New Jersey Spring Challenge – May 2-3, 2015
Hansen comes from behind to win on 18 Heflin wins on the 18th
Hopewell, New Jersey: (May 3, 2015) The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Hopewell, New Jersey on May 2-3 for the New Jersey Spring Challenge at the Hopewell Valley Golf Club. Players battled in near perfect conditions on Saturday and Sunday for their 36-hole tournament. Winners in each division will receive an exemption into the 2015 Tour Championship December 5-6, 2015. The top three in each division will receive an exemption into the 2015 Mid Season Invitational at Chateau Elan June 20-22, 2015. Additionally, the top ten finishers in each division received points towards year-end honors, which include state teams, ALL HJGT teams and the Hurricane Cup.
The Boys 15-18 Division saw a come from behind win on Sunday by Brendan Hansen of Spring Lake, NJ. Hansen was in second place coming into Sunday and was 4 strokes behind the day 1 leader Blake DiPaola. Both players played extremely well on Saturday, which included 3 birdies for DiPaola and 2 birdies and an eagle for Hansen. Hansen was still trailing through 6 holes on Sunday but the momentum began to shift into Hansen’s favor as he eagled the 7th hole, while DiPaola birdied. Hansen began his comeback trail and it was all thanks to 1 under on the back nine. His back nine included 2 birdies and just one bogey, while DiPaola shot a 42. The showdown came down to 18 as both players were tied and had no intentions of going into a playoff. Hansen played a spectacular hole and put the nail in the coffin by making a clutch birdie to win the tournament. Hansen finished Sunday with 3 birdies and 1 eagle for the round and shot a 1 over 72, while DiPaola shot a 7 over 79 to finish 2 back of DiPaola. The real difference maker came on the par 5’s. Hansen took advantage of the par 5’s and finished the tournament 4 under on the par 5’s. Hansen also managed to win in a playoff two weeks ago at the North Jersey Junior Open at High Bridge Hills. He made sure this week to avoid the playoff and win on the 18th. Hansen finished the tournament with a 77, 73, 150, for a total round score of plus 6. DiPaola finished with a 73, 79, 152 for second. Mike Winter of Hamilton Square, NJ finished third with a 78, 76, 154.
The Girls 15-18 Division would see extremely strong play from the champion, Ally Wentworth of Stewartsville, NJ. Wentworth went into Sunday with a strong lead of 7 shots by shooting a first round 78. Wentworth played mistake free golf on Saturday and Sunday, and wound up blowing away the competition on Sunday by shooting a 2 over 74. While only having 1 birdie for the tournament, Wentworth ended up having the least amount of bogies and most amount of pars out of any division. She finished with 27 pars and had a streak of 19 pars, which spanned both rounds with 7 pars in a row to finish Saturday and 12 to start Sunday. Wentworth managed so many pars by playing smart and finding the fairway on the majority of her tee shots. Karly Brown of Doylestown, PA and Serena Chen of West Windsor, NJ battled it out on Sunday for second place as they were only separated by 2 strokes going into the final round. Brown needed every bit of her lead as she was only up by one going into 16. She managed to get back-to-back pars on 16 and 17 and ended up 3 strokes ahead of Chen for second. Wentworth finished with a 78, 74, 152. Brown finished with a 85, 90, 175. Chen finished 87, 91, 178.
The Boys 13-14 Division saw another come from behind victory as William Mirams of Stroudsburg, PA managed to overcome a 2 shot deficit from the day one leader Sebastian Trujillo Rodriguez. Sebastian came all the way from Colombia for the tournament and played extremely well on Saturday, which was highlighted by 3 birdies. Sebastian fell back on Sunday however and finished tied for second, 6 shots behind Mirams. Just like the girls 15-18 winner, Mirams played mistake free golf on Sunday and this would lead to his victory. His Sunday round did not include any birdies, but he ended up having 12 pars, which was the most for his age division on Sunday. Mirams strong Sunday led to his victory and finished with a 77, 78, 155. Sebastian and William Huang of Princeton, NJ both finished tied for second. Sebastian finished with a 75, 86, 162, and Huang finished with a 83, 78, 161. Kyle Zere of Ronkonkoma, NY finished third with a 81, 83, 164.
The Girls 11-14 Division saw yet another showdown coming down to the 18th hole, as Rylie Heflin of Avondale, PA and Megha Ganne of Jersey City, NJ were both tied going into the last hole. Heflin was behind 6 strokes of Ganne going into Sunday and managed to climb all the back by the 18th. The difference maker was the tee shot as Heflin smacked her drive right down the middle while Ganne hit hers in the rough and ended up with a tough lie as her ball sat under the branches of a tree. Ganne only managed to punch out while Heflin set her self up with a good approach shot on the par 5. Ganne was unable to recover after this and lost by one stroke to Heflin. Heflin’s Sunday round was highlight by 2 birdies, which were also the only birdies for her age division. Heflin finished with a 87, 79, 166 for first. Ganne finished with a 81, 86, 167 for second, and Zara Jacob of Summit, NJ finished third with a 91, 104, 195. Weather: Day 1- Low 60’s and partly cloudy, winds 4-7 MPH Day 2- Low-mid 70’s, sunny, winds 5-10 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18- 6,553 yards Boys 13-14- 6,130 yards Girls 15-18, Girls 11-14, Boys 11-12-5,639 yards About us: The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) was founded in 2007 with the intention of providing junior golfers between the ages of 11-18 an opportunity to play exceptional courses in a competitive environment. The tour’s vision is to provide superb hospitality and make every event a memorable one. With play open to both males and females, nearly every junior golfer is eligible to participate on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. Currently the HJGT is the largest junior golf tour in the United States hosting more 2-day nationally ranked events than another other tour. The HJGT has been able to achieve this goal by running the most professional events and providing an exceptional value to all of our players and families over the last 8 years. There are several factors that set us apart from the competition which we call #TheHurricaneDifference. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the country. In 2015 the HJGT will conduct events in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Juniors will compete in 1 of 5 divisions which are: Boys 15-18, Boys 13-14, Boys 11-12, Girls 15-18, and Girls 11-14. Memberships for the 2015 season start at $139 and tournament fees range from $189-$229 for 36 hole events. The HJGT season is based on a calendar year and players earn points throughout the season towards year end honors beginning January 1. For more information regarding the HJGT, 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