Ballantyne Junior Open – Golf Club at Ballantyne (February 11-12, 2017)

Ballantyne Junior Open – Golf Club at Ballantyne

(February 11-12, 2017)

Sunday Drama at Ballantyne

  On Friday February 10rd, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to prep for the Ballantyne Jr Open at the Golf Club at Ballantyne. The weather was mild on the Friday with little to no wind, but took a turn for the worse Saturday morning, as strong winds combined with low temperatures made playing conditions tough. Players still battled through the difficult opening round and were rewarded with a warmer Sunday that reached the mid 70’s in the afternoon. Although there was still a considerable amount of wind, conditions were more favorable on Sunday which made for a perfect final day. The HJGT would like to thank Golf Club at Ballantyne for allowing us to host our tournament at such a great venue, most importantly the staff who were terrific all weekend and on hand to help at all times to help things run smoothly.  The Ballantyne Junior Open featured a field of 89 players. At stake during this tournament were 4 AJGA performance stars for the boys and girls 14-18 champion and 1 AJGA performance star for a top 5 finish for the boys and a top 3 finish for the girls. Additionally, the top 3 in each division will receive an exemption into the 2017 National Championship December 2-3, 2017 and exemption into the 2017 Mid Season Invitational at Sea Island Plantation, June 11-13, 2017 as well as points for top 10 finishers that go to end of the year honors. With so much as stake, players made sure to bring their best game both days.   Boys 16-18 Division

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The Boys 16-18 Division came to life on Sunday after struggling through the Saturday conditions. Each competitor knew that posting anything in the 80s Saturday could be just enough to take the top spot on Sunday with the forecast predicting better weather. Carlos Garre, from Altorreal, Spain, conquered the field by shooting two impressive 75s on Saturday and Sunday. Garre was one shot back going into the final round on Sunday and stressed the importance of making par whenever he could. And no par came more satisfying than that of his 3 on the par-3 16th, where Garre rolled in a 20-foot putt to keep his momentum going heading into the final two holes. A four way tie for second followed, with Graham Chase, Devin Johnson, Jared Clontz and Michael Sakane all posting an identical total of 152. After posting an 80 on Sunday, Chase came in with a one over par 72 on Sunday, the low round of the day. Johsnon and Sakane, who both posted a 75 on Saturday, could not match their scores on Sunday with each coming in with a 77. Clontz shot identical scores of 76 both days to finish two shots off Garre. Overall, the 16-18 Boys Division provided great competition and a very exciting Sunday for all of our wonderful spectators.   Boys 14-15 Division

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The Boys 14-15 Division provided just as much excitement both days as the Boys 16-18. After two consecutive scores of 76, Abhay Gupta finished with a total of 152 and claimed victory over the rest of the field. Gupta got off to the solid start with a par on his first hole, a hole which proved problematic for most. He never looked back, winning by three strokes. Evan Reed claimed second place with a total of 155. After posting a first round 78, Reed took advantage of the more favorable conditions went one better on Sunday with a final round 78. Rounding out the top three in the 14-15 Boys Division with a total score of 158 was Fabricio Gaxiola of Cordoba, MX. Gaxiola posted a solid 79 in the strong Saturday winds and repeated this score on Sunday with a 79 which featured three birdies. Gupta, Reed and Gaxiola made up the final paring for their age division on Sunday, and don’t be surprised to see them there again in future events.     Boys 11-13 Age Division

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The Boys 11-13 Division made for a great competition and featured some fantastic golf. Keenan Royalty took the crown with an impressive five stroke victory, highlighted by a mightily impressive two under 69 on Saturday, our low round of the week. The strong Saturday winds didn’t seem to intimidate Royalty one bit. After winning two weeks previous at Pinehurst, Royalty took his form into Ballantyne, making birdie after birdie on Saturday, as well as an eagle on the par 5 14th. Walker Jennings secured 2nd place with a total of 158. After a solid round of 80 on Saturday, Jennings produced a 78 on Sunday, the low round of the day for this division. After starting 11 shots back on Sunday, Jennings played with a nothing to lose attitude on the final day and although shortening he shortened Royalty’s lead to just five shots, his valiant effort just fell short. Spencer Turtz’s rounds of 81 and 79 placed him in third place. Like Jennings, Turtz’s did all he could on the final day and managed to claw some shots back on the leader. Turtz's impressive final round featured two birdies on holes 8 and 13.    Boys U10 Division

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Ballantyne proved to be challenging for the Boys U10 Division with yardages being pushed to the limits and with wind controlling their shots, but they dealt incredibly with the conditions. Aston Lee earned the first place trophy by posting impressive scores of 81 and 85. Lee played some fantastic golf on Saturday and managed to record an impressive total of 10 pars despite the tough winds. Lee showcased some fantastic shots and his consistency throughout both rounds shows he is one to watch in future events. Coming in second place was Mason Kucia. Kucia shot the low round for his division on Sunday with an 83, highlighted by a birdie 4 on the par 5 14th. In third place, Hudson Schulze of Charlotte NC. Schulze further displayed some great golf. His final round 92 featured an impressive birdie 2 on the par 3 13th, a score rarely seen on this hole over the weekend.     Girls 14-18 Division

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The Girls age 14-18 Division proved extremely competitive and featured some very strong scoring over both days. Michelle Harn finished on top after two consecutive 77’s gave her a three-stroke victory. Harn took the overnight lead with her first round 77. The pressure of holding the leading going into the second round didn’t deter her and posted two birdies on the final day to cruise to victory. Kat Floyd took the runner-up spot. Floyd shot a superb five over par 76, the low round of the day to finish three shots off the lead. Katherine Schuster claimed third place. After two solid rounds featuring two birdies in her final round, Schuster is a player to keep an eye on in upcoming events. Overall, the Girls 14-18 Division was hugely competitive and our three winners should be thoroughly proud of their efforts.  

Weather February 11th and 12th, 2017

Round 1: Low 45, High 70. Partly Cloudy and Windy

Round 2: Low 60, High 77. Sunny with clouds and windy

Tournament Division Yardages

Boys 16-18: 6601 yards

Boys 14-15: 6601 yards

Boys 11-13: 5, 659 yards

Boys U10: 5,110 yards

Girls 14-18: 5,659 yards


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