On January 23-24, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to beautiful Cyprus, Texas to host the very first HJGT event in Texas: the Houston Kickoff at Blackhorse Golf Club. The course and playing conditions exceeded all expectations and provided for a great weekend of golf. Saturday started off slightly chilly resulting in a frost delay, but by Sunday, it was bright and sunny conditions reigned at Blackhorse. Winners in all five age divisions received an automatic bid to the Tour Championship on Dec. 3-4. The top-ten finishers also received points towards end year honors, which include state teams, all HJGT teams, and the Hurricane Cup.
[caption id="attachment_19363" align="alignleft" width="175"]
In the boys 16-18 age division, Dawson Dally, from Katy, Texas took home the first place trophy as well as a free five-day, six-night golf camp at the Saddlebrook Golf Academy. Dally, having to overcome the one and a half hour frost delay Saturday and a thirty-minute frost delay Sunday, was able to move from second place in round one to champion at tournament’s end. Dally finished with a two-day total of 156, carding the most impressive rounds of the weekend. Dally finished the first round with a 79 and came back Sunday scoring even lower with a 77. Sunday saw a rise in temperature with beautiful weather. As the temperature rose, the scores lowered. Dally began the day three strokes off the pace, but quickly erased the deficit in the second round. Dally finished off the tournament with one eagle and three birdies. Coming in second was Alec Brown of Pearland, Texas. Brown played well this weekend and was the first-round leader on Saturday with a 76. Brown followed his 76 with an 84 in round two. With a total of 160 that included five birdies, he finished four strokes behind Dally. Our third-place finisher this weekend was Sal Ruggieri of Frisco, Texas. Ruggieri did not disappoint with an impressive round of 76 on Saturday, which included three birdies. On Sunday, Ruggieri posted an 88 which featured one birdie. He finished the tournament with a score of 164, only four strokes from second place and eight strokes from first. Overall the boys 16-18 age division was very competitive this weekend, and all of our top finishers played some impressive golf.
[caption id="attachment_19364" align="alignleft" width="175"]
In the Boys 11-13 age division, Jackson Winder finished the tournament in the top spot. Winder from Spring, Texas, dropped in a birdie on his way to a solid round of 85, which placed him in second after round one. With a score of 83 on Sunday, Winder finished with a 168 for a one-shot victory. The second place trophy went to Davis Byrd, who was in first place with an 82 after the first round. Byrd was passed by Winder after an 87 in round two resulted in a 169 total. Byrd finished with one birdie for the event. Madden Sinnes came in third place with a two-day total of 195. Saturday, Sinnes recorded a 103 and came back stronger on Sunday with a 92.
[caption id="attachment_19365" align="alignleft" width="175"]
Elyse Emerzian[/caption] Girls 14-18 Elyse Emerzian from Deerfield, Ill. traveled over 1,100 miles to her first Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event and did not return home empty-handed. Emerzian, one of our newest members, posted an 86 both days for a total of 172 and a stunning 20-shot victory. Emily Batchelder from Stillwater, Oklahoma took home the second-place trophy with a two-day total of 192. She scored a 96 on both Saturday and Sunday, showing consistent play. Both girls received an invitation to the Saddlebrook Golf Academy camp, a $1500 value, free of charge. Both girls plan to add to their trophy cases in more HJGT events throughout the season.
[caption id="attachment_19366" align="alignleft" width="175"]
Jadia Manakalani[/caption] The champion of the girls 13 and under age division was Jadia Manakalani from Cyprus, Texas. In her first ever junior golf tournament, Manakalani overcame obstacles and displayed perseverance throughout the weekend. She was very excited to take home her very first trophy and could not wait to tell all of her friends about the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. Manakalani said she plans to compete on the HJGT once more when the Tour returns to the Houston area. Not only was she excited to win, but also she is thrilled for the opportunity to attend the five-day, six-night golf camp at the Saddlebrook Golf Academy.
Weather: Saturday: Mid 40’s, Sunny, Wind 5-10 MPH Sunday: Mid 60’s, Sunny, Wind 5-10 MPH
Tournament Yardages: Boys 16-18 – 6,725 Yards Boys 11-13 – 5,739 Yards Girls 14-18 – 5,739 Yards Girls 13U – 5,094 Yards