Chateau Elan Junior Shootout – March 28-29, 2015
Kahlstorf clinches victory in a playoff Craig holds off Rice for the win
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) traveled to Braselton, Georgia on March 28-29 for the Chateau Elan Junior Shootout at the Chateau Elan Golf Club. Over 170 junior golfers turned out for HJGT’s largest open event in its history! Players battled cold and windy course conditions for the two rounds until all players finished 36 holes. AJGA Performance Stars were at stake over the weekend for the Boys 15-18, Boys 11-14. Winners in each division will receive an exemption into the 2015 National Championship December 5-6, 2015. The top three in each division will receive an exemption into the 2015 Mid Season Invitational at Chateau Elan June 20-22, 2015. 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.
In a field with over 80 players, the Boys 15-18 division came down to the last shot as Adam Morris of Acworth, GA and Will Kahlstorf, of Watkinsville, GA ended up duking it out on a winner take all playoff hole. Kahlstorf came into Sunday down two strokes to Morris and needing a strong Sunday performance to take the crown. After a two hour delay due to frost on the course, Morris and Kahlstorf would spend all of Sunday in a duel as they made their way around the course in the same pairing. You could tell from the start Kahlstorf was feeling it as he opened up his day with a birdie on his first hole. It was evident from the start that Kahlstorf had a plan to play aggressively and attack pins when able. After four holes of play and both players sitting even, Kahlstorf made his move birdying three straight holes and four of his next five giving him the lead. Kahlstorf would take that two-stroke lead into the final three holes, however he would go on to bogey two of his last three while Morris sank three straight clutch pars to force a playoff hole. The playoff was played on the 424 yard, par four eighteenth hole. With both players on the green, Kahlstorf would end up sinking an unbelievably clutch twenty footer to seal his championship. Kahlstorf finished the tournament with a 74, 70, 144. Morris finished with a 72, 72, 144 for second. Coming in third was Zach Zediker of Macon, GA who scored a 75, 72, 147.
The Girls 15-18 division featuring over 25 players, would also see a tight finish as the champion, Caroline Craig of Niceville, FL, would pull out a two stroke victory over second place finisher Callista Rice of Mars Hill, NC. Both Craig and Rice finished Saturday tied for first place posting division low 75’s. Sunday would come down to which player could be the most consistent and play mistake free. That would prove to be Craig as she posted par or better on 11 of her 18 holes for the two hole victory. Playing mistake free golf was a theme with Craig throughout the weekend as she posted 24 pars over the weekend, five more than the next closest person, Louise Yu of Duluth, GA (19). Craig and Rice separated themselves from the field on the par four holes with both of them leading their division with a 4.3 scoring average. Nuchakorn Nunbhakdi finished third, three strokes behind Rice. Craig finished with a 75, 78, 153. Rice finished with a 75, 80, 155. Nunbhakdi finished 78, 80, 158.
Keeping with the pattern set by the older division, the Boys 13-14 division, champion Andy Mao of Johns Creek, GA finished only two strokes ahead of second place finisher Preston Topper of Suwanee, GA. After ending Saturday with a division low 73 and as the leader in the clubhouse, Mao was content to not give up hold on the lead as he would hold off surge after surge from Topper as they came down the stretch Sunday, battling daylight as much as they were each other. Mao and Topper both tied their division with the lead for most pars with 27. Mao found much of his success on the par fours as he averaged a 4.1 to lead his division. Following up behind Mao and Topper was Connor Creasy of Abingdon, VA. Creasy played with a ‘go big or go home’ mentality, which yielded him a division high six birdies over the weekend. Andy Mao finished with a 73, 74, 147. Topper finished with 75, 74, 149. Creasy finished with a 76, 75, 151. There were a total of 28 boys in this division.
The Girls 11-14 division saw Michaela Morard of Huntsville, AL pull away with first place here at the Chateau Elan Golf Club in Braselton, GA. Morard came into Sunday as her division’s round leader after an impressive 73 on Saturday and a three stroke lead over the eventual second place finisher Tess Davenport of Buford, GA. Morard would lead her division with the most pars with 24. Both Morard and Davenport tied for the most birdies in their division (4), par three scoring average (3.0), and par five scoring average (5.0). Morard finished with an unbelievable 73, 73, 146 for first, Davenport finished with a 97, 92, 189 for second, and finishing in third was Emily Romancew with an 80, 83, 163.
The Boys 11-12 division saw another championship performance from Evan Reed of Shelbyville, TN who won earlier this year at the 54 Hole Challenge at Brickyard. After the Saturday round, Evan held a commanding 11 stroke lead over the second place finisher Walker Jennings of Greenville, SC. Jennings was not to go down without a fight though, and brought himself back to within six strokes by the end of their round on Saturday posting a division tying low round of 81 (Reed shot an 81 on Sunday). Jennings led his group in most birdies with three, but Reed was able to stay composed and focused throughout the weekend and posted a division leading 13 pars to keep him in the lead. Rounding out the top three was Mohit Balaji of Johns Creek, GA. Reed finished with an 81, 86, 167. Jennings finished with a 92, 81, 173. Balaji finished with a 93, 91, 184. Weather: Day 1- Mid 40’s and partly cloudy, winds 10-15 MPH Day 2- Mid 50’s, sunny, winds 5-10 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18- 6,710 yards Boys 13-14-6,136 yards Girls 15-18, Boys 11-12-5,628 yards Girls 11-14-5,039 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 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 HJGT, 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