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BLOOMINGTON - Logan Stauffer of Danvers figured he probably was leading the Country Youth Classic's boys 14-15 age division as he lined up his 15-foot birdie putt on No. 18.

He made sure no one was going to catch him.

Stauffer aggressively rammed in the uphill putt to finish off an even-par 72 at Prairie Vista Golf Course. That gave him a two-day 145 total and a four-stroke victory over first-day leader George Tate of Springfield (78), while Will Chambers of England finished third at 76-150.

"I hadn't made a putt all day, and then it came on the last hole. I was hitting it firm," Stauffer said. "I was short all day on them, and I just wanted to get it there this time."

Stauffer, who will be a freshman at University High School, birdied his first hole for the second straight day. But then came a triple bogey 7 on No. 2 and a little inner pep talk.

"I was pretty angry, but I told myself just to make pars and get back," Stauffer said. "Instead of making bogey and getting off track, just start making pars, and it will come eventually."

Stauffer strung together five straight pars before hitting it close on the par-3 eighth and sinking a 4-foot birdie putt. Nine pars in a row followed before Stauffer made his final putt and gave it a fist pump that would have made Tiger Woods proud.

"I think this will build up my confidence a lot," Stauffer said. "I proved to myself I can play with everybody and I can do well. I'll have a lot of confidence this summer."

Stauffer was playing in the group behind Tate and caught him at the turn, taking a one-stroke lead.

Still, Stauffer wasn't quite sure what was happening in front of him on the back nine with Tate and Chambers.

"I knew I was going to be somewhere around (the lead)," Stauffer said. "I heard from other people what the scores were, but I didn't know exactly who did well and who didn't. I just tried to play my game and see when I came in."

Tate figured Stauffer had overtaken him after shooting 39 on the front.

"I kept looking back at him and saw him making putts and in the fairway, and I had to worry about Will a little bit," said Tate, a Springfield High School sophomore.

Tate figured he lost his lead on the greens.

"The putts weren't dropping," he said. "The (observer) said every time I putted the ball bounced. My putter is a little bent. Yesterday I putted fine with it, but today it bounced out of control. Other than that, it was not a bad day."

Chambers and his parents will fly back to England today after spending the last two weeks in Chicago, Quincy and Bloomington-Normal. Chambers hoped to take back the first-place trophy, but was happy to settle for third.

"It was OK. I played solid, but I just didn't make any birdies," he said. "It could have been a lot better. Things didn't go my way. It really wasn't my day. It's still a good score. It wasn't too easy out there. The course was in good condition, but the greens were a bit slower than yesterday, so it was hard to get used to."

This is the third year Chambers, 14, has played in the Country Youth Classic. He has competed in the Pepsi Little Peoples Championship at Quincy, which is held the week before the CYC, for seven years.

"After I play in America I always play better when I get home," said Chambers, whose hometown of Harpenden is 30 miles north of London. "It is different. It is target golf here. When you play in England, the courses are more rock solid."

Peter McKinzie of Bloomington took fourth, shooting 72 to tie Stauffer for the day's best round and finishing with a 153 total.

James Fenner of East Peoria won the first flight, shooting 76-158. Jordan Nelson of Lincoln was second (74-160), while Seth Trolia of Mahomet placed third (76-160).

Jake Colmone of El Paso shot 83-174 to capture the second flight by three strokes over Ryan Hendrickson (86) and Sean Otten (88), both of Springfield.


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