2nd Annual Hurricane Cup Sea Island, GA Nov. 29-30


Sea Island, Georgia: November 30, 2014 – This week the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour had the privilege of hosting the Second Annual Hurricane Cup. This was by far the greatest, most engaging event of the year for a number of reasons. First, it was hosted at the retreat course on Sea Island, Georgia, a course on which many professionals live and play. Second, the dinner celebrating the event was a great success. On the Friday before the first day of play, the players are invited to a lovely banquet welcoming them to the event. The night consists of a dinner, pairings, and a chance to recognize this years accomplished athletes. Parents, friends, and family enjoy a nice meal and converse with the other junior golfers. Finally, the tournament itself consists of three different formats of play, all team oriented. Before the pairings are made, eight players are placed on a team together based on the region they reside in. The individuals on each team then chose a captain to be the face and voice of their state for day one. This year, the first day format was nine holes of alternate shot and nine holes of best ball. After the conclusion of round one, the best three of the four scores were chosen. The second day format was eighteen holes of individual stroke play. Each team counted six of the best scores and dropped the two worst. The lowest total gross score declared the overall state champion. In the event of a playoff (there was none), the captains from the given teams would duke it out in a sudden death playoff. It was quite en exciting couple days of golf and we hope all of our participants ant spectators enjoyed it as much as the staff did. The HJGT looks forward to hosting the 3rd annual Hurricane Cup next year at the same venue. This year’s cup had ten teams participate: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, International, Midwest, North Carolina, North East, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia/Maryland. A very good pool of players and regions this year contributed to the intensity of the cup. Each and every participant was determined to take it from the juggernaut and defending champion, Florida. Unfortunately, no one had the upper hand this year to prove themselves worthy of the prestigious Hurricane Cup. Not hard to believe that Florida retained the cup due to the immense amount of talent residing on their roster. Half of the players on this team received year-end awards for their outstanding play this season. Ryder Sutcliffe, Kayla Smith, and Amelia Root all were placed on the All HJGT team and Cody Carroll was chosen as the 2014 Player of the Year. Each of these four players backed up their awards by earning top ten finishes. Carroll and Root won their division while Smith took a ninth place finish and Sutcliffe a seventh place finish. And if you were considering overlooking the four other players on team Florida, you would be sorely mistaken. They also all took top ten finishes in their respective divisions. Sydney Merchant, despite have a rough eighth hole, persevered and fought her way to a second place finish. Jerry Zhu and Shanren Brienen earned fourth place finishes and Michael Mattiace snuck in the top ten placing ninth. Their dominance on the course truly speaks for itself and they took home the gold with a team total of 673. The other regions are going to have to find a way to compete with this experienced group of individuals. But by the looks of it, I am sure we will see a few more victories from team Florida in the years to come. Considering today was individual stroke play and a vital format that can either contribute to a teams success or demise, there were some noteworthy performances that deserve some credit. Bryce Burke out of South Africa and his partner Brett Ammons out of McDonough, Georgia, had a bit of a rough go on the first day of play. Both Ammons and Burke are incredible sticks but did not seem to fully click during alternate shot and best ball. Apparently this lit a fire under Burke because he came back on day two to shoot a breath taking 69 (-3), the low round of the tournament. Best of luck to Mr. Burke in the upcoming years and we hope to see a lot of good things from the young man. It would be wrong not to shed some light on Cody Carroll, bearing in mind that he is the Player of the Year and just won another event. It was an odd format and is actually considered a team victory, but when you win as well as fire the low round for your division, 74 (+2), you cannot go unnoticed. Congratulations to Cody on all his outstanding accomplishments. The same goes for the young lady out of Jacksonville, Florida, Amelia Root. Only adding to her esteemed resume, Root played virtually perfect today. Also firing the low round for her division, 73 (+1). Lastly, though she may not think she is deserving of an honorable mention, Sydney Merchant out of Lake Mary, Florida will get one anyways. Coming in a tie for the low round of the day, Miss Merchant threw on an exciting performance throughout the day. Piping drives and hitting greens was her prerogative during round two until she hit a little snag on the eighth hole (her seventeenth hole) where she had to take two unplayables. This was a costly set back and took her out of the running for first place but just shows how stellar she was playing. Even with this disastrous hole, Merchant still managed to take home some silver hardware. Thank you to all the Hurricane Cup Participants and Sea Island for an unforgettable weekend!   Weather:   Saturday: Mostly sunny.   Sunday: Sunny and 75 degrees.   The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) was founded in 2008 with the intention 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 four age divisions: Boys 15-18, Boys 11-14, 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, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Connecticut. For more information regarding the HJGT 2014 Tour, please visit our website at www.hjgt.org, call the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour headquarters at (904) 379-2697, or email info@hjgt.org.

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