SARATOGA SPRINGS — Clarkie Carroll, a local athlete and 2021 Saratoga Springs graduate, is headed to the Jr. PGA Championships on July 12.
Carroll started playing golf in his pre-teen years after he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Unable to play lacrosse or other contact sports because of the chemotherapy and hip surgery he underwent, Carroll took up golf instead.
“I golf pretty much every day now,” said Carroll. “It has become a part of my daily routine.”
Practice pays off. Not only has Carroll played on the varsity golf team at Saratoga Springs when they won three consecutive Sectional Titles, but he made the state team in 2019 and was a Section II All-Star this past year.
July 5 and 6, Carroll competed against 30 other young golfers in the NENY (Northeastern New York) Jr. PGA Championships at the Town of Colonie Golf Course. He went 74-64-138 to win the championship by 9 strokes.
“It felt good to finally have stuff click,” Carroll said about this experience playing in the tournament.
And it must have been an experience trying to balance end-of-the-year high school events and golfing, as Carroll’s high school prom was right after his first round of the NENY Jr. PGA Tournament.
“I hustled back [after prom],” he said. “Thankfully I had a late tee time, so it all worked out.”
Carroll is currently ranked as the top Northeastern New York player of the year (Boys 16-18) on the NENY PGA Jr. website. He advances to the Jr. PGA Championships, July 12 – 15, at Kearney Hills Golf Links in Lexington, Kentucky.
“There will be a lot of really good competition there,” said Carroll. “I’m excited to go.”