On Thursday, January 28, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Eustis, Fla., to host the Major Championship at Black Bear Golf Club. With great weather in the forecast, the kids were ready to “Dare the Bear”. Saturday was chilly to start out the tournament, but things quickly warmed up and it turned into a beautiful day. On Sunday, the field of over 90 players received near ideal conditions, which led to great scoring. The HJGT would like to thank the Black Bear staff for allowing us to host our major championship at a great venue. A full field meant the top boys and girls between the ages of 14-18 received AJGA Performance Stars, while all age divisions top performers received Junior Golf Scoreboard ranking points. Winners in each age division received an invitation to the 2016 Tour Championship on Dec. 3-4. Top three finishers in each division were awarded exemptions into the 2016 Mid Season Invitational at Chateau Elan June 11-13, 2016.
Boys 16-18 Division
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Callahan Elzey[/caption] Round one of the championship definitely proved to be a challenge, but not to our Boys 16-18 division. Callahan Elzey, of Fort Wayne, Ind., showed up with a forced to be reckoned with. Elzey dazzled the field of 29 golfers by tallying five birdies to come in at even par (72) after round one. Pierre Viallaneix and Trey Tussey trailed by just one and two strokes, respectively, after one round. In a tight competition, Elzey continued to pour it on in round two with five birdies. This would put him safely in first at one under for the day and one under for the tournament (143). With three birdies in round two, Tussey finished just behind Callahan at even par (144), followed closely by Viallaneix. Viallaneix rounded out our top three with an even par for round two and only one over for the two-day championship.
Boys 14-15 Division
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Johnny Bai[/caption] Johnny Bai, Jun Hyeok Moon, and Tony Liu would prove to the Bear that it was tamable. They all fought hard for the top three spots, finishing within just a few strokes of each other. All with three birdies in their pockets after both days of the tournament, and Tony Liu, with three in a row on the back on day two, a tight leaderboard shaped up after round one. Who would prevail among the 11 golfers vying for the title? It would be Lake Mary, Fla., native Johnny Bai with an impressive five-over-par total of 149. Crossing the finish line right after Bai, to was Jun Hyeok Moon at six-over-par. Rounding out our top three was yet another Lake Mary native, Tony Liu, who finished with a nine-over-par 153.
Boy 11-13 Division
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Andrew Clark[/caption] Round one proved to be the tougher of two days for the Boys 11-13 division. Brett Reid was sitting on top of the leaderboard after round one. Andrew Clark sat two strokes back, however Clark proved that the show was not over yet. His fellow competitor, Louis Giovi, also made a comeback, improving his score by nine strokes to shoot 72 in round two to put him in the running for the championship. With an even par score on the day, it was not enough to beat out Andrew for the lead, who finished at (153) to land the championship, two ahead of Giovi. Reid joined Giovi in a tie for second as well by posting a 79 in round two.
Boys U10 Division
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Barry Zhang[/caption] The Boys U10 age division saw steady play over the two-day event. Barry Zhang jumped out to an early lead with a first round 79. It was hardly a run-away, though. Hanru Guo sat two strokes back with an 81, while Asher Joseph and Aaron Dewitt had their eyes on the prize, each carding an 83. The final round brought a greater familiarity of the course, and the scores showed it. Samuel Camargo used this familiarity to his advantage, shaving nine strokes off of his opening round to win the most improved player award within his division after an 82 in round two. Guo and Joseph each carded 77, keeping them firmly in the hunt. However, it was Zhang who stole the show. After a bogey on the first hole, Zhang was a machine, carding two birdies and 15 pars for a one-under-par 71. Zhang carded a two-day total of 150 to finish eight ahead of Guo and 10 ahead of Joseph.
Girls 14-18 Division
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Eeon Ju Jang[/caption] One of the closest competitions of the weekend was found in the Girls 14-18 division. The three top golfers, Eeon Ju Jang, See Hee Oh and Seo Hyeung Mun, combined for seven birdies in rounds one and two in an impressive display. At tournament’s end, only three strokes separated eventual champion Jang from Oh. Jang finished at two-over-par (146) for the tournament and tallied three birdies on the back nine on Sunday to guide her to victory in the field of 20 golfers. Oh comfortably took second, four strokes ahead of Mun, who rallied for birdies on 16 and 17 to secure third place.
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Mi Ree Jung[/caption] Mi Ree Jung, of Seoul, South Korea, without a doubt “Dared the Bear”, with an impressive one-under-par finish for a three-over-par 147 total to secure first place out of seven golfers. After a tough round one, Nicole Felce proved her strength on round two to take second place at 11-over-par.
Weather for January 30-31, 2016
Round 1: Low 46, High 68. Chilly Morning, Sunny Skies, Wind 5-15 mph
Round 2: Low 559, High 70. Cloudy Skies, Wind 0-5 mph
Tournament Division Yardages
Boys 16-18: 6,700 Yards
Boys 14-15: 6,700 Yards
Girls 14-18: 5,853 Yards
Boys 11-13: 5,852 Yards
Girls U13: 5,102 Yards
Boys U10: 5,047 Yards