Argyle Downes of Charles Town and Kerri-Anne Cook of Oceana win titles in championship division
West Virginia Golf Association release
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — The West Virginia Junior Amateur Championship, for players under 18 and conducted by the West Virginia Golf Association (WVGA), was won by two 15-year-old golfers today at Bridgeport Country Club.
Winners of the Championship were Argyle Downes of Charles Town, in the boys’ championship division, and Kerri-Anne Cook of Oceana, in the girls’ championship division. Downes is the first golfer of color to win the Junior Amateur Championship in West Virginia.
Cook defeated the tournament’s defending girls’ champion, Savannah Hawkins of Hurricane, in a sudden-death playoff. Downes is the second First Tee-West Virginia participant to win a boys’ Junior Amateur Championship. The first First-Tee boys’ Junior Amateur Championship winner was Isaiah Zaccheo in 2016; the first to win the girls’ Junior Amateur Championship was Mary Denny in 2019.
WVGA President Phil Reale said, ‘‘Today represents a watershed event for golf in West Virginia and especially the Callaway Junior Tour, formally the Top-Flite Junior Tour. For the first time in the 37-year history of our junior tour, we have a young man of color as our champion. He is Argyle Downes. He is representative of our First Tee program in Jefferson County where he not only learned how to play the game, he learned the character qualities that make him an outstanding young man that we expect to see grow and mature as a golfer and a person.
“While we congratulate all of the division winners, the achievement by Argyle on this day encourages the WVGA to fully develop the First Tee-West Virginia program statewide. It is a tremendous tool to not only introduce youngsters from all backgrounds to the game of golf but to provide tremendous character education and life skills at the same time.” Reale went on to say, “The partnership between the WVGA and Bridgeport Country Club continues to set high standards for the game of golf in West Virginia. Without partners like Bridgeport Country Club, the WVGA would not be able to achieve all that it does and we thank them so much.”
Other division winners were:
- Boys 12 and Under: Carson Higginbotham of Clarksburg (his second victory in this division);
- Boys 13-14: Andrew Johnson of Fraziers Bottom;
- Boys 15-16: Argyle Downes of Charleston Town;
- Boys 17-18: Bryson Beaver of Elkview and Anderson Goldman of Charleston (tie); and
- Girls 10-14: Margaret Mildren of Vienna. Click here for a complete list of today’s final scores.
About the West Virginia Golf Association (WVGA): Founded in 1913, the West Virginia Golf Association is dedicated to promoting and preserving the game of golf in West Virginia. We introduce elementary school children to golf and safety, core values and healthy habits through the First Tee of West Virginia. We also focus on teaching fundamentals and developing young players through our Callaway Junior Rookie League and Callaway Junior Tour events for boys and girls under 18. We host one-day events and tournaments throughout the season for men, women, juniors and seniors. Our membership consists of 85 Member Clubs and over 11,000 individual golfers throughout the state of West Virginia. In addition, we serve as a central source of information for our Member Clubs and generally represent the United States Golf Association (USGA) through administering the USGA Handicap System and Course/Slope Rating System, conducting qualifying rounds and overseeing amateur status matters. It is also our privilege to protect and share the rich history of golf in West Virginia through the West Virginia Golf Hall of Fame.