On Thursday, Feb. 5, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., to host the California Kickoff at Empire Lakes Golf Course. With great weather in the forecast, the kids were ready to make their mark on the tour’s first ever event on the West Coast. Saturday was chilly to start out the tournament, but things quickly warmed up and it turned into a beautiful day. On Sunday, the field of players received near ideal conditions, which led to great scoring. The HJGT would like to thank the Empire Lakes staff for allowing us to host our California Kickoff at an outstanding venue. On the line for this event was Junior Golf Scoreboard rankings and Hurricane Cup points.
Boys 16-18 Division
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The California Kickoff definitely proved to be a challenge for some, but not for Jeonghun Lee. Competing in his hometown, Lee finished in first place shooting a 71 on day one and following it up with a 77 on day two. Three strokes of Lee’s pace was Lino Galdin placed second by shooting a 151 for the tournament. Devin Keith took third place out of five with a 162 total. Lee and Galdin tallied eight birdies each for the tournament to lead the field. Lee also led the tournament in consecutive under-par holes with three in round one.
Boys 14-15 Division
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Tyler Schafer[/caption] Tyler Schafer, Ethan Han, and Brian Stark proved to be the best of the Boys 14-15 Division at the California Kickoff. Schafer, a Long Beach, Calif., native placed first by shooting a 142 for the tournament to finish at two-under-par. Schafer was solid for both rounds shooting a 72 in round one and went out in style by posting an eagle on the par-5 No. 18 to record a 70 in round two to clinch first place. Ethan Han of Rowland Heights, Calif., and Brian Stark of Kingsburg, Calif., tied for second at 12-over-par 156 for the tournament. Han and Stark were neck in neck after round one and that carried over into round two, as well. Casey Leebrick and Schafer co-led the field with five birdies a piece for the tournament.
Boys 11-13 Division
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Lincoln Melcher[/caption] The Boys 11-13 division had some very impressive play, which was capped off by a two-hole sudden death playoff between Lincoln Melcher of Burbank, Calif., and Leo Cheng of Porter Ranch, Calif. Both Melcher and Cheng shot a 166 for the tournament to finish at 22-over-par. In the end, Melcher prevailed in the playoff. Billy Davidson of Ladera Ranch, Calif., placed third after shooting 178. Leo Cheng led the Boys 11-13 division in birdies with three for the tournament.
Boys U10 Division
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The Boys U10 Division had a strong showing from our young golfers. Kent Karlstrom of Rancho Mirage, Calif., locked up first place after shooting an exceptional 164 for the tournament to finish at 20-over-par, despite battling a fever of 102 before teeing off in round one. Karlstrom shot an 82 both days while not feeling 100 percent during competition. Luke Montoya of Arroyo Grande, Calif., placed second after shooting a 174 for the tournament to finish at 30-over-par. Karlstrom led the division in total birdies with two.
Girls 14-18 Division
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The Girls 14-18 Division was very competitive and 36 holes were not enough as it ended with a one-hole sudden death playoff. Carol Cheng of Porter Ranch, Calif., and Khameryn Utu of Santa Ana, Calif., both shot a 158 for the tournament to finish at 14-over-par. In the end, Cheng edged out Utu for the title. Kasey Torres placed third by shooting a 160 for the tournament to finish at 16-over-par. Cheng and Torres led the division with four birdies each.
Weather for February 6-7, 2016
Round 1: Low 41, High 77. Chilly Morning, Sunny Skies, Slight Winds
Round 2: Low 41, High 84. Chilly Morning, Sunny Skies, Heavy Winds
Tournament Division Yardages
Boys 16-18: 6,618 Yards
Boys 14-15: 6,618 Yards
Girls 14-18: 5,654 Yards
Boys 11-13: 5,654 Yards
Girls U13: 5,158 Yards
Boys U10: 5,040 Yards