Major Championship at Larkin Statesville, NC Oct. 18-19

Statesville, NC: (October 19, 2014) The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Statesville, NC on October 18-19 for the Major Championship at Larkin. Players encountered extreme elevation changes on the challenging Larkin Golf Club layout. Winners in all four divisions received an invitation to the 2014 HJGT Tour Championship. The boys 11-14, boys 15-18, and girls 15-18 were ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard. Additionally, the top 20 finishers in each division received points towards year end honors which include HJGT state teams, ALL HJGT teams and the Hurricane Cup.

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The Boys 15-18 division was a tightly contested competition that took a 2 hole playoff for a champion to be crowned. Bryce Burke and Salil Ghamande were tied after 36 holes at a total score of 146 this weekend and needed two additional holes to determine the winner. Burke drained a 10 foot birdie putt to win on the challenging par 3 second hole. Burke played consistent golf both rounds with a pair of 73’s. His stats were also very consistent with 3 birdies, 2 bogies, and 1 double bogey in each of his rounds. This was Burke’s first Hurricane Junior Golf Tour victory after finishing in 2nd four times this season. After the round we spoke with Burke who was ecstatic about the victory and said he was thrilled to finally have cracked into the winner’s circle. Coming in second place was Salil Ghamande with score of 72 and 74. Ghamande finished the weekend with 5 birdies and was the only boy in his division to shoot even par or better during the tournament. Ghamande scorched the par 5’s this weekend playing them at a -3 clip over the two rounds. In third place was Zak Butt of Summerville, SC. Butt finished the weekend with 4 birdies and 25 pars and also had a great weekend on the par 5’s (-2 overall). Butt is a former HJGT Tour Champion. The most improved player this weekend was Trevor Beckham of Corneilus, NC who improved by an impressive 15 shots from round 1 to round 2 and the recipient of a full set of Golf Pride grips.

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The Girls 15-18 division was very tightly contested and came down to the wire, but in the end Emma Parson edged Kayla Smith by one stroke for the victory. Parson, who was a co-leader with Smith after first round, finished the tournament with 3 birdies and 19 pars. The par 3’s are where Parson played the best posting -1 on all par 3’s over the weekend. This was the best finish for Parson in her 3 starts on the HJGT this year. Coming in a close second was Kayla Smith of Middleburg, FL. Smith who made the long journey up from Florida seemed to have no problem making the adjustment from the flat courses of the south to the rolling hills of NC courses. After the first round Smith was co-leading the event and looked determined to win the tournament especially on the back nine posting an even par 36. This was Smith’s 5th top three finish of the 2014 who finished the weekend with 2 birdies and 19 pars. Coming in 3rd place was Alexis Whitney of Charlotte, NC. Whitney was down by 4 strokes after the first round but quickly made up ground in the second round and was tied with the leaders after 10 holes. This was Whitney’s 2nd consecutive top 3 finish (2nd at Charlotte Junior Challenge). The most improved was also won by Whitney for her division, improving by 8 stokes.  

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The Boys 11-14 division was an even tighter race than the Girls 15-18 division and the top 3 finishers were within 1 shot of one another. Ultimately, Connor Creasy of Abingdon, VA prevailed and won the tournament with a two round total of 149. Creasy who shot a first round score of 78 bounced back brilliantly in round two and fired a blistering 71. This was Creasy’s first win of the 2014 season and his 5th top five finish. Creasy ended the weekend with 4 birdies and 24 pars. Coming in second place was Luka Karaulic of Lawrenceville, GA. Karaulic played the back nine of the second round at -2 under par and like Creasy improved mightily from round 1 to round 2. This was Karaulic’s 11th top 3 finish this season, who is now comfortably in 3rd place for the Boys 11-14 HJGT player of the year standings.  Karaulic sank 6 birdies this weekend and rolled in 23 pars. The Boys 11-14 3rd place finisher was Carson Whitton of Newnan, GA. Whitton played consistent and steady golf over the two rounds posting scores of 76 and 75 respectively. Whitton tore apart the par 5’s this weekend posting a tournament best -4 under on those holes. This was Whitton’s 10th top 3 finish this year. Other notables this weekend included Grant Smith who fired a second round 71 and JT Smith who improved by 13 shots from round 1 to round 2.  

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The Girls 11-14 division was won by Alexis Sudjianto of Charlotte, NC. Sudjianto improved by 4 strokes from round 1 to round 2 (80, 76).  This was Sudjianto’s first win on the HJGT this year and her 2nd top 3. Sudjianto finished the weekend with 4 birdies and 18 total pars. Muskan Uppal of Cornelius, NC finished in 2nd place this weekend after posting back to back 82’s. Uppal had identical front nine and back nine scores both days and was the epitome of consistency. This was Muskan’s first HJGT event and she finished with 2 birdies. Rounding out the Girls 11-14 division was Izzy Van Der Biest who recorded scores of 93 and 83 respectively.  That was enough to earn her the comeback player of the weekend and receive a full set of golf pride grips. This was Izzy’s second top 3 finish this year.   Weather: Day 1- Mid 60’s, Mostly Sunny, winds 15-20MPH Day 2- Mid 60’s, Mostly Sunny, winds 15-20 MPH   Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18-6,762 yards Boys 11-14-6,133 yards Girls 15-18-5,729 yards Girls 11-14-5,187 yards   About us: The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) was founded in 2008 with the intent 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 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, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Connecticut. For more information regarding the 2014 HJGT Tour, please visit our website at www.hjgt.org, call the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour headquarters at (904) 379-2697, or email infor@hjgt.org.   Experience #TheHurricaneDifference

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