Northern Virginia Junior Open
1757 GC – Dulles, VA
Duel in Dulles
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour ventured to the stunning 1757 Golf Course in Dulles, Va. A shotmaker’s paradise, 1757 presented unique challenges at every turn. Built to place accuracy at a premium, most holes reward placement over power. Strategically-placed bunkers, lakes and streams keep every golfer’s focus on edge. Weather conditions were ideal on Sunday, but Saturday told a different story. The juniors battled the course and wind gusts, but eventually got relief. All division winners received invitations to the 2016 National Championship on Dec. 3-4 and top-three finishers received invitations to the 2016 Druh Belts Midseason Invitational on June 11-13. Junior Golf Scoreboard ranking was awarded to the Boys 11-13, Boys 14-15, Boys 16-18, and Girls 14-18 divisions. American Junior Golf Association performance stars were also awarded to the top three for boys ages 14-18 and girls 14-18.
Boys 16-18 Division
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The Boys 16-18 age division featured a tie for second and a very strong performance from the winner, Brad Whitaker of Kensington, Md. Whitaker played well through the conditions on Saturday, but came back with an even better final round to pull out the victory by six strokes. Whitaker only had two birdies, but nailed a division-high 25 pars to lead his charge to victory over his 34 competitors. Consistency was the name of the game for Whitaker in his first HJGT event of the year as he shot a 150 (+10) total. Garrett Ganley of Leesburg, Va., and Matt Kristick of Berlin, Md., ended up tied for second after some impressive rounds. Ganley struggled on Saturday as he fell to a six-stroke deficit after an 83, but came back with an emphatic 73 that tied the low round of the division on Sunday to shoot a 156 (+16) total to tie Kristick. Both finished with two birdies, while Kristick (20) edged Ganley (18) for pars made. Kristick played well as he finished with scores of 79 and 77.
Boys 14-15 Division
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Mikey Brennan[/caption] The Boys 14-15 age division featured Mikey Brennan of Leesburg, Va., as the champion. Brennan played about as well and consistently as you could hope for this weekend. A one-stroke lead coming into Sunday was built up to five at day’s end to earn his second HJGT victory this season. Brennan compiled five birdies and 22 pars, both division highs, en route to scores of 80 and 71. His 71 was the lowest of all divisions. He relied heavily on his putter and it came through for him in the end as he outpaced Dugan McCabe of Bethesda, Md., and Nikita Gubenko of Great Falls, Va., who finished second and third out of 24, respectively. McCabe played Brennan close all during the final round as he posted an impressive score of 75 to finish the tournament shooting a 156 (+16). A couple of birdies and 16 pars led his charge. Gubenko made a birdie and 19 pars to post scores of 79 and 83.
Girls 14-18 Division
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Sidney Walker[/caption] The Girls 14-18 age division was captured by Sidney Walker of Springfield, Va. Walker was the clubhouse leader after Saturday by nine strokes over eventual second-place finisher Tatum McKelvey of Sewickley, Pa. On Sunday, Walker’s lead only got bigger, expanding to 11 at day’s end. A couple of birdies and 16 pars led to scores of 81 and 85. She scored a two-day total of 166 (+26) as she took home a trophy in her first HJGT event. Finishing at 177 (+37). McKelvey played consistently throughout the tournament with scores of 88 and 89. Abby Bloom of Ashburn, Va., came through with an improved final round of 86 to break into the top three. A 180 (+40) overall was fueled by a birdie and 11 pars.
Boys 11-13 Division
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Bach Ngo[/caption] The Boys 11-13 age division went to Bach Ngo of Fredrick, Md., who outshot Ryan Feldman of Rockville, Md., and Connor McGarrity of Bethesda, Md., who finished second and third out of 12, respectively. A birdie and 18 pars carried Ngo to a score of 20-over-par 160 (81-79) overall and first place. Ngo, coming off a second place finish last week at the HJGT’s North Jersey Junior Classic, used it as motivation to come away with the trophy. The division was not decided until the final hole, where Ngo entered with a one-stroke lead and built it to two after making bogey to Feldman’s double-bogey. Feldman claimed four birdies and 16 pars on his way to a 162 (+22). Feldman did all he could in day two with a 77, but his round one score of 85 was too much to overcome. McGarrity actually led by two strokes entering the final round, but did not have the same touch on Sunday. McGarrity posted scores of 79 and 85 to end with a 164 (+24) for the tournament and third place out of 12.
Girls 13U Division
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Julie Shin[/caption] The Girls 13 and under age division was a three-way race all the way, considering there was only three participants in this division. Even without much competition, Julie Shin of Brambleton, Va., played brilliantly to cruise to a victory with two rounds of 84. Shin won by a whopping 20 strokes after leading by 11 coming into the final round. Shin’s competitors, Rita Liu of North Potomac, Md., and Alexandra Delgado of Fairfax, Va., could not keep pace with Shin as she stuck to her game to claim a 168 (+28) for the tournament and trophy. A birdie and 12 pars led the way for Shin’s route. Liu (95-93) tried her best, but did not have enough as her two birdies and five pars only produced a 188 (+48) total. Too many bogeys were her downfall. Delgado (99-106) admitted she played poorly, but at least had fun with it. A birdie and six pars created her tournament total of 205 (+65).
Weather for April 23-24
Saturday: Low-Mid 60s, Mostly Overcast, Light Rain, Winds 5-15 MPH
Sunday: Low-Mid 70s, Sunny, Winds ~5 MPH
Boys 16-18 - 6,508 YDS
Boys 14-15 - 6,508 YDS
Girls 14-18/Boys 11-13 - 5,539 YDS
Girls 13U – 4,896 YDS