Cleveland Junior Open – April 18-19, 2015
Berlin snatches win at Solon Pikunas picks up victory; Leyerle leaps onto top of podium
(April 19, 2015) The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour moved to The Buckeye State this past weekend for the 2015 Cleveland Junior Open. A weather delay, with thunder and lightning stealing the headlines, may have hampered the event but competition was as potent and fierce as ever as a large field battled with one another on Saturday and Sunday. Winners of the event received automatic invites to the HJGT’s 2015 National Championship this December in Orlando, Florida. Additionally, those who placed first in the 15-18 divisions received exemptions into a Hurricane Collegiate Event of their choosing, and the top three in each division were invited to the Mid-Season Invitational at Chateau Elan this summer.
With a first-round best 71 and a 78 on Sunday, Daniel Berlin of Chagrin Falls, Ohio won the Boys 15-18 division this weekend. Berlin, of the Class of 2017, birded twice on Sunday in route to the two-stroke victory over Youngstown, Ohio native Brian Terlesky. Berlin amassed a total of seven birdies at the Cleveland Junior Open, with an opening round fire leading the charge on both days. Terlesky’s 151 and Benjamin Jones’ 152 (Strongsville, Ohio) fell just shy of Berlin’s tally, but were good enough to net second- and third-place honors this weekend. The two netted five and three birdies respectively in this weekend’s competition.
Youngstown, Ohio was well represented on the podium at the Cleveland Junior Open. Jacinta Pakuntas, who finished tied for second last week at the Pittsburgh Junior Challenge, had the ball bounce her way this week with her two-day total of 154 being enough to best the rest of the competition. She posted the two best scores of any of the participants in her division on Saturday and Sunday, as her 75 and 79 were enough to get into the win column. Pikunas birdied thrice on the weekend. Lewiston, New York native Victoria Parker picked up a two-day total of 156, +12 to get second place honors in her first HJGT event of the season. Like Pikunas, Parker birdied thrice over the course of the Cleveland Junior Open. Caroline Wrigley chipped into the winner’s circle with a two-day total of 169, +25. Her 84 and 85 were able to stave off Madison Butler of Hinckley, Ohio who fell two strokes out of her quest to net her way onto the podium.
West Bloomfield, Michigan’s Philip Wong won the Boys 13-14 division by a comfortable margin of eight strokes this weekend. The Mitten State native scored a 162 two-day total, with a 77 on the first day being the best of any player in the division, highlighted by three birdies on the day. Wong held a nine-stroke lead going into play on Sunday and despite rough conditions was able to hold up his end of the bargain. Jimmy Graham of Warren, Ohio finished second with a 170, +26 while Justin Hand shot a 175, +31.
The most lopsided win of the weekend came in the Girls 11-14 division. Sydney Leyerle, a native of Helena, Ohio, won by a total of 13 strokes as her two-day score of 179 was able to bring her to victory. Leyerle’s win was nothing if not impressive for many reasons, one being that it was over a youngster who was familiar with winning. Tate McKelvey finished second with a two-day score of 192, this after winning her division last week at the Pittsburgh Junior Classic. McKelvey’s efforts to win back-to-back tournaments came up short, but still managed to net herself another top-2 finish. Rounding out the podium was Nicole Whatley of Northville, Michigan. Whatley scored a total of 221, +77 in her first tournament of the 2015 HJGT season.
Lastly, the Boys 11-12 division was won by Grant Gobezie of Hunting Valley, Ohio. Gobezie, in the Class of 2021, won with a total of 160, +16 which was highlighted by a first round score of 77. Gobezie had two birdies in the event. Colton Levey’s three total birdies were not enough for him to get first place honors but still did enough to be second best in the division of three players. Blaze Tanner had three birdies on Sunday alone, but was marred on Sunday with a score of 91. Tanner finished with a 173, +29 while Levey ended his stay in the tourney with a 164, +20. Weather: Day 1- Low of 50 to high of 70, Sunny, winds 0-5 MPH Day 2- Low of 48 to high of 72, Rainy, winds 15-20 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18 -6574 yards Boys 13-14 -5989 yards Girls 15-18, Boys 11-12, Girls 11-14 -5505 yards About us: The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) was founded in 2007 with the intention of providing junior golfers between the ages of 11-18 an opportunity to play exceptional courses in a competitive environment. The tour’s vision is to provide superb hospitality and make every event a memorable one. With play open to both males and females, nearly every junior golfer is eligible to participate on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. Currently the HJGT is the largest junior golf tour in the United States hosting more 2-day nationally ranked events than another other tour. The HJGT has been able to achieve this goal by running the most professional events and providing an exceptional value to all of our players and families over the last 8 years. There are several factors that set us apart from the competition which we call #TheHurricaneDifference. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the country. In 2015 the HJGT will conduct events in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Juniors will compete in 1 of 5 divisions which are: Boys 15-18, Boys 13-14, Boys 11-12, Girls 15-18, and Girls 11-14. Memberships for the 2015 season start at $139 and tournament fees range from $189-$229 for 36 hole events. The HJGT season is based on a calendar year and players earn points throughout the season towards year end honors beginning January 1. 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