ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany's Colin Bowles won't be able to defend his Georgia State Amateur Golf Championship later this summer.
But only because he'll be chasing another title.
The 17 year old withdrew from the state amateur tournament this afternoon so he can play in the U.S. Junior Championship during the same week.
"It was the toughest phone call I've ever made," Bowles told WALB Sports Wednesday. "But [the Georgia State Golf Association] understood. They were happy that I made it, and happy I'm going to get to play. They're supporting me all the way."
The Terrell Academy star made Georgia history last summer, becoming the youngest state amateur champion since Bobby Jones.
Bowles qualified for the U.S. Junior in June, tying for first in the qualifying event in Athens. He says the way he's been playing this summer makes him even more excited for the tournament.
"I feel pretty good about my game right now. I've had a busy summer, so I'm definitely getting a lot of practice in," Bowles says. "I think that'll help me."
Bowles hopes to join elite company with a U.S. Junior Championship win. Tiger Woods won the title three years in a row from 1991-1993. Jordan Spieth is a two-time U.S. Junior champ, with wins coming in 2009 and 2011.
While Bowles knows it will be very tough to come out on top at the tournament, he expects it to be a great experience.
"I played it back in 2014, and the competition is just so strong," he says. "But just the whole experience. They treat you like royalty."
Bowles completed another tournament Wednesday, finishing T-4 at the 39th North-South Junior Championship played at Pinehurst. The Terrell Academy standout finished at even par for the tourney, seven shots back of winner Lino Galdin.
But the Ohio State commit can take some extra pride leaving North Carolina knowing how well he played at Pinehurst's famed No. 2 course. The Albany teen shot a four-under 68 Tuesday. He was the only player in the field to score in the 60s at the site of the 2014 U.S. Open.
The 2017 U.S. Junior Championship begins July 17 at Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, KS.
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