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Rome’s Hogan Ingram (center) poses with his first-place award after winning the 2019 Georgia PGA Junior Championship along with third-place winner Ryan Smith (left) and runner up Andy Mao.

There was something missing from Hogan Ingram’s summer.

Despite competing well during his sophomore season for Rome High School and at the Georgia Amateur Championship qualifier on his home course of Coosa Country Club, he admits there was a weight on his shoulders.

That weight was lifted on Wednesday when Ingram shot 1-under 70 at The Legends at Chateau Elan in Braselton to capture the 2019 Georgia PGA Junior Championship.

“It was exciting. I haven’t won in a while so it was a good relief,” Ingram said of his two-stroke win. “It means a lot. There were a lot of good players out there and it does give my confidence a little boost to know I can compete with those guys that are committed to colleges and go up against anybody if I work at it.”

Ingram finished ahead of class of 2019 Georgia Tech signee Andy Mao from Johns Creek, who shot a 3-over 75 in Monday’s first round before shooting 71 in both the second and third rounds for a 1-over for the tournament.

Ingram shot a 70 in the first round that included six birdies and was playing 1-over on Day 2 before a double bogey on 18. He wrapped up with a 3-under on the back nine. Ingram finished with 13 birdies for the tournament, which led the field.

“It’s just all the work been doing every day finally paid off,” Ingram said. “My putting finally came around and got a little better. I knew I was going to have some bogeys out there so I needed to focus on getting some birdies and my putting finally came along to allow me to do that.”

While he got a good performance from his putter, Ingram said his tee shot was the most important part of his game.

“It’s just basically getting good position in the fairway, and that’s what I did mostly,” he said. “After my practice round I knew I had to get my tee shot straight or I wouldn’t have a chance.”

His win this week qualifies him to play in the 2019 Boys PGA Junior Championship against the top golfers at each PGA section’s junior tournament. The four-day event begins July 30 at Keney Park Golf Course in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ingram capped off his second year on the Rome Wolves’ golf team by being named the Class 5A Golfer of the Year by the Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association after placing fourth at the Class 5A state tournament.

He finished tied for 13th at the Rome Junior Classic at Coosa Country Club against some of the top junior golfers in the country at the start of May and qualified for the Georgia Amateur Championship with a 2-under 70 on May 28.

He’ll play in the Georgia-Am at Ansley Golf Club-Settindown Creek in Roswell from July 11-14. It will be his first time competing in the annual tournament presented by the Georgia State Golf Association and he said he’s looking forward to seeing how he does against some of the more experienced golfers in the state.

But mostly he is glad to see his game return and put him in contention for more wins.

“I’m close to getting to the next level but I’m also just getting back to where I was,” Ingram said. “I’m shooting under par more. We’re getting there.”