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Gasperinis come close in VSGA tournaments / July 02, 2018
South Boston’s Peter Gasperini battled to the state semifinals Friday in the Virginia State Golf Association Amateur Championship.

Gasperini fell short, but there’s no question the local product played arguably the best golf of his career at The Federal Club in the Richmond area.

On Saturday, Trey Smith won the state Am title, defeating Andrew Kennedy in an 8-and-7 victory.

Gasperini said the 105th State Amateur Championship was “an incredible experience.

“It’s kind of a big deal …qualifying for the state Am is always something every golfer wants to do every summer. Then making the cut to make match play is a huge deal,” said Gasperini.

He said getting to the final four capped an incredible week, from a field of 132 of the state’s best amateurs.

“This has to be right up there, probably my biggest accomplishment so far in my golf career,” said Gasperini.

Gasperini played excellent golf, including a hole-in-one in the first day of stroke play.

“I just played really, really solid golf all week. I drove the ball really well, I hit my irons well, I wedged it well,” said Gasperini.

Gasperini, who is on the Radford golf team, also changed the way he putted several days ago. He used a new putting routine for the state Amateur, and the adjustment paid off.

The first day, Gasperini fired a two-under par. Then, he fired a 70-75 to earn a spot in match play, in the final 32.

Then, Gasperini won his first march 3-and-2 and prevailed in his second match, 4-and 3.

Gasperini won again 4-and-3 and lost in the semifinals, 4-and-3. He lost to Smith.

Smith then downed Kennedy in the finals. The state runner-up has completed his freshman season as one of Gasperini’s teammates at Radford.

W. Gasperini finishes second in junior open

Although not comparable to the creative acts depicted in Genesis, John Hatcher Ferguson has learned first-hand that great tasks can be achieved in six days.

Last week, two days of stroke play and four match-play triumphs over two days yielded a championship for Ferguson - the Virginia State Golf Association’s Junior Match-Play title.

Tuesday, Ferguson posted the second of two even-par scores on difference courses over two days to win the championship of the boys 16-18 age division - the tournament’s premier class - of the 28th annual Andrew Haley Memorial-Smith Mountain Lake Lions Club Junior Open golf tournament in Moneta.

Halifax County High School golfer Willoughby Gasperini finished second.

Ferguson rallied from a one-stroke, first-round deficit to win the championship in his final attempt; he finished in a tie for fourth in 2016 and in a tie for second last year after claiming the opening-round lead.

By winning the match-play title, Ferguson earned a berth in this week’s annual VSGA Amateur in Glen Allen, but he opted to play in the Haley-SML Junior Open.

Ferguson, the Virginia High School League Class 6 state champion in 2016, started TuesdayAs round one shot in arrears to Gasperini after firing an even-par 72 Monday to Gasperini’s 1-under-par 71.

Tuesday’s round was played first in light rain, then into a downpour over the closing three holes.

Gasperini surrendered his first-round lead when he played the first four holes in 4-over-par.

Gasperini was able to regroup.

Birdies on hole Nos. 5, 7 and 8 by Gasperini produced a tie with Ferguson at the top of the leaderboard.

Gasperini, making his debut in the premier division, moved back in front after playing No. 10, but his advantage was short-lived. Ferguson picked up shots on each of the next two holes, then he added to his edge on No. 14 in what proved to be his tournament winning hole.

Gasperini was attempting to join his older brother, Peter, who competes for NCAA Division I Radford University and who has secured a berth in the match-play portion of this year’s state amateur, on the tournament’s championship list; he won the title in 2014.

Ferguson parred each of his first nine holes. He bogeyed the par 4 10 before moving to 2-under for his round with birdies on 11, 12 and 15 and pars on Nos. 13 and 14. Ferguson parred 16 and 17 before closing his round with a double-bogey 6 on 18.

Ferguson’s round was comprised of three birdies, 13 pars, one bogey and one double bogey. His scorecard includes four birdies, 11 pars, two bogeys and one double bogey.

For the tournament, Ferguson (72-71) was 1-over-par on the par 3s, 1-over-par on the par 4s and 2-under par on the par 5s. He claimed victory by two strokes over Gasperini (71-74), 143-145.

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