Easton Haworth had enough gas left in the tank to make a birdie on his 100th hole of the day.
Alex Falligant said he could have kept on going despite playing 73 more holes in a single day than he had ever played before.
The two Janesville teens were part of a nine-player contingent of junior golfers that put in a marathon of a day at the Janesville Country Club on Monday—for a good cause.
They all vowed to play 100 holes in a single day in an effort to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison.
The group had raised about $4,000 of its $5,000 goal by day’s end.
“I really like golf, and with what charity does and how it helps people is good,” Haworth said. “Just to raise money for that was nice.”
The idea for the junior event came from the committee of the Rock Valley Golf Classic, an outing that rotates between Janesville and Beloit.
The tournament has been raising money for RMHC for nearly a quarter-century, and it was looking for a new way to show support and get young golfers involved.
“I think last year we were close to $50,000,” said Chuck Elliott, who serves on the tournament’s board and has played in it every year. “When we started 24 years ago, the first year I think we raised about $4,000. So it has grown every year. ... It almost perpetuates because of the generosity of the local people and knowledge of what they have of what Ronald McDonald House is and does.
“This year (because of the pandemic), we talked about some what-ifs. What can we do differently to also still raise money?”
Elliott remembered that the Country Club’s assistant pro, Bekah Donner, golfed 216 holes for charity last year. The committee linked Donner and Nikki Wilson of RMHC, and soon after the idea for Monday’s Junior Golf Challenge.
Due to the way the summer schedule fell, many area golfers were out of town at other tournaments Monday. But those that were available teamed with Donner to raise funds and play golf—a lot of it.
The goal moving forward is to make the junior challenge an annual event along with the Rock Valley Golf Classic, which is still scheduled to be held next month.
“The cities of Janesville and Beloit are in it for charity, and our kids get it,” Elliott said. “This is all about the kids understanding why they are out here today and why they are doing this.”
“It was fun, great to be out here for the cause with the juniors,” Donner said. “They’re the youngest ones out here, so it was really cool to have them join us for it and show that they can do it.”
There were certainly some highlights on the course, as well.
While most of the golfers played in a two-person scramble format, Haworth and Falligant played along with Donner and Spencer Orley, who works at the Country Club and was part of Janesville Parker’s 2018 boys golf team that made the state tournament. The group played its 100 holes in 59 under par.
Haworth birdied the par-3 10th hole by himself on the 100th hole of the day, hitting his tee shot to about 18 feet before making the putt. He also had a chip-in for eagle earlier in the day.
Falligant did not pick out a specific hole or shot but relished the opportunity to play with and learn from Donner and Orley.
“I fixed my swing,” Falligant said. “I just needed to keep my arm tucked in during my follow-through.”
“These guys pushed themselves,” Donner said. “They showed that it was important for them to finish and to donate to the cause. So that was really cool.”