Wins Portsmouth Invitational

Last updated: August 15. 2014 3:31PM - 613 Views

Submitted photoMitchell McFarland wins the Portsmouth Invitational at the Elks Country Club.
Submitted photoMitchell McFarland wins the Portsmouth Invitational at the Elks Country Club.
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Chris Slone


Mitchell McFarland has brought with him momentum from the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) as he returned to local golf links with his fellow Wheelersburg Pirate teammates to begin a new quest for a state championship.

On Thursday, McFarland won the Portsmouth Invitational — his second victory in three starts — at the Elks Country Club. The junior sensation shot a 71, which tied him with River Valley’s Logan Sheets. However, on the first playoff hole, McFarland came away with a par while Sheets bogeyed the hole.

“I’m really happy to start my junior season off like that,” McFarland said. “It feels very good to start off on a good note. I know my best golf is still ahead of me. I’m off to a good start and that’s just what I want. I’m real excited about what’s to come.”

There were 14 teams who participated in the Portsmouth Invitational; Logan, Piketon, Galia Academy, Warren, Logan Elm, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, West Union, Jackson, Clay, Chillicothe, Waverly, River Valley and Wheelersburg.

Logan won the event as a team, shooting a collective 304, while Piketon shot a 318 to come in second. Wheelersburg struggled as a group, shooting a 415, which placed them directly behind River Valley who shot a 408 as a team.

Despite not enjoying the team success, McFarland keeps piling on the individual accolades. His philosophy toward the game is simple but effective.

“Just taking one match at a time, one hole at a time and even one shot at a time,” McFarland said. “That’s my approach.”

After spending his summer playing in AJGA events, McFarland acknowledged the difference between those events and high school matches; most notably was the extra confidence the AJGA experience has given him. Not that he needs any extra confidence in his game.

“It’s definitely a big change playing high school golf instead of AJGA,” McFarland said. “And I feel really confident. It’s a lot different but it’s a good experience.”

Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.

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