South Carolina's junior golf champs share links to Daniel Island
MARIE ROCHA-TYGH Two young golfers, each with links to Daniel Island, were named the 2018 South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s Players of the Year.
The South Carolina Junior Golf Association awarded Jonathan Griz the Jay Haas Player of the Year and, as previously reported in The Daniel Island News, Abigail Schimpf received the Beth Daniel Player of the Year. Rankings are based on overall finishes in tournaments across South Carolina and nationwide. Points are compiled from over 200 events conducted over the past 12 months.
Both golfers possess dedication and talent beyond their years. Griz, a high school freshman in Hilton Head, is the grandson of Daniel Island residents Bernie and Diana Bell. He is the youngest male to ever win the Junior SC Player of the Year award. After winning, Griz said, “It is an honor to receive the South Carolina Player of the Year award. I am going to keep working hard and look forward to 2019.”
Griz’s 2018 season included 16 top 10 finishes and four national and regional tournament victories. He is no stranger to Daniel Island and has played island courses on numerous occasions, including the Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship in August 2018.
“The courses on Daniel Island are amazing,” Griz said. “I have enjoyed playing these several times, including in two tournaments. I played in the Big I in August, and Daniel Island did a great job hosting this national tournament.”
Griz’s grandfather beams with pride when talking about the young golf prodigy.
“Jonathan is very focused and self-driven,” noted Bell. “He works hard every day. I am extremely proud of his accomplishments in golf, but, more importantly, I am proud of his character, integrity and faith.”
South Carolina Junior Golf Association’s Beth Daniel Player of the Year Abigail Schimpf is the oldest of seven children. She finds living on Daniel Island beneficial to her game.
“I am able to play golf year round and the course is in my backyard,” said Schimpf.
Schimpf and her younger sister Emma started attending junior golf clinics on Daniel Island as 8 and 9 year-olds and were hooked. Schimpf’s golf inspiration comes from her dad, Daniel Island physician Dennis Schimpf.
“He introduced me to the game and helps me a lot,” she added.
Schimpf’s mom, Lori, has some suggestions for parents of young athletes.
“Always support and encourage them to do their best and have fun. Also, everyone has ups and downs and we learn from both of them. We don’t push our children into doing something they don’t truly love. Athletes have to give up a lot to be successful, so parental support is important.”
Schimpf has some simple advice to other teens juggling school and other activities with sports.
“Prioritize and have self-discipline,” she said. Schimpf is currently a junior in high school and plans to play golf at the University of South Carolina after graduation.
Both young athletes already have many achievements and are on course to distinguished themselves even more in the golf world.