Jekyll Island 2008
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US Kids Jekyll Island
Regional Championship 2008

Kyle wins Boys 7

Boys 7 Champion
Kyle holds his 1st Place Trophy

For our third visit to Jekyll Island, Georgia for the US Kids Jekyll Island Regional Championship, we took a different route, by going through Atlanta and landing in Savannah.  The drive down was scenic but we barely made it in time for Kyle's first practice round.  With the sun shining and the temperature in the upper 60's, it was a relief to have such great conditions.  Except for one thing:  Gnats.  The milder winter had brought out the flying insects in full force.  So this year, instead of everyone scrambling for heaters and hand warmers - the stores had a run on bug spray.

Despite that, Kyle had half of Friday and all day Saturday to practice on the Pine Lakes Course - back 9.  Another first this year, since the last two times he'd had to play the back 9 of the Oleander Course.  We saw some familiar faces in our group as well as friends from other divisions.

We all got to bed early Saturday night because Kyle's first round tee time was 7:48 am, as usual. The cooler overnight temperatures in the upper 50's quickly warmed up to the 60's as the sun rose.  Kyle shot a solid round of 34.  My only disappointment was that I didn't check my camera first and the batteries were out - there would be no pics from Round 1.  Because he was in one of the first groups to go out; we had to wait until after lunch to see the standings. We decided to venture off the island and go into town for lunch.

When we came back, we were ecstatic to see that his 34 gave him the lead. The nice little bonus was that we'd get to sleep in for round two since we'd be in the final group that teed off at 9:18 am.

After round 1 - Kyle relaxes by checking out the Atlantic Ocean

On Sunday night, we saw on the Weather Channel that storms were sweeping through the South and were expected to pass around midnight.  We went to bed confident that everything would be okay in the morning, but we should have rechecked the Weather Channel before leaving the hotel.  We arrived at the club house at 7:30 and saw that no one was on the course.  The report was that the storms had stalled out and were only now arriving in the vicinity - no one could start as there had been reports of lightning 20 miles away.

The Grill area was swarmed with golfers, caddies and families all watching the weather radar and awaiting the officials decision as to how to proceed.  Finally at 8:45 am, the announcement came:  Tee times would be pushed back 2 hours and 45 minutes.  So we headed back to the hotel to rest and were thankful we weren't among the many who had to alter their travel plans in order to stay longer.

At long last, 12:03 arrived and Kyle's group was teeing off. But while the lightning had gone - the rain hadn't.  It was pouring down in buckets.

Pine Lakes - Hole #10
Kyle tees off in the rain.

On the first hole, Kyle, Cam and AJ all made par and moved on to #11 - a par 5.  Kyle hit a booming tee shot, unaffected by the rain that continued to pour down.  His second shot put his ball close to the hole and he made his eagle putt.  The other two boys made a birdie and a par on the hole.

By the third hole, the rain was reduced to a drizzle and Kyle made a birdie and on the fourth hole the rain stopped all together and the gray skies showed patches of blue coming through.

Pine Lakes #13
Kyle chips up to the green.

Kyle continued to tie or win every hole, giving the other two in the group no chance to make up any ground on his lead.  Kyle was five under par after 8 holes.  After starting off the round in rain - the kids were finishing 9 holes in bright sunlight and gusty wind. 

Kyle seemed completely unaffected: his final tee shot on the par 4 hole was absolutely perfect:  just a few yards off of the green with the flag in the front.

Pine Lakes #18
Kyle launches a booming tee shot.

 With a captive audience of families, golfers from the previous groups and the tournament photographer, Kyle was just 2 feet short of making an eagle with his final chip shot.  Kyle's birdie putt was the exclamation point on an exceptional round of 30.  His two day total of 64 gave him the win by six strokes.

Pine Lakes #18
Kyle's final birdie putt

The photographer took the player's and caddies' picture after they finished the hole and after scorecards were verified and signed, everyone headed over to the scorer's table for the trophy presentation.

Kyle and Paul and the first place trophy

Afterwards, Kyle and Paul had more official pictures taken and then we headed over to Brunswick and the Lone Star Steakhouse for a victory steak dinner.

Final results for all groups can be found on the official US Kids Web Site: 

US Kids Golf


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