finished inside the top 10 at the 3A Boys' State Championship and the Creed Boys Invitational. Ownbey checks in at No. 10 in the state rankings.  
  • Fulton Smith of Pinehurst, N.C.  is the highest ranked rising sophomore in the state at No. 12. Smith finished fourth at the 67th Carolinas Junior Boys’ Championship at the end of July. Smith looks to improve on his 17th place finish at last years’ Dogwood.
  • Joey Funderburg of Wilmington, N.C. has spent the majority of the summer in contention. Funderburg has five recent finishes inside of the top three. Funderburg broke through and won the TYGA Coastal Plains at the end of June. The high school graduate is looking to add another top finish before heading off to college in the fall.     
  • Jack Massei of Cary, N.C. is the highest finisher from last year’s championship in the field. The rising junior finished runner-up in 2015. Massei made it to the quarterfinals in the NC Junior Boys Match Play. He also played in the Junior North & South while notching a top five finish at the NC Big I.

Some notable competitors in the Girls’ Division include:

  • Callista Rice of Mars Hill, N.C. Rice, a high school junior, enters the championship looking to successfully complete a three peat victory, winning back-to-back-to-back championships. After placing T5 at the N.C. Junior Girls’, Rice recently finished T4 at the North and South Junior to add another successful tournament to her resume. The 16-year-old is ranked #4 by TYGA and is committed to play college golf at Clemson University.
  • Kathryn Carson of Mooresville, N.C. Carson, a high school junior, recorded four top 10 finishes in her first five starts in 2016. In late June, Carson recorded a runner-up finish at the Twin States Girls’ Championship, carding an impressive final round 69. In addition to her fantastic play at the Twin States, Carson recently finished T4 earlier this month in the North and South Junior. Carson is committed to play golf at Eastern Carolina University and is ranked #7 by TYGA.
  • Sarah Spicer of Bahama, N.C. Coming into the championship, Spicer is ranked #8 by TYGA. Although Spicer has not competed much this summer, the 18-year-old is committed to play college golf at Virginia Tech later this month and is looking to end her junior career with a solid tournament finish.
  • Emily Hawkins of Lexington, N.C. Hawkins, a high school sophomore, is arguably the hottest player in the field coming off of her recent victory at the Carolinas’ Girls’ Championship. With her most recent victory, Hawkins became just the third player in history to capture both the North Carolina Junior and Carolinas Junior Girls’ in the same year. Beginning the 2016 season, Hawkins recorded six top five finishes in her first seven starts, including three runner-up finishes. Although Hawkins is ranked #9 by TYGA, the sophomore has not decided where she will take her talents to play collegiate golf.
  • Rachel Kuehn of Asheville, N.C. #10 Kuehn, a high school freshman, has had an exciting summer of golf, coming off of her recent trip to the US Junior Girls’. Although Kuehn did not get the result she was hoping for at the US Junior Girls, she continues to prove to be a top player in the Carolinas. Uncommitted to play college golf, Kuehn is ranked #10 by TYGA.

Scoring will be provided by the CGA throughout the championship, offering 9 and 18-hole updates. Live updates will also be available on the CGA’s official Twitter accounts, @cgagolf1909 and @CarolinasJunior. Continue to visit the CGA website throughout this championship and all year long for complete championship coverage including scores, interviews, photos, and recaps.

About the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA)

The CGA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization that was founded in 1909 to promote and to protect the game of golf in the Carolinas by providing competitions, education, support and benefits to golf clubs and golfers. The CGA is the second largest golf association in the country with over 700 member clubs represented by nearly 150,000 individuals.

The CGA annually conducts 43 championships and five team match competitions for men, women, juniors, and seniors. It also runs over 140 One-Day (net and gross) events and qualifying for USGA national championships. The CGA serves golf in the Carolinas with numerous programs such as: the USGA Handicap System; tournament management software and support; course measuring and course/slope ratings; agronomy consultation; answers about the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, and Handicapping; Carolinas Golf Magazine; Interclub series; Tarheel Youth Golf Association; Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame; expense assistance for USGA Junior and Girls' Junior qualifiers from the Carolinas; and the Carolinas Golf Foundation (CGF). The CGF has distributed more than $1,500,000 since 1977 to benefit Carolinas' golf initiatives including junior and women's programs.    

For more information about the CGA, visit


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