Golden Isles Junior Challenge at King and Prince
February 20-21, 2016
Kids Take Advantage of Golden Opportunity
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour teed it up at King and Prince Golf Course in St. Simons Island, Ga. from Feb. 20-21 for the Golden Isles Junior Challenge. Once again, the weather played a huge part in keeping the scores close. Sunny skies and minimal winds allowed the players to showcase their true game. The leaders in each age group were all within three strokes or less, setting up an exciting second round. The 67-player field enjoyed the beautiful course layout, especially holes 12-15 because of its vast scenery as they stood on their own island in the middle of marshland. The HJGT staff cannot thank the staff at the King and Prince Golf Course enough for their extraordinary hospitality as they were there to help and make sure our tournament was a success. The Girls 13U Champion received one performance star for the America Junior Golf Association. Junior Golf Scoreboard points were given to the Boys 11-13, Boys 14-15, Boys 16-18 and Girls 14-18 divisions. Additionally, winners in each age division received an invitation to the 2016 Tour Championship on Dec. 3-4. Top three finishers in each division were awarded exemptions into the 2016 Mid Season Invitational at Chateau Elan on June 11-13.
Boys 16-18 Division
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TJ Nolan[/caption] TJ Nolan of Rapid City, S.D., needed some extra golf in order to secure the Golden Isles Junior Challenge Championship this weekend. Entering the second round down by two strokes, TJ used an eagle on 14 and a birdie on 17 to get the lead. His 148 for the weekend was almost good enough to get the victory during regulation but a bogey on 18 opened the door for Preston Wagaman. Wagaman, from Martinez, Ga., did his job and birdied the 18th to force a playoff. Wagaman’s round two score of 71 was the best for the day and his 148 for the weekend was good enough for second. The first playoff hole ended in two pars. Wagaman finished the second hole with a par leaving it in the hands of Nolan. With ice in his veins, Nolan sank an 18-foot putt for birdie and the championship. Noah Peterson (Round 2: 78) and Wilson Andress (Round 2: 75) ended the tournament tied for third with a combined score of 149. Peterson entered the day with a lead but the late surge by Nolan took over. This was TJ Nolan’s second playoff in three weeks, as he took second at the HJGT’s Kiawah Island Junior Challenge. Boys 14-15 Division [caption id="attachment_19775" align="alignleft" width="247"]
Will Spivey[/caption] Will Spivey came into round two with four strokes between him and the leaders. The back nine helped the Douglas, Ga., native to a tournament championship by one stroke. An eagle on No. 14 combined with a birdie on No. 18 secured the victory. A risky shot on No. 14 navigating between a pair of hazards proved to be crucial in the win. Coming in right on his heels with a 153 combined score was Luke Dasher from Macon, Ga. Dasher used four birdies to get to the top after trailing by two strokes entering the day. His birdie on No. 18 put the pressure on Spivey, who was not fazed. Coming in at a close third was Arthur Draijer from Luxembourg, who shot an impressive 157. Draijer also had an eagle on the par five No. 14. Boys 11-13 Division Jonathan Griz came in with the second best score of the weekend with an even-par 72 in round two of the Golden Isles Junior Challenge at King and Prince Golf Course this weekend. Griz, coming from Hilton Head Island, S.C., entered the day with a one-stroke lead before taking off for his second HJGT win of 2016. His consistent play led to a tournament total of 145, just one stroke over par for the weekend. Payne Elkins from Valdosta, Ga., came into round two just one stroke off the lead, but could not keep up with Griz. Elkins used four birdies and an eagle in round one to stay in contention for championship Sunday. His 162 for the weekend was just ahead of third place. Coming in third was Cason Cavalier, who shot an 83 for the day and 165 for the weekend.
Girls 14-18 Division
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Jonathan Griz[/caption] The hometown girl, Julianna Collett, ended round one just one-over-par and never seemed fazed in round two. The St. Simons Island, Ga., native started day two with a comfortable six-stroke lead. Tallying six birdies throughout the two rounds was the best of the girls and her lead ballooned to double digits. She added a cherry on top with an eagle on the par-five 18th; the only eagle there on the weekend. Lexi Clark and Katie James battled it out for second place. Clark shot an 81 during round two, giving her a 161 for the weekend. Her birdie on 18 was just enough to separate her from James. James shot an 83 during round two equaling 162 for the weekend.
Girls 13U Division
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Virginia Anne Holmes[/caption] The 13U Girls division saw Virginia Anne Holmes from Montgomery, Ala., walk away with the victory after posting a 183 total. Holmes made the lone birdie of the two-player division at the par-five fifth hole during round two. Her birdie helped her post an 87 in round two, a nine-stroke improvement. Her playing partner, Izzy Stone shot a 246 for the weekend, which included a 10-stroke improvement between round one and two (128-118).
Boys 10U Division
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Jack Roberts[/caption] Coming into round two, Jack Roberts was tied for the lead. That lasted all of two holes, as the St. Mary’s, Ga., native took a one-stroke lead and never looked back. His 79 in round two gave him a 162 for the weekend and a 12-stroke victory. When asked what his favorite hole was, Jack mentioned the par-3 12th hole, and for good reason: Roberts nearly made an ace, and made a short putt for birdie. The battle for second was very tight all day. Aaron DeWitt ended up edging out Gavin Fleming by one. DeWitt had one birdie during round two, which gave him a 174 overall. Fleming tallied a 155.
Weather for February 20-21
Round 1: Low 52, High 71, Winds 5-10 mph, Sunny Skies, Warm
Round 2: Low 55, High 71, Winds 5-10 mph, Mostly Cloudy Skies, Warm
Tournament Division Yardages
Boys 16-18 Division: 6,492 yards
Boys 14-15 Division: 6,492 yards
Boys 11-13 Division: 5,617 yards
Girls 14-18 Division: 5,617 yards
Girls 13U Division: 5,095 yards
Boys 10U Division: 4,895 yards