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Local golfers set to tee off at Chateau Elan
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West Hall High’s Will England likes to think of the Medicus Preseason Junior event that starts Sunday at Chateau Elan as a shootout. The Hall County champion will be pitted against 32 other golfers from Georgia, and 96 players in all, representing 14 different states playing in this weekend’s two-day event.

This weekend’s event, for golfers between the ages of 12-18, is part of an eight event preseason series on the American Junior Golf Association Tour that culminates with a tournament at the Mountain View Course at Calloway Gardens on June 2-4 in Pine Mountain.

England knows if he plays well at Chateau Elan’s Chateau Course, it could equate to exemptions for tournaments later this summer.

“It makes it a challenge to see how I can play against that many other good golfers,” England said. “It’s one of the biggest events I’ve played in.”

The Medicus Preseason Junior at Chateau Elan is open to first-time AJGA members or those who have not yet been accepted to, or participated in, an AJGA Open event, an AJGA Invitational or a Junior All-Star Series event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year, according to AJGA media relations director Chris Richards.

“This event is a chance to see some of the top national competition,” Richards said.

England isn’t the only local golfer getting to cut his teeth in this talent-rich pool of players. North Hall’s Jimmy Lloyd, the Region 7-AAA individual champion, and Shawn Yim, of Buford, are also playing in this two-day, 36-hole stroke play event.

“I don’t really have any butterflies playing in this event,” England said. “I just have to be ready to play well and focus on my putting.”

The Chateau course will definitely challenge the players with its narrow fairways and fast greens as it played for the Division III National Championship on May 16. Hole placement will be determined by officials with the AJGA, says Chateau Elan director of golf Chip Spiler.

For the boys, the course will play between 6,900 and 7,100 yards. The course for the girls will play around 6,000 yards.

“This is the top 10 percent of junior golf,” Spiler said. “This weekend will be a fair, difficult and good test of their golf games.”

This is the second year that the host course of the AJGA’s national headquarters has welcomed the Medicus Preseason Junior at Chateau Elan.

“We have a great working relationship with the AJGA and an honor to have this event at our facility,” Spiler added.

“It’s great to see the quality of golf these young people are playing.”