Columbus Jr. Open May 3-4

Lippoldt finishes strong to close out victory Lemons wins on first playoff hole

Phoenix Golf Links logo

The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Columbus, Ohio on May 3-4 for the Columbus Jr. Shootout. Players battled extremely windy conditions during both rounds until all players finished 36 holes. Winners in all four divisions received an invitation to the 2014 Mid-Season Invitational and Tour Championship. All 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. The top finisher in the Girls 11-14 division also earned one AJGA performance star.

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Scores were tight in the Boys 15-18 division from the beginning on Saturday. Cam Lippoldt of Midland, MI was the first round leader with a 77, this left six players within three strokes of the lead. Things would remain close throughout the weekend, especially between Lippoldt and Grant Godfrey of Delaware, OH. Godfrey was only one stroke back after the first day and held the lead for a time on Sunday. However, Lippoldt closed with his best golf of the weekend. Over the last six holes, he dropped in three birdies and no bogies to card a final round 74 and win the division by two strkes over Godfrey. Godfrey also saw a three shot improvement on Sunday, finishing with rounds of 78 and 75. Jake Gilkison of Springboro, OH rounded out the Top three finishers with a weekend total of 156, just five strokes behind Lippoldt. Gilkison and Lippoldt shared the honors of most birdies made over the course of the weekend, with five each. Lippoldt also shared a lead for the most pars made with Godfrey. Fantastic golf by all three of these players down the stretch led to an exciting finish at The Phoenix Golf Links in Columbus.

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In the Girls 15-18 division, Sunday saw a big comeback by two players and the champion was decided by playoff. Hannah Lemons of Canton, OH and Makenzie Torres of Grove City, OH decided that 36 holes would not be enough to declare a winner. Torres forced the playoff in dramatic fashion by chipping in for birdie on the tough par four 18th hole. Both players returned to the 10th hole for a playoff that lasted only one hole. Lemons sunk a clutch six foot putt for par to claim the victory over Torres. Lemons posted rounds of 85 and 80 to match the weekend total 165 posted by Torres with rounds of 84 and 81. The duo also finished the weekend tied atop the leaderboard in birdies made, and par four scoring. Micah Vincent of Columbus, OH was the first round leader after carding an 80 on Saturday. Unfortunately, Vincent was not able to hold on to the four stroke lead that she opened up but did play well enough on Sunday to finish in third place, only two strokes behind the leaders. Vincent finished with an 87 on the second day. Vincent was the best in the field for scoring on par threes as well as scoring on the back nine, the tougher side of The Phoenix Golf Links.

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At the end of the first round, Troy Taylor II of Westerville, OH was three strokes ahead of the field after posting an opening round 76. Taylor continued his excellent play on Sunday, extending the lead to six strokes by the end of the second round. Taylor followed up his 76 with a 74 for a weekend total of 150 and the first place title. Taylor had the most birdies in the field with five, sinking four in the first round Saturday despite the tougher weather conditions. He also led the field in par three and par five scoring, as well as front and back nine scoring. Finishing in second place was Cameron Frazier of Cincinnati, OH with a weekend total of 156. Frazier was the only other player in the division to card both rounds in 70’s. His weekend was highlighted by his ability to make pars on the par fours, leading the field in both pars made and par four scoring. Taking home the third place trophy was Tejas Sinha of Pickerington, OH. He carded rounds of 81 and 79. Sinha tore up the front nine both days, but the tougher back nine took back the strokes he earned. He finished with two birdies on the front side on the second day.

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Similar to the older girls, the Girls 11-14 also saw a come from behind victory. Mallory Lovell of Georgetown, KY finished the first round, four strokes behind Alex Swayne of Maineville, OH. Lovell reversed the positions on Sunday, improving her own score from 86 to 76 and taking the win by five strokes. Lovell saw great improvement from the start on Sunday, going bogey free on her first 11 holes, one under par for that stretch. Lovell played the front nine better both days, overall a 14 stroke difference at the end of the weekend between the two sides. Swayne ended up finishing in second place. The biggest difference in Swayne’s game was that she was unable to stay away from big numbers the second day. Swayne made two birdies both days, leading the field with four, but made four double bogies on Sunday to her one on Saturday. Amanda Hayes of Dayton, OH finished in third place with a weekend total of 178. Hayes started off Sunday with aspirations of getting into contention. She posted birdie on the first hole, and fired her lowest nine hole score of the weekend with a 39, but followed it with her worst nine on the backside with a 48. The 39 was enough to keep her ahead of the pack that was lurking only a few strokes behind. Weather: Day 1- Mid 50’s, Partly Cloudy, winds 20-30 MPH Day 2- Mid 60’s, Partly Cloudy, winds 15-20 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18-6,855 yards Boys 11-14-6,157 yards Girls 15-18-5,709 yards Girls 11-14-5,143 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 11-14 and Girls 15-18. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the nation, with stops in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, and Pennsylvania. For more information regarding the HJGT 2014 Tour, please visit our website at www.hjgt.org, call the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour headquarters at (904) 379-2697, or email info@hjgt.org.

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