Johnson & Wales Jr. Open November 16-17

Graham Nichols outshines the competition

Reyes' solid play earns her the title

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The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour made the short trip to Amelia Island, Florida for the Johnson and Wales Junior Open on November 16-17. The first round featured beautiful weather at the Amelia River Golf Club while the second round featured scattered showers throughout the morning. Winners in the boys 15-18 division and girls 15-18 division walked away with four AJGA Performance Stars. Winners in all four divisions received an invitation to the 2013 Tour Championship and top 10 finishers received points towards end of the year honors and the Hurricane Cup.

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With clouds and rain covering the early morning hours at the Johnson & Wales University Junior Open at Amelia River, players were expecting tough conditions throughout Championship Sunday.  However, as the boys 15-18 age groups made the turn from the front to the backside, the sun came out and was shining bright.  Shining right along with it was Graham Nichols.  Coming into Sunday’s final round, Nichols of Jacksonville, Florida was just a single stroke behind Saturday’s leader Linus Lo.  Nichols would rack up four birdies en route to posting the only red numbers for the day at 70 (-2).  With only 2 bogies throughout Sunday, Graham’s consistency putting proved to be key as he pulled away from Lo and the rest of the 50 player field.  Linus Lo played very consistent on Sunday, posting only two bogies, but at the same time posting no birdies for a score of 74.  Right on Lo and Nichols’ tail was 3rd place finisher Matthew Hines who posted 3 impressive birdies throughout his Sunday round.  The Golf Pride most improved player for the boys groups was Austin Smith who improved his score from Saturday to Sunday by an impressive 18 strokes.

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In the girls 15-18 division Susana Reyes from Bradenton, Florida was the only player to shoot even par during the first round. Reyes continued her solid play on Sunday for a 73 and a +1/145 weekend. Reyes also led the field in pars with 29 and added 3 birdies while also posting the field best scoring average on par-4 holes. Her solid play also included a 14-hole bogey free streak. Finishing just one stroke behind Reyes was Isidora Quevedo from Chile who shot 74 and 72 for a weekend total of 146. Quevedo had 22 pars and a field best performance on par-3 holes with a 2.5 scoring average. Quevedo and third place finisher, Paulina Camacho from Bradenton, Florida, both totaled 7 birdies earning them a share of the EFX Birdie Challenge title.  Camacho had a 4.8 scoring average on par-5 holes. The winner of the Golf Pride Grips Comeback Player of the Week was Diana Carolina Gonzalez when she improved her first round score by 8 strokes.

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A single stroke separated our boys 11-14 age group winner, runner-up, and third place finisher.  Taking third place with a two-day total of 152 was Brooks Dyess after he posted a Sunday best for his age group at 73.  The real battle was between Bumin Choi and Jason Jin as they went head to head in the last pairing of the day to battle for the first place trophy.  Choi came into Sunday with a 1-stroke lead over Jin, and it would come down to the 36th hole of the weekend to declare a winner.  Choi would sink a birdy putt to put him a stroke ahead of Jin who had yet to putt out on the final hole.  A par would send the couple into a playoff, but Jin missed the putt and ended up bogeying the hole, securing the win for Choi.  Choi’s two day total of 150 would be just enough to take away the weekend’s 1st place trophy.

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Tiara Carter from Lake City, Florida was able to edge out her competitors to take home the Johnson and Wales Junior Open title for the girls 11-14 division. Her solid 78-79 weekend rounds were a contribution from her 3 birdies, a field best, 19 pars, and her 5.1 scoring average on par-5 holes. Carter would also earn the EFX Birdie Challenge title with her 3 birdies. Haley Danford from Longwood, Florida finished one stroke behind Tiara. She shot 23 pars and led the field in par-5 performance with a 5.0 scoring average. Emily Chu from Bradenton, Florida rounded out the top three with a final score of 165. Chu added one birdie, 18 pars, and a 4.4 scoring average on par-4 holes.   Weather: Day 1- High 75, mostly sunny Day 2- High 70, scattered showers in the morning, partly cloudy afternoon Tournament Yardage: Boys 15-18: 6,698 yards Girls 15-18: 5,776 yards Boys 11-14: 6,244 yards Girls 11-14: 5,181 yards EFX Birdie Challenge: Boys 15-18: Zach Zediker Girls 15-18: Paulina Camacho, Isadora Quevedo Boys 11-14: Bumin Choi Girls 11-14: Tiara Carter Golf Pride Grips Comeback Player of the Week: Boys Division: Austin Smith Girls Division: Diana Carolina Gonzalez   About us: 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 will compete in one of four age divisions: Boys 15-18, Boys 11-14, Girls 11-14 and Girls 15-18. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the nation, with stops in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Ohio. For more information regarding the Johnson and Wales Junior Open, 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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