At the age of 12, Daniel Kefale is already a golf veteran. He has played since he was 5 and competitively since he was 9, winning 10 tournaments. But this week was one of the biggest for young Kefale. At the 25th Bobby Bowers Memorial Junior Golf Tournament, one of the most prestigious junior golf tournaments in the Washington area, and one of the few with a match-play format, he advanced to the championship before falling, 2 and 1, to Travis Allen.
"I definitely like match play better than stroke play," said the seventh-grader at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Woodbridge. "Sometimes I play really well, and one hole messes up the whole round. In match play, it just costs me one hole. That gives me more of a chance to win."
Kefale, who has played regularly on the Middle Atlantic PGA junior tour and the Plantation Junior Golf Tour the past two summers, was competing in his first Bowers. Monday, he shot a qualifying score of 82 on the par-71, 6,235-yard blue tees at the Springfield Golf and Country Club course, qualifying him as the fifth seed.
Tuesday he defeated Douglas Hurson, 6 and 5. Wednesday he posted a 1-up victory over Frank Alafoginis, who had a hole-in-one during the round, and Thursday he beat qualifying medalist Dustin Groves, 3 and 2, in the semifinals before losing to Allen.
Against Allen, he squared the match with three consecutive hole wins. He chipped in for birdie on No. 12, parred No. 13 and bogeyed No. 14. But Allen took a 1-up lead on No. 15 when Kefale conceded a two-foot putt to Allen and then lipped out from three feet. They halved 16, but Kefale hit into the trees on his second shot on No. 17 and bogeyed.
Allen parred the hole for the 2-and-1 victory, but Kefale did not take much time to contemplate the loss. He began play in another tournament yesterday.
"My overall plan is to get good enough to one day earn a [PGA] Tour card," Kefale said. "But right now, I just want to take it step by step and improve what needs to be improved. I can only do that by playing all the time."
A Strong Manassas Showing
Sherry Bowman of Manassas advanced to the second round of match play at the Virginia State Golf Association Women's Amateur Championship at Glenrochie Country Club in Abingdon this week. Bowman lost, 3 and 2, to Richmond's Natalie Easterly Wednesday, a day after defeating Wendy Shifflett of Spotswood, 4 and 3. Monday, Bowman's 76 was the second-lowest score in the qualifying round. . . .
Patsy Mays of Manassas won the women's crown at the Loudoun Golf and Country Club's annual President's Cup tournament last weekend. Mays, who carries a 9 handicap, finished with a two-day total of 171 on the par-72 course.