Junior golfers win titles at Stonebridge

Former Westover star golfer Jerrell Hubbard was among the winners of this week's Albany Junior Open.

Former Westover star golfer Jerrell Hubbard was among the winners of this week's Albany Junior Open.

ALBANY — Jerrell Hubbard is less than a month away from starting his collegiate golfing career at Paine College.

But before he heads off to Augusta, he had some business to take care of in Albany, where he won the senior division at the Albany Junior Open at Stonebridge Country Club on Tuesday.

Hubbard, who was a star golfer at Westover and named to The Herald’s All-Area Team as senior this past season, shot 75 on Monday and 72 on Tuesday to beat Colquitt County’s Von Stripling and Tifton’s Robert Doolan by two strokes.

“It felt great. This was a tournament I wanted to win so bad before I left for Paine,” said Hubbard, who is leaving for college Tuesday. “I’ve won five or six tournaments, but this is one of the biggest. It’s definitely up there for me.”

The dream victory was nearly taken away on the back nine Tuesday when Hubbard double-bogeyed the Par-5 13th and Stripling, who will play at Darton next year, birdied the hole. The three-shot swing left the two golfers tied with five holes left, but Hubbard, the first Westover golfer to ever sign a collegiate scholarship, found two more birdies to win the tournament with a two-day score of 147.

Stripling and Doolan shot five-over 149s, and Chris Rogers and Tripp talley each carded 155.

Ethan Shellhaas, a rising freshman at Deerfield-Windsor, beat Sherwood’s Tyler George in a playoff to win the 14-15 year-old age group with a 158, while Flint Bekkers won the 12-13 age group with a 174. Thad Clark ran away with the 9-11 age group with a 18-hole score of 78, and Boles Middleton shot a 3-hole score of 17 to win the 8-under age group.

Girls winners were Caroline Griffin (152) in the 14-15 age group and Chauncei Pettit (235) in the 12-13 age group.

Shellhaas and George, who was named to The Herald’s All-Area Team as a freshman the past season, went back and forth Tuesday after Shellhaas took a one-shot lead into the final round. George held a one-shot lead heading into the 18th hole, but a George bogey and a Shallhaas par sent the duo into a sudden-death playoff.

Shellhaas admitted to putting and driving well during the two-day tournament, but it was a 50-yard wedge shot that ultimately clinched the title for him.

“I had like 50 yards out with my third shot, and I hit it exactly how I wanted to,” said Shellhaas, who finished second in the tournament last year. “I couldn’t see where the ball went, but when I got up there I saw it was 12 inches away. I was shaking (from the nerves) on my drive and shaking on my second shot, but on my third shot I felt good over the ball.”