John Wilkinson had a busy winter. Golf season never stops for one of the area’s top teaching pros.
Wilkinson moved his Down Under Par Golf Academy from a building on Leffel Lane to the Yost Superior Building down the street from the library in downtown Springfield. Now Wilkinson is preparing for the second annual Ohio Junior Golf Classic at Windy Knoll from June 10-13.
Wilkinson wants to make the event one of the top junior tournaments in Ohio. About 50 young golfers turned out last year, and he hopes to get 100 this year.
It’s a unique tournament because it lasts four days and includes four rounds, just like the pros play.
“The opportunities to play four rounds consecutively are few and far between,” Wilkinson said. “Everyone who played in it last year had a great time.”
The event honors Adam Riley, a 14-year-old Wilkinson knew in his native Australia. Riley died of cancer in 1993 not long after Wilkinson taught him golf, so the winner of the 14-15-year-old age group wins the Adam Riley Memorial Trophy. Wilkinson hopes to have enough golfers turn out for the tournament to raise money for leukemia research.
Last year, the trophy went to Northwestern High School’s Kyle Glaser, who unbeknown to Wilkinson wrote a letter to Riley’s mother, Carol Cashman, of Queensland, Australia, telling her about the tournament.
“Kyle was very gracious,” Wilkinson said.
The registration deadline is June 7. It costs $125. Information on how to register will soon be available at DownUnderParGolf.com or on the Windy Knoll website. The tournament is open to boys and girls 10-17.