Orange Lake Junior Open
April 23-24, 2016
Hurricane Soaked Up the Sun
On Thurs., April 22, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Kissimmee, Fla., to host the Orange Lake Junior Open at The Reserve at Orange Lake. With great weather in the forecast, the kids were ready to play well and post some low scores. Saturday morning started off comfortably and as the day progressed, players shed their jackets as temperatures rose for a very sunny, warm April day. On Sunday, players early tee times fought to spot their balls in the fog and cloud cover dissipated as the latter tee times hit the course. The HJGT would like to thank the Orange Lake staff for allowing us to host our full field event at a great venue. A full field meant the top boys and girls between the ages of 14-18 received AJGA Performance Stars, while all age divisions’ top performers received Junior Golf Scoreboard ranking points. Winners in each age division received an invitation to the 2016 National Championship on Dec. 3-4. Top three finishers in each division also received initiations to the 2016 Druh Belts Midseason Invitational on June 11-13.
Boys 16-18 Division
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Artem Yalovenko[/caption] Entering the second day, a tight leaderboard had nearly a dozen players within six strokes of 18-hole leader, Jason Jin. The Windermere, Fla., native played very strategically, navigating the course efficiently in one-under-par 70, the low round of the tournament. Second-place finisher Eric Yiu, also from Windermere, surged on Sunday after a first-round 75 to post 72 and overcome Jin for second place. Jin was unable to match his first-round success, but a 150 total held up for third place out of 35, a solid finish. Course conditions were more bening on Sunday after some showers Saturday evening allowed for soft greens and winds were minimal. Artem Yalovenko of Orlando, Fla., was able to take advantage. After posting a solid even par 71 after the first 18, Artem was not shaken being in the final pairing, firing a second day 73, for a two day total of 144 and a three-stroke victory in his first HJGT event this season.
Boys 14-15 Division
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Carl Corpus[/caption] Carl Corpus, the Boys 14-15 winner, continued his streak by winning his second consecutive HJGT event in as many weeks by posting a two day total of 144. Entering round two tied for the lead with Austin Cherichella at 75, Corpus of Valley, Calif., came out swinging, shooting a scorching front nine of 32 en route to a 69. Carl not only edged out the other competitors in his own age division but was able to beat Yalovenko in a playoff to earn four AJGA stars for the top 14-18 year-old boy. Burns Foster of East Hampton, N.Y., and Jim Cai of Bradenton, Fla., took second place at
Boys 11-13 Division
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Brendan Valdes[/caption] This was one of the more competitive age divisions this weekend, as many players were in the hunt for first heading into the second day. All the players were chasing eventual winner and local player, Brandon Valdes of Orlando, Fla., who shot a one-over-par 72 on Saturday. He was able to create his lead by hitting lots of greens in regulation and with some clutch putting to save his scorecard from big numbers. Half the field was still in the hunt on Sunday, but neither second-place finisher, Hanru Guo (77-77) of Orlando, nor third-place finisher Andrew Clark (79-77) of Winter Park, Fla., were able to post low enough scores to catch Valdes despite both posting solid scores of 77 in round two. Valdes closed with a 76 for a six-stroke victory over the field of 13 golfers.
Boys 10U Division
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Chenqi Wu[/caption] The Boys 10U age division saw steady play over the two-day event. A good, spirited rivalry developed between the two players over the weekend. Both players were very competitive matching each other shot for shot for most of the weekend. In the end, Chenqi Wu of Bradenton, Fla., was able to edge out Aaron DeWitt of Winter Haven, Fla., over the two days beating him 163 to 167. Chenqi (79-84) was able to avoid big numbers on his scorecard and saved par often to keep him in front of DeWitt (82-85) for most of the weekend.
Girls 14-18 Division
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Siyan Chen[/caption] In yet another hyper-competitive division, winner Siyan Chen of Howey in the Hills, Fla., was able to get out to a large lead on Saturday by finding red figures with a one-under-par 70. Chen scored a 33 on the front nine that featured a birdie on the tight par-5 fourth hole and by sticking it close on the par-4 eighth. Sunday saw its fair share of players coming after Chen as both Priscilla Schmid of Bradenton, Fla., and Christina Lu of Longwood, Fla., posted scores under par. Schmid, who began Sunday four strokes back, erased the deficit by posting a 70 to Chen’s 74. Chen rallied in the sudden-death playoff to defeat Schmid and earn her second HJGT victory.
Girls 13U Division
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Sunny Xia[/caption] Fierce competition came from the Girls 13U division all weekend. All the players were tested by the course this weekend, but our winner Sunny Xia was able to overcome the challenging layout and her fellow competitors. She emerged victorious thanks to a two-day total of 162 (82-80). Her other two competitors Elle Folland (88-86) of Oxford, Fla., and Julie Gauvin (89-90) of Diepee, New Britain, Canada, were able to hang in with Xia for the first nine holes on Sunday, but the second nine proved to be too much for the other competitors as they both struggled to keep up the pace who was able to keep her ball in play and avoid any hazards leading to high numbers on her score card.
Weather for April 23-24, 2016
Round 1: Low 67, High 85. Warm conditions, Wind 10-15 mph Round 2: Low 64, High 83. Typical Spring Conditions, Wind 5-10 mph
Tournament Division Yardages
Boys 16-18: 6,505 Yards Boys 14-15: 6,505 Yards Girls 14-18: 5,644 Yards Boys 11-13: 5,644 Yards Girls 13U: 5,098 Yards Boys 10U: 5,098 Yards