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111th VSGA Amateur Championship

June 21, 2024

Championship website | Scoring | Preview | Record book

Dates: Monday, June 24 - Friday, June 28

Format: Two rounds of stroke play qualifying on Monday and Tuesday, with play going off in waves off Nos. 1 and 10 at 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The top 32 players advance to match play. Rounds of 32 and 16 on Wednesday, starting at 7:30 a.m. Quarterfinals and semifinals on Thursday, starting at 7:30 a.m. The 36-hole championship match will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Friday.

Host site: Belle Haven Country Club

Championship match: Logan Reilly wins 111th VSGA Amateur

Photo gallery

By Chris Lang

ALEXANDRIA -- Logan Reilly got the gallery he wanted, as friends, family and onlookers surrounded the 16th green at Belle Haven Country Club on Friday afternoon. He didn't disappoint them. Needing just a two-putt par to tie the hole and claim victory in the title match of the 111th Virginia State Golf Association Amateur Championship, he sank a 25-foot birdie putt and pumped his fist to stoke the crowd, reveling in his 4-and-2 victory over former George Mason standout Nikita Gubenko.

Reilly, a 17-year-old rising senior at Bishop O'Connell High School and member at Loudoun Golf & Country Club, became the third teenager in the last six years to hoist the Schwarszchild Brothers Trophy, joining Grayson Wood (2023) and Michael Brennan (2019). Wood is set to play his sophomore season at Georgia, and Brennan just completed an illustrious career at Wake Forest. It's clear that Reilly, who is committed to national champion Auburn, is set for a similar path.

Gubenko, 22, led 2-up after 18 holes but Reilly rallied in the second half of the match. Reilly made the second of his seven second-round birdies on the par-4 5th hole, tying the match. He took the lead when he hit a 161-yard approach shot on 8 to six inches, and he never relinquished it. Reilly sank a birdie putt on 13 to go back 2-up, and he went 3-up on 15 when he stuck his approach to three feet and converted the birdie putt. It was only fitting that he got up and down from a greenside bunker on 16 for the winning birdie putt.

Reilly also earned an exemption into the U.S. Amateur Championship at Hazeltine with his victory, as for the first time, the USGA has awarded exemptions to winners of Allied Golf Association Amateur championships. 


  • Please see the videos below for interviews with Reilly and Gubenko.
  • The first half of the match featured a lot of holes tied with pars or birdies. Gubenko took the lead on No. 15 when Reilly's caddie accidentally ran over Gubenko's ball in the rough with a golf cart. Per Rule 9.5b, the opponent is assessed one penalty stroke in match play for moving an opponent's ball, even if it's unintentional. Gubenko made birdie on that hole while Reilly made par. Gubenko added birdies on 16 and 18 to go to the afternoon 2-up.
  • Gubenko's biggest issue was with his putter, as he struggled to make anything outside of three feet, keeping Reilly in the match.
  • Gubenko left Belle Haven immediately to drive to Mississippi to compete in the Magnolia Amateur.

Day 4: All-NOVA final set as Reilly, Gubenko advance to title match


(Finalists Logan Reilly and Nikita Gubenko. Credit: Chris Lang/VSGA)

Photo gallery

By Chris Lang

ALEXANDRIA -- Both Logan Reilly and Nikita Gubenko have been on ascendant tracks in 2024. Reilly, a rising high-school senior committed to play for national champion Auburn, is ranked 21st national in the AJGA boys' rankings. Gubenko, a recent George Mason University graduate, has jumped into the elite amateur conversation thanks to his win at the prestigious Kenridge Invitational at Farmington Country Club earlier this month. It's no surprise those two have played the best golf at this week's 111th Virginia State Golf Association Amateur Championship, earning their spots in Friday's 36-hole championship match.

Reilly (Purcellville) and Gubenko (Great Falls) each cruised in their Thursday afternoon semifinal matches at Belle Haven Country Club, with Reilly shooting an unofficial 62 in dispatching the University of Florida's Rylan Shim 4 and 3, and Gubenko rolling past former Virginia Tech standout Drew Brockwell 5 and 4. The first-time finalists will square off Friday beginning at 7:30 a.m. The winner earns an exemption into the 2024 U.S. Amateur Championship.

Reilly first had to survive a grueling 21-hole quarterfinal match with Radford's Bryce Corbett, winning with a conceded par on the third extra hole. Both players used irons on the hard dogleg right par-4 to hit the fairway, but things got interesting after that. Corbett was first to hit and pulled his approach right and long, where it settled between a tree root and tree trunk. Reilly's approach drifted left, leaving him with a hole-high chip. When Corbett reached his ball, he saw it nestled between a tree root and a tree trunk. As a left-handed player, he was left with no real shot at advancing the ball, so he chose to proceed under the unplayable ball rule, resulting in a penalty stroke. He couldn't advance his fourth shot to the green, and his fifth went well past the hole. That took the pressure off Reilly, who simply needed to snug the ball close to the hole. He did so, and when Corbett missed his bogey putt, Corbett conceded Reilly's par putt, ending the match.

Gubenko survived a similarly tough battle in the quarterfinals against Sam Beach, the 2023 VSGA Golfer of the Year. The match was tied at the turn, then Beach won No. 10. Gubenko responded by winning the next four holes to take a 3-up lead before holding on for a 1-up victory when both players parred the 18th.

Both Reilly and Gubenko got off to fast starts in their semifinals. Reilly birdied the first two holes against Shim, and the two tied holes 5, 6, and 7 with birdies, prompting an incredulous look from Shim walking off 7 green, as if to say, "are you going to give me a chance here?"

Reilly didn't oblige. He won 10 and 11 with birdies and closed out the victory when both players birdied No. 15.

Brockwell jumped ahead 1-up after Gubenko made bogey on No. 3 in the other semifinal, but Gubenko quickly countered, making birdies on 4, 5 and 9 to take a 3-up lead by the turn. He clinched the victory by nailing a 25-foot birdie putt on 14.


  • Reilly is seeking to become the third junior since 2019 to win the Amateur. Grayson Wood won last year in his final junior summer, as did Michael Brennan in 2019.
  • In a strange twist, both Reilly and Shim decided to continue playing after their match concluded, as Reilly was trying to see if he could shoot 59. He settled for a 62. The course record of 63, set by Belle Haven member and past VSGA Junior Stroke Play champion Teddy Zinsner, remains intact because Reilly didn't hole out on every hole. 

  • Nick Alexander, Reilly's partner at the VSGA Four-Ball Championship in May, caddied for Reilly. Gubenko's caddie was Pierce Hokenson. The two played briefly together both at Langley High School and at George Mason.

  • The two finalists are exempt from qualifying for the Amateur for three years. Semifinalists are exempt for two years. The remaining quarterfinalists (Corbett, Beach, David Stanford, and Jason Spaar) are exempt from qualifying for next year's Amateur.


  • "Just a crazy afternoon. 10-under, I could have never imagined that. I was away on a couple of putts on 6 and 7, I had 15 to 20 feet, he had 8 to 10 feet. Making those are key. If you put the pressure on him to make those, you never know. Just applying the pressure is very important." -- Reilly
  • "I knew what I had to do, which was birdie. He had a little bit of tree trouble over there and was hitting his third. I had 78 yards, a perfect number, a little 3/4 stock 60-degree. I knew I had to get it up there close. Perfect, good lie, and I just executed it well." -- Reilly on his approach to 18 in his quarterfinal match with Corbett, where he needed to win the hole to extend the match. He stuffed it to 2 feet.
  • "Both our hearts were probably beating like crazy right there. Once I saw he had to take unplayable -- unlucky for him -- obviously, it was some pressure off me, because I had some room to work, and I didn't have to do anything crazy there." -- Reilly on the 21st hole with Corbett.
  • "I know he won the Kenridge earlier this year, which is big. He's been playing really well. It will be a really fun match, 36 holes, all day. One of my friends is from George Mason, and he and Nikita are buddies, so we played once at my home course. He's a good guy. It should be a fun match." -- Reilly on Gubenko.
  • "First off, it's finally figuring out how to hit it in play off the tee. The driver right now is an absolute weapon. I'll continue to use it tomorrow. Overall, it's been playing more golf and understanding how to score. I have the fundamentals to hit good shots, but it's just learning how to score. If you miss a green in a wrong spot, it becomes instinct to just say, let's take our medicine here and play for a bogey. ... It's just been about learning how to score and getting confidence off the tee." -- Gubenko
  • "It's going to be a fun match tomorrow. A bunch of my friends will come out to watch, and a bunch of his friends will come out to watch. It's going to be competitive. At the end of the day, it's going to be the best person who wins." -- Gubenko
  • "It's just taking it one shot at a time. I'm sure the first 18 will be pretty much stress-free. Because we both know it's 36 holes, not 18. Even if one of us goes 5-up after 18, a 5-up lead is not safe. It's taking it one shot at a time. Once it gets toward the end, it's going to get more intense. For me, when it gets intense and high pressure, I embrace it. I remind myself to be grateful for the little things we have in life. It's just enjoying the moment, because it's awesome to compete for a State Am title." -- Gubenko
  • "I knew he had it in him. So at the start of the match, I knew I had to come quick and come early. He was 4-under through six. We halved three holes with birdies. It was just super fun." -- Shim
  • "I with happy with how I played today, but I just got beat. I can hang my hat on that. Logan's one of my good buddies in golf, so I'm super, super happy for him." -- Shim
  • "To be honest, I kind of needed this week, just for some confidence, knowing I'm playing good. I can take this into the rest of the summer." -- Shim
  • "It was a great week. I can't be upset with how it went. I definitely didn't expect to make it all the way to the semis coming in. I knew my game was in a good place, but match play is tough. To get all the way here, I'm pretty proud of it. Not upset with it at all. I would have obviously liked to have done a little better this afternoon, but Nikita's a great player, and I'm sure he'll do great tomorrow." -- Brockwell

  • "He hits the ball really far. I've played with him before, but it's been forever. We were probably both juniors. So I didn't remember a whole lot about his game. But he hit it really solid today. He hits it really far. He took a lot of lines that I didn't even think about off some tees, gave himself some short shots and converted a lot of birdies. He wedged it well and putted it pretty well too." -- Brockwell on Gubenko


Day 3: Quarterfinals set as stroke-play medalist falls


(Radford's Bryce Corbett snuck in as the No. 32 seed and won two matches on Wednesday. Credit: Kate Brown/VSGA)

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By Chris Lang

ALEXANDRIA -- For the second straight year, the stroke-play medalist at the Virginia State Golf Association Amateur Championship was ousted in the round of 32, as Radford's Bryce Corbett topped Northwestern's Chris Zhang 2 and 1 Wednesday morning at Belle Haven Country Club to advance in the 111th edition of the event.

And just like in 2023 at Boonsboro Country Club, the No. 32 seed extended his stay to day four of the event. Corbett, a member at Dominion Valley Country Club, then defeated 2023 quarterfinalist Xander Goboy on the 19th hole to reach the Amateur quarterfinals for the second time in three years.

Corbett was one of eight to advance to Thursday morning's quarterfinals, joined by Logan Reilly, Rylan Shim, David Stanford, Nikita Gubenko, Sam Beach, Jason Spaar, and Drew Brockwell. Action begins at 7:30. The semifinals are set to follow after lunch on Thursday, and the 36-hole championship match is scheduled to begin Friday morning at 7:30. Learn more about each of the quarterfinalists below.

Bryce Corbett

  • Seed: 32 | Road to the quarterfinals: def. #1 Chris Zhang, 2 and 1; def. #16 Xander Goboy 
  • Takeaways: For Corbett, just getting to match play was a battle. He was 5-over through nine holes in his opening stroke-play round, leaving him close to no margin for error for making the final 32. He played his next 27 holes at 2 under to just sneak into the field. Like his Radford teammate Bobby Dudeck III last year, Corbett took advantage of his opportunity. He won two of the first three holes against medalist Chris Zhang and never trailed in that match. His second match against the N.C. State-bound Goboy was tight until the end. Goboy sank a 15-foot birdie putt on 18 to send the match to extra holes. On No. 1, Corbett roasted a 3-wood from 260 yards out to 15 feet, and when Goboy missed a chip for birdie, Corbett lagged his putt perfectly and tapped in for birdie and the win.
  • Quoting: "After shooting 5-over on the first nine holes of the tournament, it was just kind of a hard reset from there. I knew I was playing good enough golf to make the cut. But it was like, stop going backwards, and slowly inch forward and get back into it, and you'll be fine making the cut. That back nine (on Tuesday), you would have thought I was trying to win the U.S. Open. I was grinding as much as I've ever grinded on every single golf shot, just to make the cut. It was almost just a relief to get into match play. No. 32 seed or whatever, I was just happy I got in and had a chance to at least keep going."

Logan Reilly

  • Seed: 8 | Road to the quarterfinals: def. #25 Chris McCartin, 1 up; def. #9 Nick Rakes, 5 and 4
  • Takeaways: Reilly, an Auburn commit with a year remaining in high school, continued his steady march in this event. He reached match play and lost in the first round in 2021, won his first-round match in 2022; and finally reached the fourth day of the championship in 2024. Reilly stuck a wedge to 5 feet on 18 in his opening match against McCartin, the 2006 VSGA Amateur champion. Then he jumped out to a hot start in his afternoon match against Rakes, going 2 up through three holes and cruising to the win. 
  • Quoting: "The key in match play is just not to hand (your opponent) any holes. If he makes a tough birdie, there's nothing you can really do about that. If you're in position and you just hand him the hole, the momentum switches, and that's just not acceptable, especially with all of the good players here. Just keep it in front of you and don't make any stupid mistakes."

Rylan Shim

  • Seed: 29 | Road to the quarterfinals: def. #4 Matthew Monastero, 2 and 1; def. #13 Patrick Gareiss, 2 and 1
  • Takeaways: Like Corbett, Shim struggled at times through the qualifying rounds as he worked through some troubles with his irons. A long range session after Tuesday's second round left him more comfortable, and he began to hit his irons more consistently in his two wins on Wednesday. Shim and Monastero were neck-and-neck on the front nine, with neither player taking more than a 1-up lead as they made the turn tied. Shim, who plays at Florida, won the first three holes on the back nine to take control and held on for victory against the University of Virginia's Monastero. In the second match, Shim went 2-up on Radford's Gareiss with a par on No. 8 and held that edge until he hit it into a hazard on 13, allowing Gareiss to creep back in. Shim went back 2-up with a birdie on 16 and closed Gareiss out when both players parred 17.
  • Quoting: "It's super exciting. Last year I made it in and lost in the Sweet 16. I always have VSGA events circled on my calendar. To keep moving forward is truly a blessing."

David Stanford

  • Seed: 5 | Road to the quarterfinals: def. #28 Garrett Kuhla, 19 holes; def. #21 Michael Thomas, 2 and 1
  • Takeaways: Stanford, who plays at Virginia Tech and was a finalist in the 2020 VSGA Amateur as a high schooler, topped Kuhla (James Madison) in a rematch of a 2019 VSGA Junior Match Play semifinal. Stanford expected a close match and wasn't disappointed. Kuhla led 2-up through 13 holes but Stanford rallied with birdies on 14, 16 and 18 to force extra holes, and he won on the 19th hole with another birdie. Against Thomas (Christopher Newport), Stanford jumped out to a 5-up lead through 10 holes, leaked oil a bit on the back nine, but ultimately clinched his quarterfinal berth when both players parred 17.
  • Quoting: "For the most part this week, I've been rock solid off the tee, which is key here, so I feel pretty good about that. The putter's had its moments of getting really hot, really quick. So there's a lot of potential."

Nikita Gubenko

  • Seed: 2 | Road to the quarterfinals: def. #31 Preston Burton, 21 holes; def. #18 Brandon Cigna, 5 and 3
  • Takeaways: Gubenko survived an intense match with William & Mary's Burton in the round of 32, winning only when Burton's drive on No. 3 (the third extra hole) flew through the dogleg fairway, leaving him a difficult approach that landed in a greenside bunker. Gubenko hit his approach from the middle of the fairway to the middle of the green and advanced when he lagged his putt close. With Burton putting for bogey, he conceded the par. In the afternoon, Gubenko faced Belle Haven member Cigna and got off to a smoking start, making birdie on four of the first six holes to take a 4-up lead he didn't relinquish.
  • Quoting: "I just wanted to rest up. Playing 21 holes in the heat, with the stress, it's a lot on the body. I actually watched a little bit of Euro 2024 (soccer) to get my mind off of golf, had some lunch and cooled off. The big thing for me was to dial in my wedges for the second match, and I finally got that going. It was nice to finally score."

Sam Beach

  • Seed: 10 | Road to the quarterfinals: def. #23 Channing Blevins, 21 holes; def. #7 Justin LaRue, 3 and 2
  • Takeaways: Beach will look for his second straight semifinal appearance when he faces Gubenko on Thursday morning. The reinstated amateur and former University of Richmond standout survived a grueling battle with Radford's Blevins in the opening match, winning by draining a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 3, the third playoff hole. Blevins' attempt from about 18 feet out missed, giving Beach the victory. He three-putted the first green in his second match against LaRue, the Longwood standout, before getting dialed in. On the back nine, he broke open a tied match on the 12th hole by going eagle-birdie-par-birdie to take a 3-up lead, and he closed out the win with both players birdied 16.

Jason Spaar

  • Seed: 30 | Road to the quarterfinals: def. #3 Justin Young, 2 and 1; def. #19 Ryan Leach, 2 and 1
  • Takeaways: Spaar, a former Bridgewater captain and all-ODAC player who joined the mid-amateur ranks when he turned 25 in March, is the Cinderella story of the championship, having knocked out the No. 3 seed Young before taking out West Virginia-bound Leach in the round of 16. Spaar and Young are both Roanoke Country Club members, and in many ways, Spaar said, Young is the sort of amateur player Spaar aspires to be. Spaar said his game has blossomed since graduating college, and he hopes that trajectory continues on Thursday. The first order of business was finding a place to stay on Wednesday night, as he hadn't booked a room, not thinking he would make it to the event's fourth day.
  • Quoting: "I'm on a crazy heater this summer. I don't know, it's just clicking right now. Everything is seeming to work. ... It's really been my ball striking. I've had a lot of mid to long irons in, which I don't typically have at home on my course. It's a lot of wedges there. To come out here and hit the mid to long irons the way I have, it's pretty cool. It's not something I'd say is a strong part of my game, but it has been this week. And it's the reason I'm sitting here talking to you."

Drew Brockwell

  • Seed: 6 | Road to the quarterfinals: def. #27 Joey Jordan, 3 and 2; def. #11 Bobby Dudeck III, 21 holes
  • Takeaways: Brockwell, a former Virginia Tech standout, made the Amateur quarterfinals as a 15-year-old committed to Virginia Tech in 2016 at the Hokies' home course -- Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech. It's been a struggle to make it back since then, and he thought the struggles would continue when he three-putted the 17th green down 1 to Dudeck in Wednesday's round of 16 match. Left with a 15-foot birdie putt to extend the match on 18, Brockwell took a deep breath and a confident stroke and sank the putt to send the match to extra holes. He sank an 8-footer on No. 3 (the third extra hole) to win the match and return to the quarterfinals for the first time in eight years. Prior to that, he defeated his old Virginia Tech teammate Jordan in the round of 32.
  • Quoting: "I'm just happy to be able to get it done. I've been to this match three or four times in the last few years and I haven't been able to get it done. So it's a weight off my shoulders to get to tomorrow. So we'll go out tomorrow and see what we can do, free swing it, and see how it goes."



Day 2: Zhang earns medalist honors, match-play field set


(Stroke-play medalist Chris Zhang. Credit: Kate Brown/VSGA)

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By Chris Lang

ALEXANDRIA -- Northwestern's Chris Zhang, a member at Blacksburg Country Club, posted a 3-under-par 69 on Tuesday for a two-day aggregate total of 5-under 139 to earn stroke-play medalist honors at the 111th Virginia State Golf Association Amateur Championship. 

Zhang finished a stroke clear of former George Mason player Nikita Gubenko and Salem mid-amateur Justin Young, both of whom carded two-day totals of 4-under 140. Four players tied for fourth at 3-under 139: Drew Brockwell (former Virginia Tech), David Stanford (Virginia Tech), Justin LaRue (Longwood), and Matthew Monastero (Virginia).

Monastero posted the best round of the day on Tuesday, a 5-under 67. Brockwell shot a 4-under 68.

Thirty-two players made the match-play field at 147 or better. No playoff was required to set the match-play field.

Zhang will open match play on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. against No. 32 seed Bryce Corbett of Radford University. All first-round matches will begin on No. 1, with the final match between Radford's Bobby Dudeck III and junior Brandon Sipe beginning at 10 a.m. The round of 16 will be played on Wednesday afternoon.


  • Zhang was the VSGA Amateur finalist in 2019 at Keswick Golf Club, where he lost to Michael Brennan in a 36-hole championship match.
  • Both past champions in the field -- Chris McCartin (2006) and Scott Shingler (2011) -- made the match-play field. McCartin will face top junior Logan Reilly in the first round. Shingler will square off against another high-level junior in Xander Goboy.

  • The last time the VSGA Amateur was contested at Belle Haven, Lanto Griffin was the stroke-play medalist and also shot 5-under-par in qualifying. Griffin then lost his first-round match to No. 32 seed Mike Kirby, who advanced to the final.

  • The No. 32 seed last year, Bobby Dudeck III, defeated stroke-play medalist Charlie Hanson in the first round.

  • Five juniors advanced to match play: Reilly, Goboy, Brandon Sipe, Aiden Patel, and Ryan Leach.

  • Seven mid-amateurs (age 25+) advanced to match play: Shingler, McCartin, Belle Haven member Brandon Cigna, Young, Jason Spaar, Sam Beach, and Joey Jordan.

  • Young will face Spaar in the first round in a matchup of Roanoke Country Club members. 

  • Brockwell and Jordan will face off in a matchup of former Virginia Tech teammates. They've also played together in the last several VSGA Four-Ball Championships.

  • Stanford will meet James Madison's Garrett Kuhla in the first round. Stanford defeated Kuhla in the semifinals of the 2021 VSGA Junior Match Play Championship before beating Cullen Campbell in the final.

  • Brockwell's 68 was of the bogey-free variety. He made birdies at 4, 7, and 8 before closing with a birdie on 18.
  • Brockwell and LaRue are both members at The Golf Club at the Highlands.
  • LaRue was Big South golfer of the year in 2023-24 and was in position to win the Big South postseason tournament until he was forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury that quickly healed.
  • Young, the first-round leader, posted a 3-over 75 (four bogeys, one birdie) on Tuesday.
  • The most improved players on Tuesday were Garnet Manley, who followed an opening-round 81 with a 68; and Drew Carlin, who followed up his Monday 83 with a 69. Neither made the match-play field.
  • The last time the match-play field was set without a playoff was in 2011 at The Virginian. A playoff was avoided in 2010 at Belle Haven when one of the competitors scheduled to participate did not show up for the playoff.


  • "It's just a fun event. The past couple of years that I've played in this, I haven't played very well. So it was nice to play well in the stroke play and get into match play this year." -- Zhang
  • "I putted pretty well. I didn't hit the ball amazing, but I did a decent job of scrambling and kept the bogeys to a minimum a little bit." -- Zhang
  • "To be honest, I thought the conditions were a little better than yesterday. It was really windy yesterday. There was a little wind today but it wasn't too bad. I thought scores would be a little lower today." -- Zhang
  • "It was nice. I played some pretty good golf that week. I came close in the final and came up just a little bit short. It's all about hitting good shots and good putts." -- Zhang
  • "I feel like I really enjoy playing in tournaments where people show up to watch. I'm getting a little older, but being at my home track, I felt like I had to give it a run again this year. So my goal was to get into match play, and now it's just a battle, mano-a-mano. I'm looking forward to it" -- Brandon Cigna, a Belle Haven member who had a gallery following him on Tuesday afternoon.
  • "I feel like as soon as you get into the mix in match play, you never know what can happen. You get a little luck, play some good matches, and you never know, you can go the distance. I've played in several events like this in the past. I'm just trying to take it one shot at a time and see how far I can go. My expectation now is keep playing well and hopefully keep winning." -- Cigna
  • "The beginning holes here, for sure, you can go for it, you can lay up, you can put some pressure on your opponent right away, or you can get down right away. It's easy to have things happen in the first five holes, then it becomes a big golf course after that and maybe it's a little more traditional. But those first five can really set the tone for the matches." -- Cigna
  • "My first time playing in this in two years now. I started the day right on the cut line, and sometimes, I get caught up in thinking about the cut. That usually doesn't end well for me. So today, I came in with the mentality of keep making birdies, keep making putts and that really worked for me today. I rolled in a lot of putts, maybe 150 feet worth. Hopefully I'll keep that rolling into tomorrow." -- Monastero
  • "On 16, I was right on the front fringe with a double breaker up the slope, I'd say like 50 feet. It went in dead center, and that really kick started my round, and I really didn't look back after that." -- Monastero
  • "I was just trying to do kind of what I was doing yesterday. I had six birdies yesterday, and also had six bogeys. So the birdies were there. I was just trying to get rid of the mistakes. I did a little bit better at doing that." -- LaRue
  • "I was hitting it a little bit better today. I still had the pulls a little bit, but I was putting the ball in better spots today. I still had a couple of bogeys out there, but hopefully I can clean that up for tomorrow." -- LaRue
  • "I think it's going to be really good. You can be really aggressive or you can play conservative, so it'll be fun to see." -- LaRue on Belle Haven as a match-play course.
  • "I got off to a pretty bad start yesterday, I think I bogeyed three of my first four holes. I played in from 1-under from there, so that was good. I was happy with that. I didn't feel like I caught any good breaks yesterday. A couple swings of luck, and 2-over could have turned into 2-over easily. I didn't play bad, I just couldn't get anything to go in. Today, I kind of had the same game plan as yesterday. A couple more putts dropped. I caught a really good break off a tree on hole 6, and that little momentum shift was huge." -- Jonathan McEwen, who rallied after a 2-over 74 on the first day to shoot 3-under on Tuesday to earn a match-play spot.
  • "I chipped well today. I didn't miss many greens, but when I did, I gave myself a makeable par putt, or if I was on a par-5 and in a greenside bunker, I gave myself good birdie looks. So my chipping was nice." -- McEwen
  • "I worked on a lot throughout the winter break. I was able to play with a lot of outstanding golfers, both on my team and on other teams. We pushed each other. I learned from them. We traveled to a bunch of different courses, played in a lot of different climates, temperatures, wind conditions. It's totally forced my game to evolve and develop. So I've grown a lot as a player." -- McEwen on his first year at Washington & Lee
  • "Like most say, the wind was brutal yesterday in the afternoon. I really started off slow, wanted to get it in the house at 1- or 2-over. I made a great birdie on No. 9, my last hole, so that helped. I found something on the last few holes, started putting it a little better. I came out today with a better mindset and rolled a couple in on the front nine, was kind of playing middle of the greens, and I had a couple of more roll in." -- Brockwell
  • "I'm in that transitional period, so really, the State Am, the State Open, the Valentine, those are my big events. I'm looking forward to them on the calendar all year. I'm not playing as much, so when those come around, I'm practicing as much as I can. Soon enough, I'll be in the Mid-Am circuit, but I've got a couple of years until I get there." -- Brockwell on the transition zone after playing college golf
  • "I went into the week with the motto of 'no expectations.' That being said, I kind of figured getting back to even would be a pretty good benchmark. I just wanted to get back to even and hope that would enough. I didn't think I needed to do anything crazy to get to the next stage." -- Patrick Gareiss, who was part of the winning side at the VSGA Four-Ball Championship and shot a 3-under 69 on Tuesday to earn his match-play spot.
  • "I didn't let very many putts get away from me. My lag putting wasn't ideal yesterday. I was just able to make a few more putts today, that's really all." -- Gareiss



Day 1: Young posts bogey-free 65, takes first-round lead


(Justin Young posted a bogey-free 65 on Monday. Credit: Kate Brown/VSGA)

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By Chris Lang

ALEXANDRIA -- Justin Young's first competitive tour of Belle Haven Country Club was a successful one. Young, a member at Roanoke Country Club, posted a bogey-free 7-under-par 65 on Monday to take an early two-stroke lead at the 111th Virginia State Golf Association Amateur Championship.

The 46-year-old Young saw Belle Haven for the first time during his practice round on Sunday, but the lack of intimate course knowledge didn't seem to hurt him when the lights turned on for Monday's first qualifying round. He used sterling iron play to give himself plenty of birdie chances and converted seven of those birdie putts on Monday.

Young, a former standout at Charleston Southern University, holds a two-stroke edge over Virginia Tech's David Stanford, who returned a 5-under 67 in the morning wave on Monday. Both players started off No. 10 and had chances to complete their bogey-free rounds on the par-3 9th hole. Young made his par, but Stanford short-sided himself and failed to get up and down, leading to his only bogey of the day.

Former George Mason player Nikita Gubenko was in third place after carding a 4-under 68. Top junior Logan Reilly, who is committed to play college golf at Auburn, shot a 3-under 69 and is in fourth. Six players were tied for sixth at 2-under 68: William & Mary's Preston Burton, North Carolina State signee Xander Goboy, Northwestern's Chris Zhang, Longwood's Nick Rakes, West Virginia signee Ryan Leach, and junior Brandon Sipe.

The top 32 players after Tuesday's second round will advance to match play, which begins on Wednesday. If necessary, a playoff will be utilized to fill the final match-play spots. The remaining ties for seeding purposes will be broken by blind draw.


  • Gusty, swirling winds kept things relatively cool on Monday but made scoring conditions tough. Winds gusted consistently to up to 25 mph for much of the day.
  • Young has won three VSGA titles, most recently claiming two championships in the fall of 2017 (VSGA Mid-Amateur, VSGA Four-Ball Match Play). He's made multiple appearances in USGA championships, including in this year's U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, where he partnered with Scott Shingler.
  • Stanford is a past VSGA Junior Stroke Play and Junior Match Play champion who advanced to the Amateur final match in 2020 at River Bend, where he lost to two-time VSGA Amateur champion Mark Lawrence Jr.
  • Earlier this year, Gubenko won the prestigious Kenridge Invitational at Farmington Country Club. He intends on trying his hand at Korn Ferry Tour Q School in the fall.
  • Burton, who is entering his sophomore season at William & Mary, won last year's VSGA Junior Stroke Play title.
  • Stanford's day took a strange turn on No. 7. He was leaning down to pick up his ball when he was struck by a wayward golf shot in the right arm. He ended up making birdie on the hole but had a welt on his arm after the round.
  • Zhang reached the final match of the 2019 VSGA Amateur, where he fell on the final hole to Michael Brennan.
  • Leach is part of the only father-son combo in the field. His dad, former NFL standout Mike Leach, shot 4-over 76and is tied for 54th.
  • Brandon Cigna shot the low round by a Belle Haven member, carding a 1-over 73 to put him squarely in the match-play hunt.
  • 2023 finalist Jake Albert was a late scratch from the field due to an injury and was replaced by alternate Andrew Watson.


  • "Keeping the ball in play, out in front of me off the tee was key, along with distance control with my irons -- I always feel like that's a strength. Especially in the wind today, it's gusting up to 20-plus, it's kind of swirling out there. I guess maybe I guessed right some? I stuck with the shot that I was committed to." -- Young
  • "I made a lot of good putts, nothing crazy, maybe a 20 footer or two. But most of them were inside 10 feet." -- Young on his birdie makes.
  • "It's pretty impressive how far they hit it, especially against how short I hit it. It's fun, being 46 and still being able to shoot a good number is fun. For me, it's the golf course. I'm not playing against those guys, I'm playing against the golf course. And today, maybe I got one punch in." -- Young
  • "The course is great. The greens were a lot faster today than yesterday, so it took me some time to get adjusted. They were even faster than the (practice) green. Having to make adjustments on the fly on the course, it's tough, but I think after about three or four holes, I finally got it dialed in." -- Young
  • "It's done a lot, actually. I hadn't been able to win an event like the Kenridge, so it gave me a lot of confidence going into events like that, and the Porter Cup coming up too. It's great to be playing good golf, and it's fun." -- Kubenko
  • "Honestly, a little bit of everything. The wind's not really a big factor for me, because we practice a lot in the wind and we're used to it. I was hitting good drives and hitting good putts. The big thing for me was playing the par 5s at 4-under. I hit it really far, so I try to take advantage of that and make birdies on them and really avoid the big numbers." -- Kubenko on what went well Monday
  • "The front nine was pretty textbook. I birdied the two par-5s and parred everything else. Turned to the back (Belle Haven's front nine) and really wanted to make birdie there but made par. I chipped in for birdie on 2 and made birdie on 3." -- Stanford
  • "It was about three inches from my head. I was just leaning down to pick up a ball and he just clocked me. But it was a good birdie after that, one of the coolest things I've ever done." -- Stanford on getting plunked by a stray Chris Zhang shot on 7.
  • "It did fell really good. The whole round felt steady, no big mistakes, just good ball striking all around." -- Stanford
  • "Started on 10, a short par-3, stuck it there and made it. I don't think I've ever made a two on the first hole of a tournament before, so that was pretty cool. Made a sloppy bogey the next hole, but then I started playing some solid golf." -- Burton
  • "Yesterday, it was super windy in the practice round. I talked to the head pro before I went off, and he said it usually doesn't get windy here. Then it was even windier today. So yeah, the wind played a big part, especially on the greens, it got the ball rolling out a lot." -- Burton 
  • "The course was playing pretty tough today, especially with all of the wind. There were some shots that I had from yesterday's practice round that were completely different today. Like on hole 3, with the tee box being moved way up, I hit it way through the fairway and into the trees. Then unfortunately I hit someone's parked cart on the punch out and ended up making bogey there." -- Goboy
  • "I feel like it fits me well because on the par-5s, there's some pretty good room for me to miss. On the par-4s, I feel like I can take advantage of some of them with my length." -- Goboy on how Belle Haven suits his game
  • "It was pretty much straight down today. I hit a nice drive, had 201 yards in, I hit a nice 8-iron downwind to about five feet at made the putt. So I kind of got off to a good start." -- Zhang on his eagle on 12.
  • "Just not a good shot. It was straight into the wind. I tried to chip a 6-iron and I fanned it right. I actually did well to make four from there." -- Zhang on his bogey on 9.
  • "It's interesting. I feel like a lot has a changed but in a way a lot is still the same. I'm just trying to play well and see how far I can go this week." -- Zhang on his 2019 Amateur final appearance.



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