Holiday Classic at Ocala National Dec. 13-14

Hurricane Junior Golf Tour

Holiday Classic at Ocala National

  Ocala, Florida: December 14, 2014 – Alas, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) has reached the end of the 2014 season with the conclusion of the Holiday Classic at Ocala National. It was a wonderful two days of golf, filled with spirited competition and superb weather. During both days of play the sun was shinning, there was minimal wind, and not even a sprinkle came down upon the field. It truly was a holiday blessing to end an unforgettable season with a flawless tournament. Each and every player brought competitive attitudes and each lucky winner will receive exemptions into two future events, the 2015 Tour Championship and the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational at Chateau Élan. As always, a big thank you to all the HJGT and Ocala staff for making this event possible. Everyone was very accommodating and professional, allowing for this to be an appropriate send off to the 143+ events administered by HJGT in 2014.   Boys 15-18   For the Boys 15 – 18 division, Jacques Celestino out of Sarasota, Florida will be crowned the 2014 Holiday Classic winner with a two-day total of 145 (+1). Celestino played a miraculous tournament and earned every bit of this victory. Carding a total of six birdies and seven bogeys throughout the two days of play shows only one thing, consistency. Never letting his round get out of hand, Celestino avoided any major mistakes never making anything bigger then a bogey. This helped keep some distance between him and his playing partners, ensuring his lead and eventually his win. Coming in second place was Luke Schniederjans out of Powder Springs, Georgia with a two-day total of 148 (+4). Only three strokes behind Celestino, every shot was the difference between winning and finishing a close second. Unlike the champion who had near zero mistakes, Schniederjans carded a double on the second hole during the first round. This seemed to be the dagger that landed him the second place trophy. Placing in a tie for third place was Francisco Maciel out of Queretaro, Mexico and Tom Broxup of the United Kingdom with two-day totals of 149 (+5). Maciel, after having a bumpy round one of 77 (+5), came out guns blazing at the start of round two going three under through his first four holes. He was looking to make up some ground on the leaders but unfortunately ran out of steam. After the fourth hole, he made no more birdies and three bogeys bringing him to even par for the day. Broxup simply did not make enough birdies to make a run. The leaders were consistently outscoring him making it very hard to earn a top spot. But nonetheless, his play was good enough for a bronze medal and should feel proud with what he has accomplished today.   Boys 11 – 14   For the Boys 11 – 14 division, Christopher Vandette would earn first place honors in the Holiday Classic at Ocala National with a two-day total of 156 (+12). Vandette was sitting pretty after day one near the top of the leaderboard with a first round 79 (+7). Only two shots behind the leader, Vandette’s main concern during the last day was to focus on spacing himself from the other players in the division. He did just that by firing a stellar 37 (+1) on the front nine, positioning himself perfectly to make one last charge for the top. Stumbling his way there though a few more bogeys and a double, Vandette was able to hold off the other players and snatch one last win for the 2014 season. Coming in a tie for second was Yuichi Murao out of Tokyo, Japan and Richard Jacobs out of North Palm Beach, Florida with two-day totals of 159 (+15). Both Murao and Jacobs simply made too many mistakes to earn a first place trophy. This is unfortunate because without just a few of these mistakes, it would have been a completely different story and the boys 11 – 14 division would most likely have a different champion. But that is golf and one cannot dwell on the past. All three of these gentlemen played exceptionally well and should celebrate a successful tournament.   Girls 15 – 18   For the Girls 15 – 18 division, Mami Yamamoto out of Tokyo, Japan would win by a landslide with a two-day total of 146 (+2). There is so much to be said about Yamamotos play because it was near perfect. Starting out her first round red-hot going four under par through seven holes, one could assume that she was hungry for the gold. Her tournament was near perfect; Yamamoto fell apart on the back nine, shooting a 42 (+6). Not really hurting her position on the leaderboard, she was still eager to get back out there for round two. A much more consistent round, Yamamoto would go on to shoot a casual 72 (E) with a few bogeys and a few birdies. This stellar round would be the capstone to a beautiful two days of golf. Coming in second place out of Daytona, Florida is Aleja Lobelo with a two-day total of 152 (+8). Lobelo would have been a much more favored candidate for a champion if she hadn’t had such a rough first day. She was not able to get anything going or roll in any putts leading her to shoot an 81 (+8). Really not enjoying that day of golf, she brushed it off and came back on day two in a big way. Shooting the only under par round out of the entire field, Lobelo carded four birdies, three bogeys, and no doubles for an astonishing 71 (-1). Coming in a tie for third place was Mai Dechathipat out of Bangkok, Thailand and Kelsy Holbert out of Lutz, Florida with two-day totals of 155 (+11). Hitting countless great golf shots, these two girls played their hearts out and deserve a good deal of recognition. It was just not good enough for the gold. One too many bogeys combined with a few off-putting doubles, acted as a force field from the top of the leaderboard. Girls 11 – 14   For the Girls 11 – 14 division, Cindy Kou out of Windermere, Florida will take down yet another victory with a two-day total of 151 (+7). Kou is no stranger to the spotlight and is quite familiar with winning. In total, Kou has racked up five victories in the 2014 season and a number of second and third place finishes. This weekend was a classic Kou victory and only added to an already impressive résumé as she stomped on her competition by thirteen shots. Although not her best second day score, Kou, the Girls 11-14 Player Of the Year on tour, still made no doubles and was very consistent. Even if she might have thought her performance to be inferior, she is still one of the best young juniors playing on the HJGT. Coming in second place out of Lake Mary, Florida is Meiyi Yan with a two-day total of 164 (+20). Yan just could not roll in any birdie putts to erase some of the bogeys that found their way on to her scorecard making it very difficult catch up to the seasoned veteran Cindy Kou. Coming in third place with a two-day total of 185 (+41) was Amelia Williams out of Gainesville, Florida. Though quite far behind the other two competitors, Williams played with a lot of heart and determination. She never gave up and kept her chin held high. Hopefully by playing with Kou and Yan, she learned a few things that could help her in future tournaments.   Congratulations to all the champions for a marvelous event and an even better season!   Weather:   Saturday: Mostly sunny.   Sunday: Partly Sunny.   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  in 2015 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, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Connecticut. For more information regarding the HJGT, 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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