Mendel Thrives Under Pressure
Skinner Wins It All
(Athens, GA-Oct. 27-28) The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour once again traveled to Athens, Georgia to host the College Prep Series at UGA. In HJGT's first ever tournament at the University of Georgia Golf Course, 100 junior golfers from Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, and even Bermuda took to the course and made this tournament one that was truly worth seeing. Throughout the entire two days of play, the competition level remained at a high as competitors were well aware of what was at stake including valuable AJGA exemptions, South Carolina Junior Golf Association Heritage Points, National Junior Golf Association Rankings, as well as an automatic bid into the 2012 HJGT Tour Championship to be held at ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida. Although weather was cold and breezy on Sunday, players were greeted with warm and sunny weather all throughout the first round on Saturday which made for a great round of golf. In the Boys 15-18 Division, Jason Mendel of Norcross, Georgia came out on top. Mendel, who won the Athens Junior Shootout earlier in the year in addition to recently committing verbally to play college golf at South Alabama, faced stiff competition as he was forced into a three hole playoff with Will Duma of Atlanta, Georgia. Heading into the final three holes of the tournament, Mendel held a commanding three stroke lead, however, was unable to maintain that lead as he bogeyed each of the last three holes. In the playoff, both competitors parred the first hole, and on the second playoff hole had similar tee shots, however, on their approach shots to the second hole, Mendel was able to hit the green, while Duma landed short. While it seemed that Mendel could seal the deal on the 2nd playoff hole, Duma responded to the pressure and sank a 12 foot putt to force yet another playoff hole. On a tricky third playoff hole, both players held similar positions in the fairway as they prepared to hit wedges over the dangerous water hazard. On their wedge shots, Mendel was able to land safely on the green, while Dumas landed short in the rough in front of the green. Because of his positioning on the green, Mendel was able to fire at par on the final playoff hole, while Duma came up just short on his attempt to sink a putt for par. In the end both Mendel and Dumas shot a total score of 146 (+2), while Dylan Pence of Dacula, Georgia and Josh Crews of Albany, Georgia tied for third with a total score of 151(+9). In the Par 3, 4 and 5 Performance Challenges for this division, Adam Morris of Acworth, Georgia won the Par 3 Performance Challenge (3.00 Avg.) while Duma won the Par 4 Performance Challenge (4.05 Avg.), and Jay Davis won the Par 5 Performance Challenge with an average of 4.83. The champion of the Girls 15-18 Division was Bella Skinner of Cumming, Georgia. Skinner, who won her third event of the year and just recently verbally committed to play golf at the University of Georgia, shot a total score of 147(+3). Skinner remained very consistent throughout the entire tournament as she sunk the most par shots (26) in her division, and even fired 4 birdies throughout the two days of play in addition to winning the Par 3 and 4 Performance Challenges. Coming in second behind Skinner was her future Georgia teammate Bailey Tardy of Norcross, Georgia. Tardy struggled through the first round, however, regained her composure early on in the second round ending up shooting one under par in the second round to end up with a total score of 151(+7). Rounding out the top 3 for the Girls 15-18 Division was Diane Lim of Norcross, Georgia. Lim narrowly missed out on second place, as she was only one stroke behind Tardy with a total score of 152(+8). Lim impressed all throughout the tournament as she even sank two birdies in a row on holes 6-7 on the first day of play. Lim also led her division in the total number of birdies (5) in addition to winning the Par 5 Performance Challenge with an average of 4.88. Winning the Boys 11-14 Division at the College Prep Series at UGA was States Fort of Evans, Georgia. Fort, who is a consistent top 5 finisher at Hurricane Junior Golf Tour events, showed his poise and good form throughout the two days of play ending up with a tournament best score of 143(+1). Fort started the second round with a comfortable four stroke lead, which he maintained all throughout the second round. Some of Fort's finest work came on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th holes where he fired three birdies in a row, which helped him win the Par 4 Performance Challenge with an average of 4.05. Coming in second behind Fort was Hunter Dunagan of Martinez, Georgia. Dunagan, who also consistently finishes in the top 5, was not far behind Fort shooting a 146(+4). Dunagan struggled early on in the second day of play by starting out with three consecutive bogeys, however, on his back nine Dunagan adjusted nicely to birdie six times and earn second place. Not only did he have five consecutive birdies, Dunagan also shot the tournament best 11 birdies. Coming in third in the Boys 11-14 Division was S.M Lee of Buford, Georgia. Lee, who was paired up with both Dunagan and Fort on the second day, shot a two day total of 151(+9). In his third place performance, Lee also claimed the Par 5 Performance Challenge averaging 4.50. In the Girls 11-14 Division, Min Ji Kim of Cumming, Georgia took home the first place trophy with a combined score of 156(+12). Not only did Kim fire the most birdies, but she also swept the board by winning the Par 3, 4, and 5 Performance Challenges with averages of 3.75, 4.25, and 5.12, respectively. In her first HJGT tour event of the year, Kim birdied on the challenging 14th and 15h holes on the first day in addition to knocking in birdies on the 10th and 18th holes on the second day of play. Coming in second in the Girls 11-14 Division was Tess Davenport of Dacula, Georgia. Also playing in her first HJGT tournament of the year, Davenport shot a two day total of 186(+42) in addition to coming in second in the Par 3 Performance Challenge. Rounding out the top three for the Girls 11-14 Division was Annika Blanton of Dacula, Georgia. Blanton shot a two day total of 192(+48), and also came in second in the most birdies fired as well as the Par 4 Performance Challenge. Weather: Saturday: Temperature in the mid to high 70’s, sunny skies Sunday: Temperature in the mid 60's, cloudy, overcast Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18 Division: 6900 Boys 11-14 Division: 6175 Girls 15-18 Division: 5724 Girls 11-14 Division: 5182 Tournament Awards:Boys 15-18 Division:
EFX Birdie Challenge: Adam Morris Seaforth Par 4 Performance: Will Duma Coolheads Par 5 Performance: Jay Davis Girls 15-18 Division: EFX Birdie Challenge: Bella Skinner Seaforth Par 4 Performance: Bella Skinner Coolheads Par 5 Performance: Diane Lim Boys 11-14 Division: EFX Birdie Challenge: Alex Markman Seaforth Par 4 Performance: States Fort Coolheads Par 5 Performance: S.M Lee Girls 11-14 Division: EFX Birdie Challenge: Min Ji Kim Seaforth Par 4 Performance: Min Ji Kim Coolheads Par 5 Performance: Mink Ji Kim 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 tour will compete in one of four age divisions: Boys 15-18 Division, Boys 11-14 and Girls 15-18 Division and 11-14 Division. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the southeast, with stops in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.