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Austin Eckroat digs deep, keeps chances of a Sage Valley repeat alive


GRANITEVILLE, S.C. – In golf, sometimes players don’t always have their best stuff. For Austin Eckroat’s mom, Natalie, she likes to call those days “Sportsmanship Days” because they give Austin opportunities to show his character in the face of adversity. On Thursday at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, where Eckroat is the defending champion, he was on the verge of having one of those days. He birdied his opening hole but then hit his tee ball into the water at the par-4 third and made double bogey. After bogeys at Nos. 5 and 9, and facing a bogey putt at the par-5 10th, Eckroat needed to dig in. “I was playing ping-pong back and forth over the green, chipped to like 15 feet, and I was



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