Amateur Stars

by Shayla Martin

 Sep 09, 2016 at 7:14 PM

At McConnell Golf the sport of golf is more than just a leisure activity. Members across all 12 clubs train competitively in the hope of one day playing among their idols. Three McConnell Golf members have progressed to amateur and professional levels, and we’re proud to share their latest updates.

Standout Scholars

After receiving a McConnell Golf Junior Scholarship in 2008, Grayson Murray has wasted no time ascending the ranks to the PGA Tour. After the 22-year-old started the year with conditional status on the Web.com Tour and missed the cut in his first event, he tied for 10th place at TPC Wakefield Plantation and then tied for eighth at the BMW Charity Pro-Am. He earned his full-time PGA Tour card for the upcoming season in mid-October by finishing among this year’s top 25 money winners on the Web.com Tour.

“I received the McConnell Golf Junior Scholarship in the eighth grade, and it was perfect timing. It elevated my game so much just getting to go out to Raleigh Country Club every afternoon after school,” said Murray. “I don’t think I would have been the player I am without that scholarship.” The MCG Junior Scholarship is a program designed to offer instruction, practice, and playing opportunities to young golfers who may not have the financial ability to work on their games at first-class facilities. Murray was selected based on his level of talent, need, and commitment to the sport — as well as his proven dedication and value to the future of golf.

A fellow McConnell Golf Scholar is Raleigh native Carter Jenkins, a 2010 recipient who also played in the Rex Hospital Open as an amateur. Like Murray, Jenkins excelled in the amateur and collegiate ranks and is currently playing as a professional on the PGA Canada Tour. A fun fact about Jenkins: He and Grayson Murray were high school golf teammates at Leesville Road High School in Raleigh.

Member Competitor

A celebrated Sedgefield Country Club member is Scott Harvey. At the end of 2015, Harvey represented the U.S. in Manchester, England on the Walker Cup team, one of the most prestigious tournaments for an amateur golfer.

In April he won the Carolinas Mid-Amateur Championship at Dataw Island Golf Club in South Carolina, then two days later represented the U.S. in the Concession Cup in Bradenton, Florida, an international amateur tournament with teams from Great Britain and Ireland.

Most recently he played the U.S. Mid-Amateur in September and was a fourth-time medalist in the stroke play, setting a record. Next up he will represent North Carolina in the U.S. Men’s State Team Championship in Birmingham, Alabama. At the end of the year, he’ll again be considered for the Carolina’s Men’s Player of the Year by the Carolina Golf Association, an honor he’s received six consecutive years.

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Up to Date: MCG Scholars

by Jessie Ammons

 May 06, 2016 at 3:26 PM

Eight years ago, McConnell Golf launched its high school golf scholarship program. Young golfers are nominated by their high school coaches or local industry pros based on talent, need, and commitment to the sport, as well as their proven dedication and value to the future of golf. The innovative program offers limited membership opportunities to the chosen scholars, who often otherwise lack the opportunity to play challenging courses. Scholars earn access to all McConnell Golf facilities and enroll in a structured program designed to help them elevate their game. They usual­ly become familiar faces around their respective adopted clubs, and many go on to promising collegiate careers. Here’s a look at where a few scholar recipients — two former and one current — are today.

TRAILBLAZER

South Carolinian Hunter Nichols’ writing was on the wall: He lettered in golf at Clinton High School after placing third at the 2013 South Carolina 3A Champi­onships and earning four all-region hon­ors and two All-State selections. Nichols was a shoo-in for Musgrove Mills’ first scholarship. Today, he’s thriving at Fur­man University, where he is an asset to the men’s golf team.

FAMILY AFFAIR

Danielle Mirovich is a rising senior at Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina and she’s made her mark through golf. The Miroviches only arrived to Mount Pleas­ant a few years ago after losing their home in Hurricane Katrina. What kept them grounded was a dedication to the game: Two older Mirovich daughters are already playing at the collegiate level. Danielle is following in her sisters’ foot­steps with a scholarship at Old North State Club, which will last through next season. Her parents’ support is evident and has struck a chord with the entire community.

SPORTSMAN’S RESOLVE

Stephen Lavenets of Rougemont, North Carolina seized his scholarship at Trey­burn Country Club. It spurred him to win the Durham High School Invitational and cap off his tournament record with an eagle on the 18th hole at Treyburn — arguably one of the most difficult feats among all 12 McConnell Golf clubs. He joined the East Carolina Universi­ty men’s golf team, where a nagging hip injury led to major surgery almost immediately upon joining the team. It derailed Lavenets’ playing time, but revealed his true character. He emerged as a charismatic leader of his college team. Much like that difficult 18th hole, today Lavenets is on track despite his injury to graduate in four years with a finance degree.  

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