Oceana’s Colin Bowles finished second last week at the West Virginia Junior Amateur at Sleepy Hollow.
Bowles, 14, finished in a tie after 36 holes with Wheeling Park senior Cole Hand.
Both had scores of 145 after rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Hand won the playoff with a par on the 18th hole. He was part of Park’s Class AAA championship golf team and has been a medalist at the state tournament twice.
The tournament winner gets an automatic berth in the 2015 West Virginia amateur.
Bowles, who enters Westside this fall, was in a first place tie with Hand after the tourney’s first day. Both were at 71.
Each then shot a two-over par 74 on the second day.
Bowles played up in the tournament, competing with oldest age group. He won the 15-16 age group by seven strokes.
“We let him move up an age group,” said Toney Bowles, Colin’s father. “It was the only way he could win the overall championship.
“He played 16 to 18 year olds and he did really well,” he added. “The second day he (and Cole Hand) went back and forth. It was a really exciting match.
“Cole Hand is a really nice kid and Colin couldn’t pick a nicer person to lose to,” Bowles remarked. “Even the older kids kind of look up to Colin. He is always right around the lead or winning or shooting the low round of the day.”
Bowles is attracting attention all over the state. The new WVU golf coach, Sean Covich, was following Colin around the course at the Junior Amateur.
“One of the most exciting things for him was having the coach watching him play,” Toney Bowles said.
WVU is in the process of revivng its golf program, which it dropped in 1982.
Top ten in the age 15-16 Junior Amateur event were: Bowles, 145; Alex Hamrick, Red House 152; Harry Basile, Charleston 152; Owen Elliott, Hedgesville, 152; Camden Moore, Spencer, 157; Dylan Wojcik, Wheeling, 159; Cole Moore, Spencer, 161; Cameron Blakely, Charleston, 162; Logan Lojszczyk, Follansbee, 162; David Scragg, Poca, 163; Zach Chapman, Culloden, 163.
Oceana’s Caleb Cook took tenth in the 13-14 division with a 169. Mason Williams of Bridgeport was the winner.
Bowles has qualified ot play in the West Virginia Open in mid-July.
“It’s a tournament all the top amateurs play in,” Toney Bowles observed. “That’s a big achievement for him.”
He has also qualified for the Big I National Tournament.
The tourney moves around the country, but it will be held in Bridgeport this year at the Pete Dye Club.
“They took three players from West Virginia, and there are 32 state represented,” Toney Bowles said.
The Pete Dye course “is one of his favorite places to play.”
Prior to the Junior Amateur, Colin and Toney teamed up to win the West Virginia Golf Associations’s Father-Child Tournament at Glade Springs.
It was the second time they have won the event, Toney Bowles noted.
“We really have fun playing together,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun when we are on the same team.
“It’s an annual event, and we’ve played in it the last three or four years,” he commented. “The first day I held my own and played as well as he did. But the second day, he did carry me.”
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.