ECH star Ben Griffin charges into N.C. Junior semifinals
East Chapel Hill High School star Ben Griffin defeated Fayetteville Terry Sanford’s Trey Guy 2 and 1 Thursday afternoon to advance to this morning’s semifinal round of the Carolinas Golf Association’s N.C. Junior Championship.
The tournament is being played on the Highlands course at Prestonwood Country Club here.
Also Thursday, Voyager Academy rising senior McKenzie Barringer saw his bid for a semifinal berth thwarted — barely — by 2012 state 4-A high school champion Stephen Saleeby of Raleigh’s Broughton High School 1-up.
Griffin, the 2011 and 2013 4-A state high school champion, had to win two matches Thursday to earn his semifinal berth opposite Keegan Hoff of Charlotte at 8 a.m. today.
In the 2013 state title tournament won by Griffin at Pinehurst No. 8 in May, Guy won a sudden-death playoff over Saleeby for second place.
In the round of 16 Thursday morning, Griffin defeated Saleeby’s Broughton teammate, Will Minton, 3 and 1.
Barringer, meanwhile, continued a three-day run of outstanding golf by beating Mt. Ulla’s Jacob Kennedy 5 and 4 in the morning before falling to Saleeby.
Griffin or Hoff semifinal will meet the winner of the other morning semifinal — Saleeby vs. Coastal Carolina recruit Austin Inman of Leland — for the state boys’ junior championship at about 1 p.m. today.
Hoff is a two-time all-state golfer for Charlotte Catholic who has signed to play this fall at the University of Richmond. Griffin, a rising senior at ECH, has verbally committed to play at UNC Chapel Hill in the 2014-15 season.
FUQUAY-VARINA — Homeschooled rising sophomore Jessica Spicer of Bahama on Thursday was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the girls’ Carolinas Golf Association’s N.C. Junior Championship at Bentwinds Golf & Country Club.
Spicer, the No. 20 seed after qualifying, pulled off the second biggest upset of the tournament on Wednesday, upending No. 4 seed Alexis Kershaw of Winston-Salem to advance to the quarterfinals.
Spicer lost to Emilia Migliaccio of Cary 3 and 2 Thursday morning. Miglaccio went on to win her semifinal match Thursday afternoon and will play for the state junior golf title today.
Migliaccio, 14, who just completed eighth grade, was Golfweek magazine’s national junior player on the week in mid-May after winning the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour’s N.C. University Classic on May 11.
“I was pretty upset last year when I didn’t make it into the finals,” Migliaccio said. “This week I’ve been feeling very confident and I’m excited to play for the championship. I didn’t make many mistakes today which helped me have some good opportunities for birdie.”