Salzer's birdies earn him title
Former roommates battle for title
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour based out of Jacksonville, FL made its second stop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. On September 28-29, Myrtle Beach National hosted the Myrtle Beach Junior Challenge. The tournament was open to male and female golfers between the ages of 11-18. A lot was up for grabs at Myrtle Beach National as well. Winners in boys 15-18 received American Junior Golf Association Performance Stars to be used towards exemptions into AJGA events. In addition, winners in all divisions received an invite to the HJGT’s 2013 Tour Championship at Champions Gate in Florida and also received points toward the South Carolina Junior Golf Association and the Tarheel Youth Golf Association. Top ten finishers also earned valuable points for end of the year honors, including the inaugural Hurricane Cup. Champions of each division will also receive $50 gift cards from Kikkor Golf.
In the boys 15-18 division things remained very close until the very end between Christian Salzer and Bernardo Martinez. Salzer, of Sumter, South Carolina, made nine birdies to shoot a -4/140 en route to the title. He took advantage of the par 5 holes by making four birdies on par 5’s throughout the weekend. Salzer’s nine birdies earned him the title of EFX Birdies Challenge winner. Salzer also had a 4.5 scoring average on par 5 holes, a field best. Bernardo Martinez from Mexico City kept things interesting by shooting a bogey-free round on Sunday, as well as an eagle on the first hole of the tournament. Martinez had 26 pars for the weekend, five birdies, and a 2.9 scoring average on par 3 holes. Both Salzer and Martinez shot an identical 34 on the Front nine and a 36 on the Back nine on Sunday. Hector Gutierrez earned the third place trophy by birdieing three straight holes on Sunday. Hector also tallied 24 pars to his scorecard.
There was a reunion battle between roommates for first place in the girls 15-18 division. Roommates at the Greg Norman Academy, Ximena Name from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Fiona Hebbel from Germany were ecstatic to play the final round together. Name was able to hold on for the victory after shooting the best Saturday round in the division with a +4/76. She had two birdies, 22 pars, and a field best performance on par 4 holes with a scoring average of 4.5. Name was able to hold off Hebbel who was making a late charge after birdieing the 8th hole to pull within one stroke of the lead going into the final hole. Hebbel shared the title of EFX Birdies Challenge winner with Pendleton Bogache who both had 3 birdies for the weekend. Hebble led the field with performance on par 3 holes with a 2.9 scoring average. Rounding out the top three was Cam Smith from Shallotte, North Carolina, who shot rounds of 84 and 78. Smith had 20 pars and a scoring average of 4.6 on par 4 holes.
With two rounds of 68, Kyle Spencer won the boys 11-14 division with a breeze. Spencer of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, made 10 birdies and an eagle as he shot -8/136 to win by seven strokes over Javier Gonzalez for the title. Spencer made a living on the par 5 holes, by making six birdies and an eagle over those eight holes this weekend. Spencer was also the EFX Birdies Challenge winner with his 10 birdies on the weekend. With a field best performance on par 3’s, par 4’s, and par 5 holes, Spencer dominated in almost every category. Gonzalez from N. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina also played very well this weekend by shooting -1/143. Gonzalez had eight birdies, an eagle, and 19 pars. Finishing five strokes behind Gonzalez was Ethan Willis from Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, who shot rounds of 71 and 77. Willis had seven birdies himself, and tallied 20 pars.
First time Hurricane Tour Player, Kat Floyd, from Clayton, North Carolina, won the girls 11-14 division. Floyd shot rounds of 79 and 82 for a total of 161. She was also the EFX Birdies Challenge winner with three birdies on the weekend. Floyd dominated nearly every category with best performances on par 3’s, par 4’s, and par 5 holes. Finishing eight strokes behind Floyd was Madison Elliott of N. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina who shot rounds of 83 and 86. Elliott had a field best 20 pars for the weekend. Rounding out the top was Kayla Parsons from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She had ten pars leading to her scores of 84 and 92.
Day 1— Sunny afternoon, light breeze
Day 2— Chilly morning, clear skies, sunny, bone-chilling wind
Boys 15-18: 6811 yards
Girls 15-18: 5600 yards
Boys 11-14: 6116 yards
Girls 11-14: 5241 yards
EFX Birdies Challenge Winners (# of birdies)
Boys 15-18- Christian Salzer (9)
Girls 15-18- Pendleton Bogache, Fiona Hebbel (3)
Boys 11-14- Kyle Spencer (10)
Girls11-14- Kat Floyd (3)
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 11-14 and Girls 15-18. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the nation, with stops in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Ohio.