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Central York High School teammates Joe Parrini and Carson Bacha finished in a dead heat when the 42nd annual Junior PGA Championship came to a close on Thursday, Aug. 3.

The Panthers shot matching 1-over-par 73s in the in the final round to finish with four-round totals of 3-under 285. That left them tied for 23rd in the tournament, which started with a field off 144 players.

The 2017 event was played at The Country Club at St. Albans, Lewis and Clark Course, in Missouri.

The Junior PGA is regarded as one of the top junior tournaments in the world. The low scores fired at this year's tournament certainly point to the quality of the field. The course was certainly no pushover, featuring a course rating of 74.8 and a slope rating of 137.

The 2017 winner was Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, North Carolina, who finished at 22-under 266 after a 67 in the final round. Bhatia, who had a course and championship record 61 in the second round, won the Jack Nicklaus Trophy. 

Bhatia earned a three-shot win over Reid Davenport of Austin, Texas, and was five shots clear of third-place finisher Trent Phillips of Inman, South Carolina.

In the final round, Parrini, a University of Arizona recruit, finished with 32 putts, hit 10 of 14 fairways, 12 of 18 greens in regulation and was 2 of 6 in up-and-down opportunities. Bacha, just 15, had 31 putts, hit 10 of 14 fairways, 11 of 18 greens in regulation and was 4 of 7 in up-and-down opportunities.

The putting numbers for both Parrini and Bacha went up markedly from the third round, when Parrini had just 25 putts, en route to a 67, and Bacha had 28 putts.

Past participants in the Junior PGA include Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Stewart Cink and Phil Mickelson. Some of the past winners include Billy Andrade, Billy Mayfair, David Toms, Pat Perez, Trevor Immelman and Sean O'Hair.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

 

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