16-year-old is the youngest ever OGC champ

August 9, 2015
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Club Champion Keaton Inglis receives his trophy and the traveling James V. Harrison Memorial Trophy from PGA Golf Professional and dad, Marc Inglis

Story Contributed By Fred Inglis. Inglis is a 22-year sports reporter/anchor for KTVU – TV in Oakland, Calif. and a two-time Emmy winner.

Photos Contributed by Marc Inglis, PGA Professional/GM of Oceana Golf Club.

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Keaton hits his approach shot to par-five #13 hole.

SHELBY — The Oceana Golf Club Championship proved to be a Battle of the Ages Saturday, Aug. 8. Doug Raeth, 66, lost to 16-year-old Keaton Inglis.

Keaton is the youngest golfer ever to win the OGC championship. “It was cool,” said Inglis. “I mean winning so young shows I can play with anyone here.”

Keaton won the first hole in this match play final, and he led 3-up after nine holes. Then it looked like Raeth was ready to rally when he birdied the 13th hole to win his first and only hole.

“I just stayed focused and birdied 15,” said the earnest Inglis. “Doug is a great player and he can birdie every hole here. He just had a bad day, and I got up and down from everywhere.”

Inglis won the match 4 and 2. Raeth was the defending champion but he knew retaining the title was a tall order. “Fifty years is a lot to give away,” Doug sighed. “He played well, and I couldn’t make a putt. But that doesn’t mean I won’t try again next year.”

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Handicap Division Winner Don McCallum.

Keaton’s path to victory was filled with some big roadblocks. After a first round bye, he beat OGC’s only six-time Club Champion Tom Kirk 2-up. Then he needed 19 holes to eliminate 2012 and 2013 champ Corey Parmalee.

“It’s not like he had a cakewalk,” said Keaton’s father Marc. “He’s played a few tournaments this summer and he’s learned that even when you do your best it’s not always good enough.”

Marc is the golf pro at OGC and he’s handed the cup to champions for more than 20 years, but Saturday’s ceremony was his most emotional one.

Marc’s voiced cracked as he said, “He makes me proud because he works hard. I see the drive in him to get better and better. Last night he putted for two hours in the rain. His first goal was to win this tournament and his next goal is to shoot in the 60s.”

Senior Champion Carl Wenk.

Senior Champion Carl Wenk.

Keaton wasn’t the only winner Saturday. Don McCallum outlasted veteran Tom Kirk 1-up to win the Handicap Division.

McCallum seemed surprised by his accomplishment. “I didn’t really think I’d do that well against Tom, but the front nine was good for me and bad for him. It makes an old man feel good,” chuckled McCallum.

Carl Wenk won the Senior Division with a 2-1 win over Bob Beckman. “The golf gods helped a lot,” laughed Wenk. “Eleven was definitely the turning point. I made a 25-foot par putt to halve the hole and maintain my two-hole lead.”

This is the third time Keaton competed in the OGC Club Championship, but he lost in the first round in each of the previous two years. But he’s cut his handicap from 8 to 2.5 in less than a year.

“Since we don’t have a driving range, I’ve  worked mostly on my short game,” says the quiet assassin.

Keaton was the top golfer for Shelby High School the past two seasons and was West Michigan Conference (WMC) All-Conference both his freshman and sophomore years. Some of his peers just assume that because Keaton’s father is a golf professional it meant he’d be a good player, too. But the ‘like father, like son’ notion doesn’t always work out well.

“That pressure may come from other people, but not from me or his mother,” says Marc. “I give him advice when he comes to me, but we never push him.”

“I don’t expect him to be the next Tiger Woods or Jordan Spieth, but if he wants to play college golf or go beyond that, it’s his choice. He’s got to do the work.”

Does that mean the son can now beat his father? “Yes, always,” smiles Keaton.

“Haha! Ask him who won yesterday,” Marc replied. “He beat me in the front nine and I beat him in the back, and I told him, ‘You’re not the best in the family yet.’”

But there is currently only one golfer in that household whose name is forever engraved on the OGC Pewter Cup: Keaton Inglis.

 

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