After eight rounds of golf in five days and 29 holes on the final day, Clay Stirsman won the 95th
Boys State Junior Championship at the Stonehenge Golf Club in Winona Lake, IN. Stirsman defeated Aiden Gutierrez 5 and 4 in the Championship Match on Friday.
“It feels good to win today,” said Stirsman. “It was a good week out here. A lot of competition and the course was in great shape. I’m really happy to be out here and playing golf.”
After firing a two-day total of 3-under-par, Stirsman was the second seed heading into the 64-player match play bracket. While on his way to finals, Stirsman came out strong in all his matches. He defeated Ryan Ford of Westfield, in the quarterfinals, 5 and 4. In the semifinal match, he also won the battle against Kash Bellar of Peru, 4 and 3.
“I did pretty well in most of my matches,” said Stirsman. “I didn’t have to play 18 holes too many times except against Ryan Ford. I played my game and stuck to the game plan.”
The final match featured an intense showdown between Stirsman and Gutierrez in which seven of the fourteen holes were tied.
Stirsman got off to an early lead, winning holes two through four of the match. The next four holes featured both of the players tying. Stirsman won the ninth hole to make the turn with a 4-up lead.
Stirsman lost the tenth hole to Gutierrez, but that didn’t stop him from bouncing back to win holes 12 and 13 to regain a 5-up lead and take home the victory.
“My favorite part of this tournament was getting to compete again,” said Stirsman. “It’s been awhile since we’ve all played and just being able to come back out here with our friends and play means a lot to me.”
For full results for the 95th
Boys State Junior Championship, click here: