Pence Victorious as Future College Roommates Square Off in Playoff
Haley Austin Dominates Field in HJGT Win
Locust Grove, GA (June 8-9) – The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour journeyed to Heron Bay Golf and Country Club for the Canongate at Heron Bay Nike Cup Series Event #4. Although storms were in the area, most players were treated to sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70’s. This course was designed by acclaimed course architect Jeff Burton and is known among the Atlanta golf community for its superior course conditions. Winding along the beautiful Cole Reservoir, the course provides spectacular panoramic views, especially on the fourth and twelfth holes where players could look out over the reservoir. As soon as the final group finished on the eighteenth green, the skies opened up, but luckily, no players had to deal with it. This tournament was ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard (JGS) and players had the opportunity to win American Junior Golf Association Performance Stars. The winner of the Girls 15-18 divisions received four AJGA performance stars at this event as well as performance points which were awarded to the top 10 finishers in each age division. These points will go towards end of the year honors including HJGT State teams and the Hurricane Cup. Winners of all four divisions receive an automatic bid to the 2013 Tour Championship. Players also receive South Carolina Junior Golf Association Heritage Points and Tarheel Youth Golf Association Points.
The Boys 15-18 Division was up for grabs throughout the entire tournament and needed two playoff holes to decide a winner. In the end, Dylan Pence of Dacula, GA topped his future college roommate, Barrett Waters of Dallas, GA. The two did not know each other coming into the tournament, but will have plenty of time for that over the next four years and will get to know each other pretty well if they compete like they did at Heron Bay. After both scored par on the first playoff hole (the tenth hole), Waters found himself in a water hazard. He punched out into a bunker, but had a long chip waiting from the sand once Pence holed out with another par. The chip came close, but would not fall for Waters giving Pence the hard fought win. After the first day, Pence was in a tie for fifth while Waters was sitting pretty in a tie at second, but a 73, the second best score of the second round, gave Pence a chance and that was all he needed. Pence was spurred to victory by a top three finish in par four performance and an eagle on Saturday. Waters also did most of his damage on par four holes, tying for first with a 4.05 stroke average. Chandler Avery of Dacula, GA and Brandon Alsobrook of Powder Springs, GA tied for third after Avery carded an eagle on the eighteenth, his final hole of the weekend. Alsobrook and Avery were one and two respectively for the most birdies and Alsobrook finished second in par three performance while Avery finished second in par five performance. Jaylen Richardson of Gainesville, FL won the Golf Pride Comeback Player of the Week improving by fourteen strokes from Saturday to Sunday.
The Girls 15-18 division was controlled by Haley Austin of McDonough, GA the whole way at the Nike Cup Series Event #4 at Heron Bay. Austin held a two stroke lead after the first round and never looked back, shooting a tournament low 74 on Sunday. Haley dominated the field posting the best score on each day and cruised through the last few holes to seal the win. Austin won all the major categories including most birdies, most pars, par three, par four, and par five performances. Kiersten Nowell of Dacula, GA was two strokes behind Austin following a Saturday score of 79, but could not keep pace with Haley and ended up finishing in third. She finished tied with Austin for most birdies and was third in par four performance, but could not find the range on par three or par five holes. Nicole Latka of Roswell, GA finished second by being the most consistent girl out there shooting an 80 on Saturday and a 79 on Sunday. Latka also finished second in par three and par four performances while making 20 pars. Meghan Nay of Canton, GA won the Golf Pride Comeback Player of the Week after improving her score by eighteen strokes. Nay struggled in the first round, but on Sunday, she shot the third best round of the day for the Girls 15-18 Division.
The Boys 11-14 division came down to the final hole. For most of the tournament, it was a two player race between Alec Weary of Bluffton, SC and Daniel Fienemann of Peachtree City, GA. Weary walked off the eighteenth tee box with a beautiful drive down the middle of the fairway and a one stroke lead, but his victory was quickly in doubt after shooting his second shot long in fallen pine needles under a tree. Luckily for Weary, Fienemann also went long and found the bunker. Daniel found the green with his shot out of the bunker, but could not sink a putt to tie with Weary and force the second playoff of the day. Instead, Weary and Fienemann both bogeyed the hole and finished first and second. This is Alec’s second straight victory on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour as he won last week in the Greenwood Junior Challenge. Alec’s brother, Drew Weary had the best round of the tournament however shooting an amazing 67 on Sunday including a back nine that saw Drew shoot four birdies and no bogeys. This incredible round put him in third for the tournament at one under. Alec Weary finished with the highest par or better percentage at 88.9% while finishing in second for most pars and best par four performance. Daniel Fienemann dominated the par threes and par fives. Drew Weary had the most birdies and best par four performance, being the only player in any division to average less than par on the numerous par four holes. Wesley Hanson of Macon, GA won the Golf Pride Comeback Player of the Week after improving his score by ten strokes.
In the Girls 11-14 Division, the theme of the weekend continued as Sabrina Hoskins of Orlando, FL came from behind to beat Ivy Shepherd of Peachtree City, GA. Shepherd was in a great position to win the tournament when she shot a division best 73 on Saturday, but fell apart down the stretch shooting two bogeys and a double bogey over the last four holes. Even with this, Shepherd still finished ahead of the third place finisher by three strokes. Shepherd had the most birdies on the weekend finishing with four and was also the best on par five holes. Hoskins was the most consistent player with 25 pars and had the best par four performance for the Girls 11-14 Division. Jenny Bae of Lawrenceville, GA finished in third with a twelve over, 156. Bae was most impressive on par threes as she was the only girl in the division to average below par. Bae and Hoskins also tied for second with three birdies. Kelly Strickland of Alpharetta, GA won the Golf Pride Comeback Player of the Week after improving by four strokes from Saturday to Sunday. Weather Saturday: Partly Cloudy, low 70s, winds 5-15 mph Sunday: Partly Cloudy, late light rain, mid to high 70s, winds 10-25 mph Tournament Yardages Boys 15-18: 6,863 yards Girls 15-18: 5,844 yards Boys 11-14: 6,119 yards Girls 11-14: 5,224 yards Tournament AwardsEFX Birdie Challenge
Boys 15-18: Brandon Alsobrook Girls 15-18: Haley Austin and Kiersten Nowell Boys 11-14: Drew Weary Girls 11-14: Ivy Shepherd Golf Pride Comeback Player of the Week Boys 15-18: Jaylen Richardson Girls 15-18: Meghan Nay Boys 11-14: Wesley Hanson Girls 11-14: Kelly Strickland 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 tour will compete in one of four age divisions: Boys 15-18 Division, Boys 11-14 and Girls 15-18 Division and 11-14 Division. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the southeast as well as Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.