On October 3rd and 4th, 2015, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to beautiful Jekyll Island, Georgia to host the Drive Fore Juniors Classic at Jekyll Island Golf Course (Indian Mound). The course was in good shape, playing conditions were good, and it was also a well-challenged tournament for the long two days of golf. On Saturday, the first day of the tournament, it was overcast with a nice breeze to make the first day enjoyable. On Sunday, we were blessed to have another great day of playing conditions again with the rain holding off except for a light and short mist, which was a great cap to the tournament. Winners in all five-age divisions will receive an automatic bid to the Tour Championship on December 5th and 6th, 2015. The weekend was unbeatable all around, and the top ten finishers also received points towards end year honors, which include state teams, all HJGT teams, and the Hurricane Cup.
In the boys 15-18 divisions from Livingston, Mark Goodall claimed the title of champion after playing two fantastic rounds of golf. Goodall came out on fire on a wet Saturday by shooting and incredible round of 68! Goodall was able to score 3 birdies on the front and back nines totaling 6 for his round. On Sunday, Mark had his eye on the prize and continued playing fantastic golf by adding 4 more to total out at 10 birdies on the weekend. He rounded out another fantastic round of 72, which put him at a two-day total of 140. Mark had a great demeanor overall this weekend and his focused attitude definitely showed through his scores. Coming in second place was the ever-impressing Anita Uwandia from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Anita is the only girl that I’m aware of that is playing in the boys division and not only that but she is beating most. Anita came out strong on Saturday scoring a round of 75 putting her in contention for placing as long as she followed it up with another strong round. She did that and more by scoring the course with a round of 68 and grabbing 4 birdies along the way. Anita definitely turned some heads amongst players, coaches, parents, and even my own. It’s always awesome to see players challenging and pushing their talents to new limits. Last but certainly not least we have TJ Nolan from Rapid City, SD who placed third in this weekends tournament. TJ post very impressive back-to-back rounds of 71 and 73 for a two-day total of 144. TJ also claiming a total of 5 birdies over the duration of the tournament. Overall, the boys 15-18 year-old division was very competitive this week, and all of the top finishers played very polished, and quality golf.
In the boys 13-14 age division Jonathan Griz from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina finished the tournament strong and was able to edge out a close victory. Griz came out ready to play shooting a round of 74 on Saturday and snagging a couple of birdies along the way. Griz knew he was down a stroke going into Sunday’s round and told me ahead of time he was ready to win this thing. Griz had some of the most impressive short game in the entire tournament and he definitely took advantage of that to set up some easy putts. He played consistent and impressive golf throughout the weekend being able to repeat his round of 74 on Sunday. Finishing in second place was Harry Jones from Augusta, Georgia who just missed forcing a playoff on Sunday. Jones got off to a great start on Saturday by grabbing 3 birdies and shooting a very solid 73, which gave him the lead going into Sunday’s round. Harry has some great talent and we look forward to watching him continue to improve and grow his game through future Hurricane tournaments. Rounding up the boys 13-14 division is James Ballato from Fernandina Beach, Georgia. Ballato had some stiff competition this weekend but was able to stick around and prove that he’s a competitor to keep your eye on for the future. Improving on Sunday he really zoned in on his drives and was punishing the ball down the fairway all weekend long. The boys 13-14 division had a very exciting week, and every competitor in the field displayed two high quality rounds of golf.
In the boys 11-12 division we had two competitors battle it out both days while each posting great outings overall. Our champion, Cason Cavalier was from around the corner on Saint Simons Island, Georgia. Cason came out and torched his home course on Saturday shooting a very impressive 75, which gave him a pretty comfortable lead on his competitor. Cason had great command of his shots out there on this wet course,/ and was able to really set himself up for quality shorts all weekend long. Finishing along with Cason we had Edward Stephens Jr., the youngest competitor we had in the entire tournament. Edward really seemed like he was have a great time on the course which is what we here at HJGT strive for. Edward gave 110% out there on the course and didn’t let anything stop him from having a great tournament. Overall, the boys 13-14 division had a very exciting week, and every competitor in the field displayed two high quality rounds of golf.
Once again in our girls 15-18 division we had another international player take first place with Hanna Kiefer from Kronberg, Germany who shot a two-day total of 151. She shot an incredible 73 in her first round only to follow that up with another impressive round of 78! Kiefer was able to grab a birdie on both the front and back nines and really pushed herself to get a comfortable lead after the first round. She’s a very competitive and aggressive player who brings a lot of raw talent and emotion to game which is a good change of pace and we look forward to her bringing that back for another Hurricane tournament soon. Finishing not far behind Kiefer and in second place were two competitors; Katie James from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and Kaysie Harrelson from Tifton, Georgia. These girls went back and forth all weekend long posting the same scores on both days. Shooting consistent well-played golf in the face of competition is no easy task but these girls made it look routine out on the course. Kaysie was able to grab 3 birdies throughout the weekend as well. Rounding up the girls 15-18 group in third place was Madison Branum from Lexington, South Carolina. Branum was able to play through these rough conditions that were present on the course from all the rain the island has gotten recently. She posted two impressive rounds back to back and was even able to improve on Sunday! Overall, the girls 15-18 division had a very exciting week, and every competitor in the field displayed two high quality rounds of golf.
Last but not least we had the girls 11-14 division with Parker Perry all the way from Richmond, Virginia making her long trip well worth it by taking home first place. Parker came ready to play this weekend by posting a round of 79 on the first day and followed it up pretty closely on Sunday with an 81. I don’t think I saw Parker once without a smile beaming from her face and I think that definitely helped her composure out on the course. Following up in second place was Savannah Hylton from Hilton Head, South Carolina. Savannah was another competitor who came out with a great attitude and focus to compete with the best this weekend. She came out with a strong round on Saturday and was able to improve on Sunday by a 5-stroke margin. I’m sure we’ll continue to watch Savannah improve tournament by tournament as she continues playing through the JPGA academy. Last but certainly not least we had Sloan Lanier from Blackshear, Georgia take home some hardware in third place. Sloan had to battle with some tough conditions out there on the course this weekend but was able to make some great adjustments and also improve her score by 5 strokes on Sunday. Sloan was even able to grab a birdie on her final nine holes of the tournament to end strong. Overall, the girls 11-14 division had a very exciting week, and every competitor in the field displayed two high quality rounds of golf. Weather: Saturday: Low 70’s, Overcast/Light Rain, Wind 10-15 MPH Sunday: Low-Mid 70’s,Overcast/Light Rain, Wind 10-15 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18- 6,484 YDS Boys 13-14- 6,200 YDS Girls 15-18/Boys 11-12 - 5,758 YDS Girls 11-14- 5,170 YDS 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 Kyle Bellows Hurricane Junior Golf Tour 2015 Experience #TheHurricaneDifference