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Hanes takes third at Junior Championship qualifier

David Hanes is becoming a star. The soon-to-be St. Francis junior is lighting up golf courses and having fun in the process.

Hanes fired a 74 to finish in a tie for third place in the American Junior Golf Association New Era Junior Championship qualifier July 13 at Niagara Frontier Country Club.

“I played pretty well,” Hanes said of his qualifying round. “The driver was pretty good all day, just had a few bad shots, but the irons weren’t really dialed in. That kind of hurt me around the greens so I didn’t really have too many birdie opportunities, but the ones that I had, I took advantage of.”

Hanes qualified for the three-round championship set for July 15-17 at River Oaks Country Club. The AJGA is a “nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf,” according to the association’s website.

Hanes is familiar with River Oaks and praised the course’s layout. He knows that his irons will have to be better than they were at Niagara Frontier. Those are the key if he wants to have success in the Championship.

“I’ve played the course two times before. It’s a pretty good layout,” Hanes said. “Its challenging but very fair. I think its going to be a good course. Its going to be a good challenge.”

Hanes most recently finished seventh in the Erie County Amateur Championship held at Grover Cleveland golf course after firing rounds of 70 and 71 on July 5 and 6.

Hanes is just over a year removed from major hip surgery, which was needed to repair three tears in his left hip labrum. The injury occurred as a result of consistent wear and tear from golf and soccer. He had the surgery done in April of 2013 and missed three full months and wasn’t back to swinging a club until late July.

Hanes has been able to recover nicely since the surgery and had a successful sophomore season, which concluded with a co-medalist finish at the All-Catholic Championship held at Orchard Park Country Club.

“I’ve been doing pretty good (since the surgery),” Hanes said. “It hasn’t been hurting much, at all really. I think the surgery has definitely been a success.”

This year, Hanes participated in his second International Junior Masters and qualified for the Championship Flight. After shooting rounds of 78 and 75 in the opening two rounds, Hanes eventually fell in the first round of match play 2&1 against the No. 1 seed, Andres Gonzalez.

Hanes has been able to lean on the support of his two brothers, but specifically on his older brother, Billy, who was an All-Catholic champion himself while at St. Francis in 2002. The two brothers, who often play in the same tournaments together, rely on each other for advice, swing thoughts, and everything else that comes with playing successful competitive golf.

“(Billy) always helps me with my swing,” Hanes said. “Whenever we play with each other, we give each other tips. We look at each other’s alignment, we look at each other’s swing, and we give each other tips.”

Having a brother like that is not something that David takes for granted. He uses his brother as his eyes and ears on the golf course. It’s a luxury to both brothers, and it isn’t something that comes around often to others.

“It’s a huge advantage because your coach cant be there 24/7 with you but my brother is,” Hanes said.

After some more summer tournaments that will consist of a few more AJGA and International Junior Golf Tour events, Hanes will shift his focus to high school golf. He is excited about the future of St. Francis golf and is looking forward to finally being an upper classman.

“I think it should be a good season for St. Francis,” Hanes said. “I think we have some quality players and I think it should be fun. I think we should do pretty well.”


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