- Last Updated on 07:41 AM 05/30/14
- BY Joe Chandler
Halifax County High School golfer Peter Gasperini said he has been in a slump for about six months.
You wouldn’t have known it last weekend, as Gasperini won the North Carolina Junior Golf Foundation-sanctioned Patriot Junior Memorial Tournament at National Golf Course at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Gasperini turned in a 2-under-par round of 70 to take the first-day lead and carded a round of 74 on Sunday to win the tournament by three shots over runner-up Sam Wimbrow of Concord, North Carolina.
It was a double-edged win for the South Boston resident as he won the Junior/Senior Division title as well as the overall championship.
“I had quite a bit of confidence going in,” Gasperini remarked.
“I hadn’t been striking the ball too well, but I was getting putts to drop, which is always a huge confidence booster, and I think that got me started in the right direction.”
Gasperini turned the front nine holes at even par on the opening day and followed up with birdies on holes 10 and 11.
“That got me going,” the rising Halifax County High School senior pointed out.
“I was trying to not worry about keeping it there and getting more aggressive, and it got me back into the old swing of things.”
Gasperini said he started getting more aggressive as his confidence grew.
“I was going for par-fives in two and I hit a couple of them,” he said.
“Getting the eagle putts down in two makes for a pretty easy birdie. It got me going and I was able to keep it there.”
Saturday’s tournament at Pinehurst, North Carolina was the fourth NCJGF-sanctioned tournament Gasperini has played in during the 2013-2014 NCJGF season.
He won the season opener at Mimosa Hills Country Club at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. in late September. That win earned him an invitation to compete in the Joe Cheves Invitational Tournament to be held in Morgantown, North Carolina August 22-24.
That tournament is one of the biggest junior tournaments in the region and brings together an elite field of the region’s top junior golfers.
Gasperini has set a formidable schedule of golf tournaments for himself this summer. Up next for Gasperini is a qualifying tournament on June 6 at Danville Country Club for the Virginia state amateur tournament and the state open tournament.
In addition, Gasperini plans to play in the Virginia Junior State Match Play Tournament. The first two days of that tournament are stroke play. After the first two rounds of stroke play, the field is narrowed to 20 golfers and, finally, to eight players who will compete in match play to determine the champion.
The eight golfers who advance to the final round of match play will earn a berth on the Virginia and will compete in the Virginia-Carolina Tournament, which is contested in a Ryder Cup format.
“One of my biggest goals is to make that team before I graduate,” Gasperini noted.
Gasperini said he will compete in July in the annual Andrew Hailey Memorial Tournament which will be held at the Water Front and Mariner’s Landing golf courses at Smith Mountain Lake.
That event is one of the top junior golf tournaments in the state and always draws a big field of talented golfers.
“I was leading that tournament after the first day last year,” Gasperini said.
“It’s a tournament I definitely want to win this year.”
In late July, Gasperini plans to compete in the Virginia State Golf Association-sanctioned State Junior Stroke Play Tournament, one of the best VSGA junior tournaments of the year.
Then, it will be time for Gasperini to join his teammates on the Comets golf team and start the high school golf season, which begins in early August.
That kind of busy schedule may appear to be overwhelming to some, but it is a schedule Gasperini relishes.
“I think the busy schedule makes it a little easier for me,” Gasperini explained.
“I enjoy playing the game so much. The more tournaments I can play in kind of frees me up to focus on that one tournament at that one given time and try to do my best.”