The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled north to Laytonsville, Maryland to host the Maryland Fall Challenge at the Laytonsville Golf Club. Nobody knew if the stournament was going to be operational with Hurricane Joaquin coming up the east coast. The HJGT crew and participants prepared for the worst. Luckily, the hurricane held off just enough for the tournament to be played. Showers came and went on Saturday, and held off on the final round Sunday. The only other factor was wind. The drainage of the course also made it possible for the tournament to take place. The course featured a wide-open course with slow playing conditions. The fairways and greens were well kept and kept this tournament playable. The boys and girls stuck out the wet playing conditions and still shot amazing scores. The tournament had Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings at stake, and winners in each division received an exemption into the 2015 Tour Championship December 5-6 with top 10 finishers receiving points towards year end honors including ALL HJGT teams, and the Hurricane Cup.
The winner of the boys 15-18 division was Christian DeGroot, from Potomac, Maryland. DeGroot shot the lowest round over the weekend with just one over par on Sunday. He knew he was tied for the lead with three other players after Saturday and knew he had to step up his game to secure the victory. DeGroot kept his game plan simple in doing his best to par every hole. He led the group in par 3 and par 4 scoring with averaging just slightly over par in both categories. The second place finisher was Thomas Repczynki, from Fairfax Station, Virginia. He finished only two strokes off the lead. He tied for first for the most pars over the weekend with 26. Repczynski’s strength over the weekend was his performances on the front nine. He shot just one over on Saturday and one under on Sunday. Sean McGarrity, from Bethesda, Maryland finished third with a overall total of 151. He was one of the four that was tied after Saturday’s round, but a 77 on Sunday was not quite enough to take first. The first hole was McGarrity’s favorite, where he birdied on both rounds of the weekend.
Nikita Gubenko, from Great Falls, Virginia, took home the first pace trophy for the boys 13-14 division. Gubenko had a strong lead after Saturday with a 74 of three strokes. He matched his performance on Sunday with another 74. Gubenko could not get his putter to work for him as much as he would have liked on Saturday, but got it going on Sunday. He managed to capture two birdies on Sunday’s round. He also led the group in pars with an astonishing 27 over the weekend. Kevin Smith, from Wallingford, Pennsylvania, was able to match Gubenko’s performance by also shooting a 74. Unfortunately this was not enough to take first. The first round score of an 80 landed him in second place. Smith’s irons allowed him to put himelf in a good position for birdies. He was able to secure five over the weekend, the most of anyone in his age group. Tark tied Smith for second place with a total score of 154. He shot a 77 both days of the tournament. Tark potentially could have finished first if he was able to figure out the first and second hole. Unforunately, he doubled the holes in both rounds, keeping him in second. Even with the doubles, it was still an amazing performance from Tark out of Suwanee, Georgia. His long ball abilities allowed him to lead in par 5 scoring.
Kayla Perkins, from Bethesda, Maryland, took the top of the girls 15-18 division. She was tied for the lead after Saturday, looking to come back and improve her score in the nicer weather. She improved her score by five strokes with a 78, being the only girl in her division to conquer the course and break 80. Her first place finish came from her ability to birdie holes. She ended getting three birdies over the weekend. Shreya Ganta, from Ashburn, Virginia, fell three strokes off the lead. She was the other girl that was tied for the lead after Saturday’s round. She was able to improve her score by two strokes with an 81, but couldn’t quite catch Perkins. Ganta led the group in pars with 18, and got her only birdie on the very challenging 13th hole. Amanda Levy, from Bethesda, Maryland, started off her weekend strong with a birdie on the very first hole. She took this confidence through the weekend to claim the third place trophy.
Elizabeth Coffren, from Owings, Maryland, placed first in the girls 11-14 division. She finished with a strong overall total of 165. She was able to improve her performance by one stroke on Sunday with an 82. Coffren was able to fight it out through the last four holes with pars on each of them. These last couple holes deemed to be hard for many players. Ruby Roane, from Greenbelt, Maryland, finished second behind Coffren. The conditions seemed to give Roane some trouble over the weekend, but she was still able to pull out a birdie on the 13th hole during Sunday’s round.
The boys 11-12 division was one of the strongest fields out of the weekend. Garrett Engle, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, led the group by improving his performance by ten strokes. He was also the only player out of all fields to shoot under par with a round of two-under. Engle played par golf most of Sunday, until he found his groove and birdied 15, 17, and 18. The holes were some of the hardest for other players, but not for Engle. His ability to putt the ball proved useful. Christopher Lee led the group and all fields after Saturday with a score of 73. He still shot a great round on Sunday, but Engle proved to be too much. Edward Coffren 5th finished third by improving his score by seven strokes, with a Sunday round of 77. Engle and Coffren tied for the most birdies over the weekend with three. Weather: Saturday: Mid 50s, Rain Showers, Wind 15-20 MPH Sunday: Mid 50s, Cloudy, Wind 20-25 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18: 6,388 YDS Boys 13-14: 6,082 YDS Girls 15-18/Boys 11-12: 5,594 YDS Girls 11-14: 5,115 YDS The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) was founded in 2008 with the intent of providing junior golfers between the ages of 11-18 an opportunity to play exceptional courses in a competitive environment. Golfers who participate on the tour will compete in one of five age divisions: Boys 15-18, Boys 13-14, Boys 11-12, Girls 15-18, and Girls 11-14. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the nation, with stops in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information regarding the 2015 HJGT Tour, please visit our website at www.hjgt.org, call the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour headquarters at (904) 379-2697, or email email@example.com Tyler Brecht Hurricane Junior Golf Tour 2015 Experience #TheHurricaneDifference