Dunagan’s hot start leads to victory Swords fires tournament low round for win
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Villa Rica, Georgia on March 1-2 for the Canongate Series #1. All divisions played 36 holes over two days to determine the champion of each respective division. Canongate Series #1 was the first of eight Canongate events in which players received points toward earning one of the thirty-six spots in the Canongate Finale. Additionally, Canongate Series #1 was the trusted Big “I” qualifier for both the boys and girls 15-18 divisions. The winner of each division qualified for the tournament which will be held August 5-8 at the Pete Dye Club in Bridgeport, West Virginia. Winners in all divisions received an invitation to the HJGT 2014 Mid-Season Invitational and HJGT 2014 Tour Championship. The top ten finishers received points towards year end honors which include, state teams, ALL HJGT teams, and the Hurricane Cup. Additionally, the Boys 11-14, Boys 15-18 and Girls 11-14 divisions received AJGA performance stars. All divisions were ranked by the Junior Golf Scoreboard and received South Carolina Junior Golf Association Heritage Points.
At the end of the first round, Hunter Dunagan of Martinez, GA and Kyler Tate of Winter Garden, FL were tied after rounds of 71. Dunagan had eyes on a much lower score after starting five under through the first fifteen holes of the tournament. Tate fought hard on Sunday but Dunagan came back and started with a birdie on one, opening up a lead he would never relinquish. He also birdied holes 14 and 15 for the second time in two days, finishing with a 73 for round two. This was a three stroke advantage over Tate, good enough for Dunagan to take the win. Dunagan would finish the field leader in par three scoring, par five scoring and back nine scoring. He also qualified for the Big “I” national tournament. Additionally, Dunagan made the most birdies in the field with nine. Tate’s 71 on Saturday was highlighted by a hole-in-one on the par three, 17th hole from 180 yards out. The eagle propelled him into a tie for the lead, although he went on to post a 76 on Sunday and lose by three strokes. Kip Denison of Canton, GA finished in third place with rounds of 74 and 76. Denison led the field in front nine scoring and was second in par four scoring, both of which played crucial roles in positioning him for the third place finish.
Annie Swords from Newnan, GA also played her way into the Big “I” by firing the lowest round of the tournament on Sunday with a three under 69. Four birdies and only one bogey was the recipe for the tournament victory. Swords led the field in back nine scoring, the statistically harder side. The biggest factor in her victory was her ability to score on the par five’s, which she played at three under par for the weekend. Jordan Daniel of Sharpsburg, GA and Janet Mao finished two strokes behind Swords in a tie for second place. Daniel posted rounds of 73 and 75 for a weekend total of 148. Daniel held a lead for a time on Sunday as she started two under par through the first 10 holes for her round. She also had a nice bogey free streak going that started on Saturday and went on for 16 holes. Daniel had the most pars in the field, and led the division in front nine scoring. Janet Mao had the lead heading into Sunday after firing even par 72 on Saturday. She lost the lead on Sunday when she made five straight bogies one holes five through ten but rebounded strong and finished out even from there. Mao had the most birdies in the field with seven but had too many bogies on Sunday to pull out the victory.
In the Boys 11-14 division, Luka Karaulic of Lawrenceville, GA came from four strokes behind to take home the win. Karaulic played the more difficult back nine better on both days and fired an even par 36 on his final nine of the weekend, where the rest of the field sputtered. He finished the weekend the leader in par four and back nine scoring. Connery Meyer of Marietta, GA started the final round on fire dropping three birdies on the front nine, thrusting him into the lead. However, Meyer fell victim to the tough back nine, with four bogies and no birdies. Meyer finished with a weekend total of 154 and his Sunday front nine made him the leader in Front nine scoring in the field. There was a three way tie for third place between Tommy Su of Johns Creek, GA, Nic Cassidy of Alpharetta, GA, and Tyler Lipscomb from Carrollton, GA. All three finished the weekend with a total of 157 strokes. Su led the field in pars made, and par 3 scoring. Cassidy played extremely consistent the entire weekend posting scores of 39 on three of his four nines, and 40 on the remaining side. Lipscomb had the most birdies in the field with six but could not limit some of the big numbers. On Sunday, Lipscomb had four birdies, but coupled it with four double bogies.
Brooke Sansom from Pike Road, AL fired rounds of 77 and 76 to win the Girls 11-14 division by four strokes. Sansom played the back nine better both days despite the stroke average being higher for the entire field on that side. She led the field in birdies, pars made and scoring on par three, four and five’s. Abigail Bolt of Woodstock, GA had a top 10 highlight when she holed out from 120 yards on the par four, 18th hole for eagle. Bolt posted score of 79 and 78 to finish in second place. She also tied for the lead with Sansom in birdies made. Cameron Daniel of Sharpsburg, GA finished in third place after rounds of 82 and 85. She led the field in front nine scoring, playing better on the front nine both days. Weather: Day 1- High 30’s in the morning, mostly sunny, low 60’s in the afternoon Day 2- Low 40’s in the morning, mid 70’s in the afternoon. Sunny Tournament Yardage: Boys 15-18: 6,741 yards Girls 15-18: 5,675 yards Boys 11-14: 6,186 yards Girls 11-14: 5,232 yards About us: 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, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Connecticut. For more information regarding the Canongate Series #1, please visit our website at www.hjgt.org, call the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour headquarters at (904) 379-2697, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.