Major Championship at Westlake Golf & Country Club Jackson, New Jersey: September 14, 2014 - This week the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) took quite the leap and traveled up to Jackson, New Jersey on September 13th and 14th for the 36 hole Major Championship at Westlake Golf & Country Club. A jaw dropping venue for the tour, Westlake G&CC was a gracious host for the event. All the participating members of the club and of the staff were imperative to our success; we cannot thank them enough. The weather for the event was dicey for the first day having rained most of the afternoon, but turned around quickly on the second day with a morning full of sunshine. Purely a stroke play tournament, the players competed for Junior Golf Scoreboard Ranking (JGS), a bid into the 2014 Tour Championship on December 6th and 7th. Also, the top 20 finishers receive points towards year-end honors, which include state teams, all HJGT teams and the Hurricane Cup. Boys 15 – 18
For the Boys 15-18 division, Cole McCook squeezed a victory out with a first round 72 and a second round 76 for a two-day total of 148. Nipping at his heels, almost snatching the win, was Anthony Colombino and Jackson Flynn one behind McCook. Both second place finishers played steadily posting 149’s but just could not make up the one shot to force a playoff. Congratulations to Anthony and Jackson for a stellar tournament. McCook on the other hand started off this Major Championship with an opening 72 (+1). Immediately rolling our three pars on the first three holes, McCook set the pace for a consistent day. He posted a solid 37 (+2) for his opening nine holes then followed it up with a sensational -1 (35). It seemed liked everything was headed in the right direction for the young man out of Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. During his second round, a few more bogeys, as well as a double bogey were carded making it difficult to stay level par. He started quite well once again, making it through the first six holes even par. Misfortune on 7, 8, and 9 caused him to finish the front nine at 36(+1). Determined to get a few shots back, McCook starts his finishing nine with birdie and three consecutive pars. It seems that after 14, Westlake got a bit angry and bucked McCook off his hot streak. His last five holes consisted of three bogeys, one par, and a double bogey. Most likely not the finish that was planned but it was sufficient enough for first place. McCook will be participating in the Tour Championship in early December. Boys 11 – 14
For the Boys 11 -14 division, Stephen Sul of Old Bridge, New Jersey earned first place honors for the Major Championship at Westlake G&CC. One of the youngest players in this division, Sul took the title by a decent three-stroke margin over Brendan Hansen of Spring Lake, New Jersey. Hansen breezed through to a second place finish with a two-day total of 157, nine shots over the third place finisher Brandon Wei. Sul was sitting in second place after a first round 80, one behind Hansen. A few too many bogeys combined with a couple of doubles, and one lonely birdie forced a pair of 40’s on his opening 18. Hansen’s first round was quite similar to Sul’s except for the fact that Hansen made one less bogey. Knowing he is only one behind the leader, Sul decided to apply pressure on his playing competitor by firing a 74 (+3). Unfortunately, Sul’s 74 turned out to be a dagger in disguise as the struggles continued for Hansen in the final round. More bogeys and doubles piled up on Hansen’s card amounting to a disappointing 79. A valiant effort by the young man out of Spring Lake, New Jersey, but it turned out that Westlake belonged to Stephen Sul today. Also in tournament news, Jimmy Bagdonas of Scotch Plains, New Jersey was recognized as the overall boys most improved player, improving from a first round 104 to a second round 89. Girls 15 – 18
In the Girls 15 – 18 division, Anina Ku from basking Ridge, New Jersey will take home the trophy firing a pair of 73’s for a two day total of 146. It was a tight race for this division with only a two-stroke margin between first and third place. Megan McLean would come in second place with a two-day total of 147. McLean had a very consistent first round carding three birdies and four bogeys, sufficient for a respectable round of 72 (+1). The second round however, was a bit more of a struggle as more bogeys and doubles found their way onto her card. Still managing to roll in four birdies, McLean was able to scrap her way to a 75 (+4). Laruen Peter from Carmel, New York and Gabriella Kim from Wayne, Pennsylvania ended the tournament in a two-way tie for third place. Both lurking at the top of the leaderboard with great opening rounds, Peter’s firing a 74 (+3) and Kim posting a 71 (E). As the second day rolls around, the cards are dealt and Ku ends up on top. Peter, staying consistent as ever, fired a consecutive 74 with five bogeys and one birdie. Kim unfortunately carded an abundance of bogeys, a double and very few birdies putting her at a 77 (+6). Ku was able to post another 73, sufficient for a one shot victory. It could have been anyone’s day but Ku seemed to have the rhythm that no one else could find. Also worth mentioning, Haley Mander from Holmdel, New Jersey will be given the title for most improved girl throughout the tournament shooting a 99 in the first round and an 87 in the second. Girls 11 – 14
In the Girls 11 – 14 division Ami Gianchandani from Short Hills, New Jersey was the victor with a first round 79 (+8) and second round 73 (+2) for a two-day total of 152. Tiya Chowdary out of Montgomery, New Jersey and Caroline Hodge out of Larchmont, New York were also in contention for the number one spot. Chowdary took second place with a two-day total of 155 and Hodge would be awarded third place with a two-day total of 156. All three girls stayed within three to four shots of each other all tournament making it very exciting to watch. Gianchandani and Chowdary had a rough first day carding multiple bogeys and just one birdie each for totals of 79 (+8) and 80 (+9). Hodge was the leader after day one with a fairly consistent 77 (+6) carding a few bogeys and a single birdie. The tables turned during round two when Gianchandani gracefully posted a double free, three bogey, one birdie 73 (+2). Chowdary attempted to catch her by firing a well-rounded 75 (+4) but was just not low enough to get her to the top of the podium. Hodge had the brunt of it the second day carding a handful of bogeys, two triples, and a double. She was able to offset some of this poor play with four lovely birdies bringing her 18-hole total down to a 79. It was a three-girl show in this division and all of them should be proud of how they played. Weather: Saturday- Mid to high 60’s with overcast skies in the mornings and steady rain throughout the afternoon with down pours at times. Sunday- Low 70’s and sunny. 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 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, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Connecticut. For more information regarding the HJGT 2014 Tour, please visit our website at www.hjgt.org, call the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour headquarters at (904) 379-2697, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.