The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour stopped in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida this Labor Day weekend to host the HJGT Match Play Championship. Days one and two were both filled with weather delays, which proved to make both days extremely long for both players and staff. While Day 3 provided players with no delays, but a few small showers to end the tournament. Both the second round of stroke play on Day one and the second set of match play matches on Day 2 pushed the time clock as players raced to finish before sunset. The competition was fierce among all competitors, and the winners of each Division will be asked to compete in the HJGT National Championship in Championsgate, Fl.
The Boys 15-18 Division showed great suspense along with many surprises throughout the Match Play Championship. After competing for 36 holes on the first day of the event for qualifying, Bebe Bouahom finished with the number one seed after shooting 75, 73 for a 148 total (+4). Justin Rickerson was tied with Bebe after the opening 18 holes, but Bebe found his groove on his final nine holes of stroke play shooting a three-under 34 which left Rickerson three behind at 151 (+7). After many upsets and two long days of the uncommon format of match play, the final pair included Georgy Chernov and Connery Meyer. Many of holes of golf caught up to the two players but on Meyer’s 100th hole for the tournament, the 13 year old Meyer came out on top with a 6&5 win.
Another showcase age group for the Match Play Championship was the Girls 15-18 Division. After 36 holes of stroke play, Addie Baggarly, a recent University of Florida recruit, was the only player in the field that shot under par with a total of 143 (-1). Each of her two rounds included five birdies on this difficult and demanding El Campeon course. After an amazing first day of golf, Baggarly was upset by Sydney Shrader in the first round of match play on the 17th hole. Sydney continued to upset her opponents until the final match, where Mimi Chen won 1 UP after an amazing 18-hole battle.
The weather delays and the course pushed all competitors to their limits this week, but familiar faces, such as Carson Moran, Johnny Bai, and Christopher Poppy Lee, were among the top. Moran and Bai received the number’s one and two seeds for match play after Moran recorded a +8 (78+74=152), and Bai recorded a +9 (76+77=153) during two rounds of stroke play on Day one. After two rounds of match play, however, Christopher Lee went 1 up on the 18th hole to beat Moran for the final spot against Johnny Bai in the finals. Bai went 4&3 against Yuzhe Zhang to earn his way into the final match on Monday. Bai, on Monday, hit a hot streak, and went 8&7 against Lee to earn the Boys’ 13-14 Division Title, while Lee earned second place honors. The competition was tough this weekend, and all competitors were happy to receive some hardware for their hard work and effort. The Girls’ 11-14 Division, while not the largest division at this tournament, was still full of tough competition. Alexa Pano earned the number one seed for match play after recording a +3(73+74=147) total after two rounds of stroke play. Juli Camargo recorded a +11 (79+76=155) total to earn the number two seed. Lillian Berry, who recorded a +18(82+80=162) to earn the third seed in match play also earned her way into the final match against Pano on Sunday. Pano remained 1 UP through the 18th hole to earn the Girls’ 11-14 Division title Weather: Day 1: Low of 73, High of 93, Partially Cloudy, Winds NE 5 to 10 MPH. Day 2: Low of 74, High of 94, Isolated Thunderstorms, Winds NE 6 to10 MPH. Day 3: Low of 73, High of 91, Isolated Showers, Winds ESE 5 to 10 MPH. Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18: 6755 yards Boys 13-14: 6481 yards Girls 15-18: 5670 yards Girls 11-14: 5135 yards About us: 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 four 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, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Connecticut. For more information regarding the 2014 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 Experience #TheHurricaneDifference