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Cooper, Messick help make up young quarterfinal at VSGA Am
Connor Messick (VSGA photo)
Connor Messick (VSGA photo)

Ben Cooper stood by his golf cart at Keswick Golf Club Wednesday afternoon exhausted after winning a marathon match to advance to the quarterfinals of the 106th Virginia State Golf Association Amateur Championship. At that moment, he realized why he appreciated the match-play format so much.

“I grew up playing soccer and golf, and the one thing I miss now that my soccer career is over is that at of the end of the game, you’re all fatigued, and you need to find that adrenaline to keep going,” he said. “I love that. You don’t get that as much in golf, but today was probably as close as that as you’ll get. You’re mentally and physically tired, the adrenaline is going, the heart is pumping a little bit. It’s just a lot of fun.”

Cooper was one of eight players to win twice during a sizzling day at Keswick’s Full Cry course, setting up a decidedly young quarterfinal round where four juniors and three college players remain. The oldest player remaining in the field is stroke-play medalist Connor Messick, who is 23 and recently completed his college eligibility.

Messick got through two tough matches on Wednesday, but lived to play in the quarters.

In addition to Cooper and Messick, the remaining quarterfinalists include Michael Brennan, Connor Burgess, Peter Gasperini, Jimmy Taylor, Cameron Moore and Christopher Zhang.

ABOUT THE Virginia Amateur

36 holes of stroke play qualifying (18 holes per day); the low 32 players advance to match play. Non- exempt players must pre-qualify. Open to VSGA members of all ages. Participants must hold an active GHIN number issued by a licensed VSGA Member Club in good standing.

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