Laurel Hill Junior Shootout
Laurel Hill GC – Lorton, VA (March 26 - 27)
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour ventured to the historic Laurel Hill in Lorton, Va. Designed by Bill Love, Laurel Hill was created on land formerly used by the D.C. Department of Corrections. Love wanted to pay homage to early pioneers of American golf with the design. Natural beauty characterizes the course and creates an impressive view for all competitors. Many in the golf media agree that Laurel Hill and its views are “visually stunning” and take full advantage of the historic prison grounds. Home to the 88th U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships, the course is top-notch providing challenging greens, a multitude of traps and hazards, and open fairways. The course rewards accuracy and helps grow every player’s array of skills.
Boys 16-18 Division
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The Boys 16-18 division belonged to Tanner Grzegorczyk of Glenshaw, Pa. From tee off on Saturday, Grzegorczyk was locked in. Tanner banged in four birdies to go along with 21 pars on the week. Grzegorczyk hed a one-stroke lead over Justin Ayanian of McLean, Va., who eventually tied for second place out of 22 golfers with Jackson Mote of Alexandria, Va. Grzegorczyk played the consistency card the entire tournament as he shot a 75 on both days to finish with a 150 (+8) overall score. Mote and Ayanian both played well, but could not catch the leader. The pair each shot a 153 (+11) total and posted a stellar one-over-par total on the back nine in an attempt to surge up the leaderboard. Ayanian finished with five birdies and 18 pars, while Mote had three birdies and 21 pars.
Boys 14-15 Division
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The Boys 14-15 division crown went to Mikey Brennan of Leesburg, Va., who beat out second-place finisher and fellow Virginians Gary Bullard of Chantilly and third-place finisher David Luo of Centreville, Va. Brennan shot a two-day total of 153 (+11), resulting from a 77 on Saturday and a slightly improved score of 76 during the final round. Trailing Bullard as play resumed on Sunday, Brennan relied on his putting accuracy to pull away from his 10 fellow competitors. Bullard and Luo played well, but could not quite make the clutch shot to challenge the leader. Bullard, unfortunately hit a funk on the back nine that ultimately crushed his first place hopes. Luo had one too many double bogeys to keep in contention for the win. Bullard nailed a birdie and 21 pars, while Luo made three birdies and 17 pars.
Girls 14-18 Division
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The Girls 14-18 age division crowned Cynthia Tu of Vienna, Va., as champion at Laurel Hill. Tu performed the most consistent of the group, even though she insisted she didn’t play to her potential. Two birdies and 17 pars allowed Tu to hold off New Yorkers Faith Francioso of Wantagh and Amanda Tully of Brewster, who got second and third out of seven golfers, respectively. Tu made six pars down the stretch on the back nine to hang on for victory and a 20-over-par 162 total. Francioso battled hard until the end, but doubled on 18 to end her chanced. She fell short by one stroke, shooting a two-day total of 163 (+21). Knocking in two birdies and a division high 17 pars kept Francioso in contention. Tully had the turnaround of the division by coming back on Sunday to take home third. Shooting an 88 on Saturday, she knew there was work to be done, which led to an 80 on Sunday for a 168 (+26) total. She made a division-high three birdies and drained 12 pars as well.
Boys 11-13 Division
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Quint Dingledine[/caption] The Boys 11-13 division featured a three-way battle between Quint Dingledine of Richmond, Va., Marshall Meisel of Chevy Chase, Md., and Shawn Colella of Marcellus, N.Y. Dingledine came out on top by using a five-stroke Saturday lead to his advantage. A strong back nine on Sunday kept his competitors at bay, while he went on to shoot an impressive 156 (+14) total. A couple of birdies mixed with 20 pars gave Dingledine all he needed to outpace his other five opponents. Meisel captured second over Colella with a brilliant Sunday. If not for posting bogeys on Nos. 14-17 on the back nine, Meisel might have had the chance to take first, but finished two strokes back at 158. Meisel put in a division-high four birdies to lead his comeback attempt. Colella took fourth with a 162 (+20) total. 19 pars and a couple of birdies kept Colella hanging around, but a very up-and-down day one was his downfall.
Girls 13U Division
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The Girls 13 and under division featured wire-to-wire domination by Caitlin Tully of Brewster, N.Y. Tully took an eight-stroke lead into Sunday’s final round and expanded it to a phenomenal 15 strokes. Tully nailed 18 pars, while the next closest only had 11. Tully shot a 164 (+22) total, which was easily the best of the group. Second and third place out of five competitors went to Rita Liu of North Potomac, M.D., and Victoria Matthews of Great Falls, Va., respectively. Liu came away with 11 pars, while Matthews made eight. Liu ended with a 179 (+37) total and Matthews had a 182 (+40). The girls had to fight the darkness as daylight crept out of sight near the end of their rounds both days. Sunday was even trickier with the cloudy day, but the girls battled through to put up some good scores.
Boys 10U Division
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The Boys 10 and under division featured lone competitor Talon Dingledine of North Chesterfield, Va. Dingledine played his heart out this weekend as he competed with….himself. This was a battle fought inside his head. Talon shot a 194 (+52) total for the two-day event. Dingledine won alongside his brother, Quint, making for a happy family affair. Dingledine tried his hardest to set personal records since he knew from the start the trophy was his. He tallied six pars in the tournament.
Saturday: Mid-High 60s, Sunny, Winds 5-15 MPH
Sunday: High-Low 50-60s, Overcast, Winds 10-20 MPH
Boys 16-18 - 6,651 YDS
Boys 14-15 - 6,651 YDS
Girls 14-18/Boys 11-13 - 5,675 YDS
Boys U10 - 4,900 YDS
Girls U13 - 5,150 YDS