Smiles Abound at Augusta Country Club

AUGUSTA -- Boles Middleton and his family enjoy coming back to Augusta.

If he has his way, it won’t be the last time competitively.

Middleton, who has Augusta ties, claimed the Boys 12-13 division as one of eight winners at the Drive, Chip and Putt subregional at Augusta Country Club on Saturday. A total of 16 will advance from the competition to regionals Sept. 16 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The Albany, Ga., native’s parents and other family members are from Augusta. It proved to be a successful trip home for the family, and they’re hoping for a return trip next year when the National Finals will be held April 1 at Augusta National Golf Club.

“I want to make it to Augusta,” Middleton said with a smile.

Middleton came up short the past three years at the subregional before getting over the hump in his fourth try. He said his chipping is what makes his score, and he was satisfied with how he fared around the green and on his drives.

Victoriah Kuranga, the Girls 12-13 winner, had similar success on drives and chipping, but her high putting score carried her to victory. The Decatur, Ga., native, who’s been playing since she was 4 years old, said she was nervous on the tee, but she thanked her family for being there and supporting her.

“It feels great,” Kuranga said. “I was kind of nervous on the first drive. I’m hoping to thrive in the future and succeed. I would like to thank my family for helping me.”

Her father, Noah Kuranga, was most satisfied by her daughter’s smile that stayed on her face throughout the day.

“The thing I told her yesterday, if you smile, no matter if you win or lose, you’re already a winner in my book,” Noah Kuranga said. “I knew she was going to win, because she had a smile on her face. I’m hoping she keeps smiling and stays happy, stays positive. I’m not so much happy with winning as I am with her smiling and being happy.”

Brantley Baker earned the top point total of the day at 152 to win the Boys 14-15 division. Josie Arant won the Girls 14-15 division with 150 points.

Girls 12-13 winner Victoriah Kuranga of Decatur, Ga., will advance to the regional at TPC Sawgrass on September 16, 2017. (Photo by Todd Bennett)
Boys 12-13 winner Boles Middleton of Albany, Ga., receives his award. (Photo by Todd Bennett)
Boys 12-13 winners at the Augusta Country Club subregional on August 20, 2017. (Photo by Todd Bennett)

Drive, Chip and Putt Subregional Qualifiers

Subregional at Augusta Country Club

Girls 7-9

Karsyn Herron 96

Kendall Black 69

Boys 7-9

Khang Phan 113

William Kilborn 98

Girls 10-11

Reagan Henderson 121

Hailey Han 100

Boys 10-11

Triston Whitley 132

Joseph Canitano 122

Girls 12-13

Victoriah Kuranga 133

Haven Ward 113

Boys 12-13

Boles Middleton 144

Riley Ruby 135

Girls 14-15

Josie Arant 150

Madeleine Krueger 123

Boys 14-15

Brantley Baker 152

Jensen Rainey 127