IR’s Hook takes first at Junior PGA qualifier
It’s been a productive summer thus far on the links for Indian River High School’s Colby Hook. The senior-to-be for the Indians recently competed in the Junior PGA Championship qualifier at Maple Dale Country Club, where he was victorious, thanks to a 1-under-par score of 71.
Hook will now move on to the regional Junior PGA Philadelphia Championship tournament in Wallingford, Pa. — an invitation-only event that will take place on Monday, July 1. His efforts have also earned him an invitation to the Philadelphia Tour Championship on Aug. 19.
“I felt good about my play,” said Hook, who is currently ranked No. 15 on the tour, which as more than 200 members. “I was hitting most of my fairways. I made the qualifier last year, too, so I realize at the next round I will need to shoot just as well — or better — to get to Hartford, Ct. I really enjoy this level of play. You are playing against the best, so each shot counts, and each part of your game must be on.”
The Hartford, Ct., tournament Hook has been shooting for is the 44th Junior PGA Champion-ships, and in order to have an opportunity to play there, Hook needed to finish in the top two at the 68th Annual Delaware Amateur Championships back at Maple Dale in Dover. That tourna-ment took place on Monday, June 24, and Tuesday, June 25, with only the top 36 players to ad-vance to the final round on Wednesday, June 26, in which 36 holes of golf would be played to determine the champion.
Hook just missed the cut for the final round, by two strokes. Day1 put him behind the 8-ball, so to speak, when he shot an 84. On Day 2, Hook battled to get himself into contention, and was in the running to make the cut through 14 holes with a score of 2-over.
However, on Hole 15, his ball went into a tree and never fell, causing a penalty. His miss of a short putt on the par-3 16th hole led to a bogey. It was enough to push him out by two strokes. The Day 2 score of 77 was just not good enough; but, ultimately, it was Hook’s play on Day 1 of the tournament that kept him from advancing.
This past high school season, Hook was one of the most consistent golfers for the IR golf team, which set a school record for entries into the state tournament, as well as the best overall team finish in the state competition. Hook finished in the Top 25 in the DIAA State Golf Champion-ships.
By Jason Feather