CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fifty-one of the best young golfers of the state converge on Edgewood Country Club today for the 13th annual West Virginia Junior Match Play Championship.
The tournament begins today with the 18-hole stroke-play qualifier, with the top 16 players shooting for the match-play portion over the weekend. That's not 16 and ties - playoffs will be used as needed to fill out the 16-slot bracket.
This is one of the top tournaments for the 18-and-under players, and winning carries some perks - a berth in next week's West Virginia Open and a berth in the West Virginia Amateur in August.
An idea of who can contend can come from the Callaway Junior Tour, in which young golfers from around the state compete. For example, Chris Williams, a Scott Depot native who has signed to play at Coastal Carolina, is in a shotgun foursome with Marshall signee Will Evans, Buffalo's Cory Hoshor and 2012 Junior Amateur champion Cale Wheeler.
Williams is a two-time all-state honoree in high school and has won the American Junior Golf Assocation's Webb Simpson championship in North Carolina. He also was named Junior of the Year last fall by the West Virginia Golf Association.
Evans was the 2011 Class AAA high school state tournament runner-up, Hoshor won the 2012 Class A title and Wheeler has won two straight player-of-the-year awards on the junior tour - 15-16 age group last year and the 13-14 group in 2011.
The 16 players will be seeded in a bracket and begin match play Saturday morning. Two rounds will be played Saturday, with the four semifinalists to be determined by the end of the day.
The semifinals and championship are contested Sunday.