Junior golfer qualifies for 2019 World Championship at Pinehurst

Justin Stickel, a resident of Churchville and a third-grader at Maureen M. Welch Elementary School, finished in first place for eight-year-old boys during the fall season at the Philadelphia local tour for U.S. Kids Golf, which qualifies him to play in the 2019 World Championship next summer at Pinehurst in North Carolina.

Justin has been playing golf since he was five-years-old.

His interest started when he and his sister, Serena, would go to the driving range at Spring Mill Country Club with their dad to hit a bucket of balls.

Recognizing that Justin had talent combined with the patience needed to learn golf at a young age, his parents signed him up for a few lessons to develop good habits and techniques from the start.

Justin has been taking lessons with PGA professional Matt Davis of MD Golf Academy during the past couple of years, where he has developed and honed his swing and skills.

Justin’s enthusiasm for the game increased after watching a documentary called “The Short Game” on Netflix, which told the story of several children that played in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship.

He decided to set his sights on playing at that level and someday make it to Worlds.

Justin began to regularly compete in tournaments against other boys his age a little over a year ago and found that the talent on the course was excellent, as he competed against several players who had already attended the World Championship in prior years. 

His golf game really started to hit its stride this past summer, when Justin and his sister played in the PGA Jr. League, which is distinct from the U.S. Kids Golf tournaments in that it introduces children to competitive golf using a team-oriented approach.

Justin was a part of the Spring Mill Country Club team coached by Matt Davis, and their team went undefeated for the regular season playing against other Bucks County golf teams.

Following their season win, Justin was selected as the youngest member of the Bucks County PGA Jr. All-Star Team.

Justin’s dream became one big step closer this fall when he finished as the Tour Champion for the Philadelphia local tour.

To win this title, Justin had five first place wins, one second place and one third place finish.

Over 50 countries are represented in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship event each year in Pinehurst and Justin is happy that he will be among them.

It has been a wonderful journey that is ongoing for this local resident and aspiring young golfer.

PHOTO CAP: Justin Stickel