With over an inch of rain falling overnight and continuing, heavy at times, until 11:30 a.m., the 66th Donald Ross Junior Championship was shortened to an 18-hole tournament on Sunday.
Still, the champion was decided on Pinehurst No. 2.
First round results were used to determine award winners, with the 15-18-year-old Boys division being split into two separate events (No. 4, No. 5). A playoff however, was held for the leaders of both 15-18 Boys division leaders to determine the overall 66th Donald Ross Jr. Champion.
Nick Stafford of Belmont, N.C., came out on top of the three-player, three-hole aggregate playoff held on the famed Pinehurst No. 2, host of the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens in 2014. The three-hole loop of holes 1, 17, 18 were used and Stafford played those holes in 1-over par to seal his victory and a name plate in Pinehurst’s legendary hall of champions. Having played course No. 5 in the first round, Stafford was tied with Ian Hildebrand of Purcellville, Va., who both shot 70. On Pinehurst No. 4, Hunter Oxford and his score of 69 that earned him a spot in the three-man playoff.
Rounding out the top five from No. 5 results was second-place finishers and two-time defending champion Joshua Martin of Pinehurst, N.C., Peter Knade of Easton, Md., and Christian Salzer of Sumter, S.C. Tied for 5th place was Joshua Stockwell (West End, N.C.) and Kenny Park (Cumming, Ga).
Course No. 4 top finishers aside from Stafford and Hildebrand were T3 finishers Patrick Stephenson (Four Oaks, N.C.) S.M. Lee (Buford, Ga.), Thomas Eldridge (Raleigh, N.C.) and Timothy Conover (Holly Springs, N.C.).
Wintson Margaritis (Collierville, Tenn.), won the 12-14-year old age group with his score of 67 while in the 11 & Under it was 2012 runner-up Akshay Bhatia (Wake Forest, N.C.) who took home the trophy in his division with an outstanding round of 66.
The Championship for boys under age 18, separated in three divisions (11 and under, 12-14, and 15-18 provided the 18-year old is still in high school), is always scheduled the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The 11 and Under, and 12-14 Divisions play Pinehurst No. 1. The 15-18 Division plays Pinehurst No. 4 and Pinehurst No. 5, typically rotating courses after the first round.