October 1, 2017 12:35:53 AM
Hunter Logan and Cohen Trolio take their golf seriously.
As two of the most accomplished junior players in the state of Mississippi, Logan and Trolio have walked the best courses and competed against the toughest competitors.
That's why it didn't faze Logan or Trolio that they were the only juniors competing Thursday in the United States Golf Association (USGA) Men's Four-Ball Qualifier at Laurel Country Club.
"We didn't sign up to play. We wanted to sign up to advance," said Logan, a junior at Caledonia High School. "Being able to qualify wasn't that much of a surprise. We knew we had the game but we had to play to our abilities to advance."
Logan and Trolio realized their goal by shooting a 7-under-par 64 to finish second and earn one of the two qualifying spots in the U.S. Amateur Four Ball Championship on May 19-23, 2018, at Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Florida.
Brandon Laird and Josh Lampley won the event with an 8-under-par 63. The top two teams will play in the U.S. Amateur Four Ball Championship, which will feature 128 two-player teams that will each play their own ball throughout the round. Each team's score will be determined by using the lower score of the partners for each hole. After 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying, the field will be reduced to the low 32 teams for the match-play bracket, from which the eventual champion will be determined.
Trolio, who is a freshman at Oak Hill Academy in West Point, thanked Tommy Lott, of Columbus, for taking him and Logan to Laurel so they could play a practice round on the course about five days before the championship. He said Lott also provided guidance on how to play the course, which he said aided both players.
Logan and Trolio put the suggestions to work by birdying No. 10 (first hole), 12, 13, 16, and 17 on the front nine. A bogey on No. 18 stalled the momentum, but the duo picked right back up with a birdie on No. 1. A birdie on No. 4, an eagle on No. 5, and another birdie on No. 6 helped overcome bogeys on Nos. 3 and 8.
Logan said he has played against Trolio in numerous events, so he could tell their games would complement each other. He said they worked out a plan of attack that had him take the first shots on the par 4 and par 5 holes, while Trolio shot first on the par 3 holes.
"It didn't feel any different for either one of us," Logan said. "We enjoyed going out and playing golf and really just able to miss school a little, too."
Logan said he and Trolio received friendly ribbing from some of the adults competing once everyone found out they had shot a 64. He said someone told him it wasn't fair he and Trolio were able to compete because they didn't even have their drivers' licenses. Logan also said another player joked he was going to call their principals to tell them they were missing school to play a round of golf.
But that just speaks to how seriously and how talented Logan and Trolio are at the sport.
Trolio said he and Logan used that competitive spirit to motivate them during the round. After playing against each other so often, he said they agreed to try to beat other while playing at the four-ball event. He said that decision proved to be the best motivation.
"We love competing," Trolio said. "We always score low when we play against each other."
Trolio said he joked with Logan when they signed up that they should go out and "win this thing by 25 shots." While that didn't happen, Trolio said he felt they played well together and helped each other out.
"I played well. I had a good front nine and he helped me out," Trolio said. "We both played good. We played good together."
Logan agreed and credited Trolio for playing well at the beginning and helping the team card several birdies that got it going.
"Cohen and I both got off to a really solid start," Logan said. "He had five birdies on the front by himself. He did a lot of the work throughout the round. He played really good, and I was able to contribute here and there when he needed me."
Logan and Trolio said they both have a few more tournaments to play this year before they start their high school seasons in 2018. They said they will continue to play together to stay sharp so they will be able to do more than just show up and say they qualified.
"It feels good," Trolio said. "We're not done yet. We still have another tournament to win. We're excited, but we still have to keep it out in front of us."
Follow Dispatch sports editor Adam Minichino on Twitter @ctsportseditor
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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