Kissimmee, FL (April 21, 2013)- This past weekend, April 20-21, the HJGT returned to The Reserve course at Orange Lake in Kissimmee, FL for the Orange Lake Junior Open. The event has been hosted annually by the HJGT since 2010 and displays some of the best scores from top junior golfers throughout the southeastern sector of the United States. With weekend forecasts leaning toward the possibility of rain and thunderstorms it was looking unlikely that the tournament would run course through the weekend. On Saturday the players rolled in around 11AM and fortunately the rain did not follow. The clouds veiled the sun through the entire first round and temperatures sat at a cool 70º. Sunday’s round brought forward similar temperatures with short surges of rain coming during the awards ceremony. The rain held off and the clouds covered the sky for the majority of the day. Golfweek and National Junior Golf Scoreboard ranked this weekend’s tournament. The boy’s and girl’s 15-18 champions were awarded 4 AJGA performance stars as well as an exemption for the Florida Junior Tour (FJT). From the boy’s 11-14 division the champion was awarded 1 performance star and 1 exemption into an FJT event. In addition the top 10 earned points toward all HJGT teams, the Hurricane Cup (click for updated standings), and each division champ will receive automatic entry into the 2013 tour championship.
The boy’s 15-18 division yielded 2 record shattering scores and hands down the best golf in the 5-year history of the HJGT. Exhibiting such low scores was highly impressive considering the level of difficulty of the host course. Atop the division was Tony Jiang of Lake Mary, FL. Jiang won the event with a record tying 6 under par on day one followed by a 2 under Sunday (65-69). Jiang’s 2 day total of 134 stunned players and spectators alike and set the record for HJGT lowest 2-day total. With 6 birdies and 12 pars in round one Jiang had a par or better percentage of 100%. Jiang shot 30 on the front Saturday and 35 on the back. Sunday was nearly as impressive with only two bogeys, four birdies, and 12 pars. Jiang tallied a total par or better percentage of 94.4 and shot averages of 2.88, 3.68, and even par on par 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s respectively. Brett Beazant of Orlando finished in second and 3 under par for the two days. Beazant tallied 24 pars and 8 birdies which led to a par or better percentage of 88.9% of all holes. Third place resulted in a tie between Andrew Alligood of St. Johns, FL and BK Choi of Jacksonville who finished at 145. Alligood performed well on the back 9 both days with only three bogeys, 14 pars, and one birdie. Choi shot 9 straight pars on the back 9 to pull out a 36 and finished with 4 pars, 2 bogeys, and 3 birdies, on Sunday to finish with 35 on the back.
From the girl’s 15-18 age division Lauren Gros of Windermere, FL won the event shooting scores of 69-74 finishing at just one over. Gros totaled 8 birdies, and shot par or better on 75% of all holes through the 36-hole event. Gros shot best on par 4’s shooting an average a shade under par at 3.91. Second place was won out by Abbey Carlson of Lake Mary, FL who finished a stroke behind Gros at two over after an even par round Sunday. Carlson led the division with the best par or better percentage of 80.6, aided by 23 pars and 6 birdies. Michelle Yan of Bradenton, FL finished the event in third place a stroke behind Carlson, to finish three over. Yan won her place on the back nine shooting a streak of two pars, three birdies, two pars, and then finishing with a birdie on 18.
The boy’s 11-14 division featured a familiar face to the HJGT leaderboard in Ray Navis (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) who finished first shooting an even par 142. Navis shot an excellent first round 68 to propel him to victory. Navis performed well on par 5’s with a 4.67 average. Navis led the boy’s 11-14 division with an 85.1 par or better percentage with an impressive 25 pars. Second place was won by Nico Otero (146) who also played well on par 5’s shooting slightly higher than Navis with a 4.83 average. With 6 birdies Otero and Navis tied atop the division. Otero performed well on the back nine shooting a par or better percentage on the back of 89%. Finishing in third was Ryan Hicks of Clearwater, FL who finished the two rounds with a 148 total. Hicks shot averages of 4.18 and 4.83 on par 4’s and 5’s respectively.
The girl’s 11-14 division, like all this weekend, brought forth highly impressive scores. Finishing atop the leaderboard was Rachel Liu of Kissimmee, FL who was one of three players this weekend who finished under par. Finishing with rounds of 71-70 Liu ousted her competition by 10 strokes. Of the 7 major statistical categories Liu finished first in all but one, par 3 performance, which she finished second. Most impressive of the leading stats were three under par averages on par 3, 4, and 5’s where Liu shot 2.88, 3.95, and 4.83 respectively. In second place was Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, FL who finished nine over par. The eight year old Pano was competing with players who were 3-6 years older. Pano had 22 total pars over two days of play and shot a highly impressive five strokes better Sunday than Saturday (78-73). Mimi Chen of Longwood, FL finished a stroke behind Pano at 10 over. Chen’s most impressive stat line was her 5 total birdies. Weather: Saturday: low 61 to high 76, AM fog/PM clouds. Wind gusts up to 24 mph. Sunday: low 66, high 82, winds steady around 5 mph, partly cloudy with afternoon rain surges. Tournament Yardages: Boy’s 15-18 division: 6,494 Boys’ 11-14 division: 6,036 Girl’s 15-18 division: 5,621 Girl’s 11-14 division: 5,007 Tournament Awards:EFX Birdie Challenge:
Boy’s 15-18 division: Tony Jiang Boy’s 11-14 division: Ray Navis, Nico Otero Girl’s 15-18 division: Lauren Gros Girl’s 11-14 division: Rachel Liu Golf Pride Most Improved Player Boy’s 15-18 division: Jackson Bechtol Boy’s 11-14 division: Christophe Stutts Girl’s 15-18 division: Ashley Kimbrough Girl’s 11-14 division: Alexa Pano 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.