Central Florida Junior Classic
Kidd comes from behind to steal the victory
(February 1) The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) traveled to Dunnellon, Florida January 31-February 1 for the Central Florida Junior Classic. Players dealt with cold mornings and perfect Florida afternoons, making conditions bearable. Winners in all four divisions received an invitation to the Tour Championship while the top three in each division earned an exemption into the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational. The Boys 15-18, and both Girls divisions were ranked by the Junior Golf Scoreboard. Additionally, the top ten finishers in each division received points towards year-end honors, which include state teams, ALL HJGT teams and the Hurricane Cup.
Scores were tight in the Boys 15-18 division from the beginning on Saturday. Juan Castellanos of El Salvador, representing Saddlebook Golf Academy was the leader after Round 1 with a 72 (E) despite battling a wrist injury. This left seven players within five strokes of the lead. Saturday would be a day of battling between the top three finishers; Bozou Li of Lakewood Ranch, FL, Kyle Kidd of Crystal River, FL and Castellanos. The final round was interesting as the three were paired together. After battling through the front nine, Kidd wound up tied with the leader, Castellanos, while Li dropped a few strokes.Castellanos would go on to card two birdies in the next five holes to put the pressure on Kidd who would bogey two of those holes. With Kidd and Castellanos neck and neck in battle and Li not far behind Kidd kept his poise and composure and finished 1 under through the last four holes to finish the day strong with a 73 (+1). Although Li would end up finishing the tournament in third place with a two day total of 151 (+7), he lead the field with nine birdies and an eagle on 11. Castellanos and Kidd followed behind with six birdies a piece on the weekend. Castellanos took home the second place hardware with a two day total of 149 (+5) while Kidd came home with the victory finishing on two over, 146 (+2).
In the Girls 15-18 division, spectators saw a very close first round with three girls within three strokes of the leader;Kelsy Holbert of Lutz, FL.With strong rounds from Cossette Anderson of Seattle, WA, Vickie Kwak of Tallahassee, FL and Vivianna Vazquez of Bogota, Columbia Sundays round was sure to be a nail biter. Anderson would jump out strong with a 37 on the front nine and would finish with the good round of 75 (+3). Her combined score of 152 (+8), would be enough to hold off the other competitors and give her the win. With a combined score of 156 (+12), Vazquez and Holbert would take home second prize. Cosettee Anderson led the weekend for the girls with six birdies, while the three girls following Anderson were only able to compile four birdies on the weekend. On a side note and with an impressive way to end the weekend, Elizabeth Jackson was able to cut 12 strokes off her first round to finish the final round with a 78.
The Boys 13-14 division saw a lot of excitement on the course this weekend. At the end of the first round, Lorenz Poerings of Germany lead Ronnie Cao of Wesley Chapel, FL by two strokes. Cao and Poerings would be tied after the front nine of Round 1 with matching 37’s. Poerings would take the lead with two birdies on the back nine to take the two stroke lead going into Sunday. With both boys showing strong rounds on Saturday this would forecast for an exciting Sunday as the two would be paired together. Both Poerings and Cao started Sunday with pars on the first four holes making for a pressure packed finish. Cao would eventually end up taking a one stroke lead at the end of the first nine building the pressure on Poerings. Poerings was able to answer the pressure while Cao’s poise got the best of him. With a birdie on the back nine, Poerings would solidify his win with a grand total of 156 (+12), while Cao would finish a mere three strokes behind at 159 (+15). A strong outing by Tiaan Mattiace of Jacksonville, FL was shown, but would not be enough to catch the leaders. Mattice would improve six shots during the final round to card a 79 (+7). Mattice would take home the third place trophy with a two day total of 164 (+20). Congratulations to Lorenz Poerings for placing in two of our last three tournaments.
Similar to the other divisions, the Girls 11-14 saw a come from behind victory from Sarah Scott of Oviedo, FL. After falling behind five stokes in the first round to Emma Hallson of Windermere, FL. Scott was able to put together a strong performance in the final round. Hallson started strong out of the gate, paring the first four holes. After the first nine, Hallson was down just one stoke to Scott. The back nine would get interesting as both girls would exchange the lead, but ultimately Hallson would take the lead by five strokes carding a 83 (+11). Heading into Sunday, Hallson felt the trophy was hers to win. A strong performance from Amelia Williams of Gainesville, FL would put pressure on the leader and the second placeholder. With a round low of 83 (+1) Williams would earn way to the podium for third place. The battle for first and second place would continue as Scott went on to shoot a 44 on the front while Hallson followed with a 48. With a birdie on the back nine of the final round Scott would go on to win the Central Florida Jr. Classic with at two day total of 174 (+30) and remain the 2015 Girls 11-14 division points leader. Hallson fought Scott, but took home the second place hardware with a two day total of 176 (+32). Weather: Day 1- Mid 60’s, Partly Cloudy, winds 5-10 MPH Day 2- Low 70’s, Sunny, winds 5-10 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18: 6, 846 yards Boys 13-14: 6, 215 yards Girls 15-18: 5,632 yards Girls 11-14: 5,632 yards About us: 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 Experience #TheHurricaneDifference