WEIGELSTOWN -- As the ball rolled across the green toward its final destination on Wednesday afternoon, the caddie clapped one time.
Avery Jones was certain that Alex Hofstrand's birdie putt on the 13th hole at Grandview Golf Course was going to end up in the hole.
Jones was right.
Hofstrand had the perfect line on the five-footer, which proved to be a turning point in the York County Junior Golf Association George Barton Boys' Match Play Championship final.
"That was a big putt because the match was even at that point," Hofstrand said after his 2 & 1 victory over Isaiah Logue.
Morgan Wirtz edged Rebecca Ream, 1-up, to capture the girls' title.
"He (Jones) is an awesome caddie," Hofstrand continued. "He read every putt. We had the line all day. It was just a case of getting the speed down."
Jones is also an outstanding player. The York Suburban High School graduate, who won the Match Play tournament in 2008, recently concluded a terrific freshman golf season at Albright College in Reading.
On Wednesday, though, Jones carried the bag for his friend.
After Hofstrand's putt on 13 gave him the lead, he maintained it by sinking a four-foot putt on No. 14 to save par and halve the hole. Logue experienced bad luck on the hole when his birdie putt lipped out.
"He (Logue) hit a great putt," Hofstrand said.
Hofstrand then increased his advantage to 2-up by parring the 338-yard, par 4, 15th hole. Logue had to settle for a bogey after his tee shot landed next to a tree.
The two halved holes 16 and 17 to close out the match.
Tough semifinals: Hofstrand, who graduated from Kennard-Dale this year, and Logue, who will be a junior at Fairfield in the fall, overcame tough semifinal tests in the morning to qualify for the final.
Both players scored 1-up victories, Hofstrand over Axel Hartman and Logue over Nick Geiman.
"Any one of the 16 guys in the tournament has the talent to win it," Hofstrand said. "It means a lot to me to win it. I've won basically most of the junior tournaments around here, and it means a lot to get my name on this one."
Girls' final: Wirtz, meanwhile, described winning the girls' tournament as "shocking and just amazing."
"I used this (the junior golf tour) as a learning experience for school. (Wirtz will be junior this coming year at North Harford High School in Maryland).
"Now that I did it (won the title), I have a new confidence in myself. I play in another junior golf tour, and that one I feel is just for beginners. This one really boosts your confidence playing the caliber of players who are on this tour."
Wirtz turned in her best golf of the season the past two days.
"I had 83 and 84 (in two matches) yesterday, and that was by far the lowest I've ever shot in tournaments," she said. "This match today (against Ream), we were very close)."
Wirtz rolled in a birdie putt on No. 17, a 412-yard, par 5) for the winning margin in her match against Ream.
"There are so many good golfers here (Julianne Lee, Jess Weaver, Erin Gladfelter, Ream), and I just want to thank them for giving me the kind of competition that enabled me to raise the level of my game," Wirtz said.
Hofstrand, whose dad taught him to play golf, made a huge improvement in his game the past three years.
"Basically, I went from a six or seven handicap to a plus one," he said.
Hofstrand, who shot a sizzling 66 at Hickory Heights last week, will aim to improve his game even more when he enrolls in the Professional Golfers Career College in Orlando, Fla., this fall.
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin email@example.com.