3 St. George area boys compete at U.S. Kids Golf World Championships

Inset photo L-R: St. George area golfers Dylan Winona, Trey Amico and Boston Bracken pose together at the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, Pinehurst, N.C., August 2018. Main photo: Trey Amico practices his driving. | Photos courtesy of Micci Bracken and Patrick Amico, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Three young golfers from the St. George area competed in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships staged at Pinehurst, North Carolina, Aug. 2-5.

The prestigious tournament attracted 1,500 of the top young golfers from around the world, with more than 50 countries represented. The three boys competing from the St. George area were Trey Amico, 7, Boston Bracken, 12, and Dylan Winona, 11.

Trey Amico lines up a shot at the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, Pinehurst, N.C., August 2018 | Photo courtesy of Patrick Amico, St. George News

Competing against 113 other golfers in his age category, Trey shot a 42-40-38 for a total of 120, tying him for seventh place overall.

Trey’s father, Patrick Amico, said Trey jumped several spots on the leaderboard the second day, moving up from No. 32 to No. 19, which motivated him to try to break into the top 10 on Saturday’s final round. Trey had competed in the same tournament last year, placing 59th overall among 6-year-olds.

“I told him, I said, ‘hey, you know, your goal was to come out here and, and try to win this tournament and try to get the top 10 in the world,’” Patrick Amico told St. George News. “’You can’t be going back to your warm-up now. You’ve got to take your time and be in the moment on every shot.’ And he really locked in from there and had some good opportunities.”

Trey was consistent in his drives and approach shots, hitting the green in the regulation number of strokes on 19 of his last 20 holes, his father said.

In the 12-year-old category, the oldest age group at the tournament, Boston Bracken was also making a repeat appearance at the national tournament. He tied for 83rd place as an 11-year-old last year.

This time around, Boston shot a 74-73-37 for a total of 184, tying him for 11th place overall in his age group. Saturday’s third round was cut to nine holes due to rain.

As one of the top 10 U.S. golfers (he placed seventh), Boston also got to play in Sunday’s Van Horn Cup, a one-day best-ball tournament featuring the top players from the United States versus the top international players. The U.S. won the event 4.5 to 3.5, with Boston and his partner, Mason Crowder of Alabama, contributing to the victory by winning their match 66-70.

Boston Bracken, 12, holds trophies after his Van Horn Cup victory during the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, Pinehurst, N.C., Aug. 5, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Micci Bracken, St. George News

“Honestly it was probably one of the coolest experience we have ever had. I mean it was just amazing,” said Boston’s mother Micci Bracken. “You seriously felt you were plugged into a U.S. Open tournament. It was top-notch and very well put together, and for 12-year-olds to be able to be in, it was pretty big time. He was pretty excited about it, and then on top of that, he played well.”

Dylan Winona, playing in the tournament for the first time, tied for 90th among 11-year-old boys, shooting a three-round score of 85-77-80 for a total of 242.

“We had so much fun, and found out we stayed in the same old historic mansion that Tiger Woods rented out for the 2005 U.S. Open,” said Dylan Winona’s father, Tyler Winona.

“We had a great time and are going to work to get back there next year,” he said.

Patrick Amico added high praise for the groundskeepers for working so hard to keep the courses in playable condition despite the rains that fell intermittently throughout the tournament, and for the tournament officials for striving to make sure every participant had a positive and memorable experience.

“To host all those kids, and make every kid, whether they’re first or last, feel so important … they do a great job,” Amico said.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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