Lenhart wins in playoff Atkinson took lead at the turn, never gave it back
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Centerville, Ohio on May 10-11 for the Major Championship at Yankee Trace. The players’ endured horrible weather and a three hour rain delay during the first round but eventually all competitors were able to finish 36 holes. Winners in all four divisions received an invitation to the 2014 Mid-Season Invitational and Tour Championship. The Girls 15-18 champion earned four AJGA performance stars and the top 10 percent of the field received one performance star. The winner of the Girls 11-14 division earned one AJGA performance star. All divisions were ranked by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard. Additionally, the top 20 finishers received points towards year end honors which include state teams, ALL HJGT Teams and the Hurricane Cup.
At the end of the first round, Tripp French of Dayton, Ohio had recorded a 73 to give him a slim one stroke lead over Mason Lenhart of Prospect, Kentucky who carded a 74. Both were able to complete a couple of holes on Saturday before the rain came down and forced a three hour delay. Thankfully, there was no delay on Sunday and both players picked up where they had left off the day before. French fired another 73, while Lenhart posted an even par 72, leaving the two tied with a weekend total of 146. In the first playoff hole, French would miss a par putt that left the door open for Lenhart who promptly closed it and took home the victory. Lenhart had the most birdies in the field with seven, including five on Sunday to go with five bogeys for his 72. Lenhart’s length was a big advantage, finishing the weekend first for par five scoring. French was incredibly consistent in his second place finish. Both 73’s were the result of two birdies and three bogies each day. This put him in a position to lead the division in par three, par four and front nine scoring. Finishing in third place was Zach Miller of Richmond, Kentucky. He also began the day just one stroke behind French after an opening round 74. Miller went on to card a 75 on Sunday finishing 3 strokes off of the playoff. Miller was one of the steadiest players on the course this weekend, only making three birdies, but making par on 27 of the 36 holes played, which led the field.
In the Girls 15-18 division, Quinn Atkinson of Mason, Ohio began the final round one stroke behind the leader after carding a 77 on Saturday. Atkinson would have a rockier second day, with more bogies, but was also able to make enough pars and birdies to post an 80 and finish atop the leaderboard by 2 strokes. She was the leader in the division with three birdies made. This was coupled with Atkinson’s ability to go on a streak of pars on Saturday that kept her bogey free for nine holes. Atkinson was also able to take advantage of the par fives at Yankee Trace, leading the Girls 15-18 division in scoring on the long holes. Maggie Rees of Carmel, Indiana and Kristin Engle of Barbourville, Kentucky completed the weekend in a tie for second place with totals of 159. Engle was the first round leader with a 76, the lowest score carded by any player in her division. However, she made double the bogies on day two and saw her score increase by seven strokes to an 83. This did not stop her from tying the lead in the division for par five or a solo lead of back nine scoring, where she averaged a 39. Rees fired the best score on Sunday for any of the podium finishers with a 78, which she attributed to avoiding big numbers and knocking in more par putts. This would seem to be an accurate assessment as she led the field in pars made for the weekend.
Jay Kirchdorfer of Louisville, Kentucky fired an even par 144 for the weekend to take home the champion’s trophy by one stroke over Cameron Frazier of Cincinnati, Ohio in the Boys 11-14 division. The two players were tied after opening round 71’s and were neck and neck until hole 12 on Sunday when Kirchdorfer took the lead and never relinquished it. Kirchdorfer felt confident heading into the second nine of Yankee Trace, where he averaged a 35 for the weekend, topping his division. Kirchdorfer also led the division in pars made with 26, par three scoring, and tied with Frazier for the lead in par four scoring. Frazier played quality golf from start to finish during the weekend and showed an ability to go extremely low. He carded eight birdies which led all divisions and included three straight birdies on holes seven through nine on Saturday. Frazier averaged a 34 on the opening side at Yankee Trace, which led the division, and applied pressure to Kirchdorfer until the very last hole of the weekend. Frazier forced Kirchdorfer to make birdie after he made a birdie putt of his own. Frazier finished the weekend at 145. The third place finisher was Austin Vukovits of Fishers, Indiana. He had a weekend total of 155. Vukovits showed an excellent ability to score low, as he was even par through 16 holes on the first day, falling behind the leaders on the last few holes. He was never able to get back into contention for the championship but was still able to card two scores in the seventies, 77 and 78, as well as led the division in par three scoring.
The Girls 11-14 featured a head to head battle that came down to the final holes of the second round. Mackenzie Neal of Richmond, Kentucky and Mallory Lovell of Georgetown, Kentucky were tied after 33 holes of play. Neal posted par on the remainder of the holes, while Lovell struggled a bit down the stretch. Neal came out on top to finish in first place by four strokes. She was the statistical leader in par three, par five, and back nine scoring, while leading the division with four birdies. Neal posted an 80 both days, making most of her birdies on Saturday and making mostly pars on Sunday. Lovell took home second place with a weekend total of 164. She was the leader in par four scoring as well as pars made, an honor she is taking for the second straight week on the HJGT after her win last week in the Columbus Jr. Open. Also finishing in the top three for the second straight week was Alex Swayne of Maineville, Ohio. Swayne carded rounds of 84 and 82 for a weekend total of 166, two strokes behind Lovell. Swayne ranked in the top three for all statistical categories in her division, showing strength in every facet of her game. Weather: Day 1: Heavy Rain, 3 Hour weather delay, Afternoon Sun Day 2: Mid 60’s in the morning, high 70’s in afternoon, Mostly Sunny Tournament Yardage: Boys 15-18: 6,856 yards Boys 11-14: 6,134 yards Girls 15-18: 5,753 yards Girls 11-14: 5,181 yards 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 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.