Panhandle Junior Open – March 28-29, 2015
Exciting Finish Emerges in Florida Panhandle
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) traveled to Perdido, FL on March 28-29 for the Panhandle Junior Open. Players faced cool temperatures both mornings opening up to sunshine in the afternoon and difficult winds on Sunday’s final round. Trophy winners in all five divisions received an invitation to the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational and first place winners received an invitation to the 2015 HJGT National Championship. The Boys 15-18, Girls 15-18, and Boys 13-14 Divisions were ranked by the Junior Golf Scoreboard. 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.
Day one of the Boys 15-18 Division at the Panhandle Junior Open saw players enjoy sunny skies and a light breeze. Andrew Johnson of Springfield, VA would head into Sunday with a slim one shot lead over Mark Connelly of Niceville, FL and Aaron Sweatman of Newnan, GA just one shot behind Connelly. The opening hole of the final round was a foreshadowing of what was to come as Connelly drained a ten footer for birdie and Johnson made bogey surrendering his lead. Connelly would play steady golf in the final round and added a birdie on the seventeenth hole to head into the final hole with a slim one shot lead over Sweatman. Sweatman would struggle on the final hole and finish in a tie for second place with Patrick Poate of Niceville, FL playing one group ahead. Connelly would end the weekend with a 153 total followed by Sweatman and Poate who both combined for a 156 total. Connelly would lead in several categories including most birdies made (5) and par four scoring average (4.2). Poate would lead the division in most pars made (21) and both Poate and Sweatman shared a bogey free streak of seven holes. This was the first win of the 2015 for Connelly coming off a fourth place finish at the Pensacola Junior Classic.
Pensacola native Abby Hermann led wire to wire to claim the Girls 15-18 Division win. Hermann held the lead after Saturday after posting a 76, one shot clear of Ailsa Clark of nearby Navarre and two shots clear of Cameron Fish of Panama City Beach. Herrmann and Clark battled the entire final round as it came down to the thirty-sixth hole of competition. Herrmann and Clark were tied after the sixteenth hole on Sunday when things got exciting after both players birdied the difficult par three seventeenth hole to head into the final hole tied for the lead. Herrmann would hold onto the lead after a par on the final hole while Clark made double bogey to finish two shots back. Herrmann would finish with a two day total of 156 followed by Clark at 158 and Fish would round out the top three finishing with a 162 total. Herrmann would lead statistically in several categories including: most birdies (5), par four scoring average (4.5), and tied with Clark in par three scoring at (3.0). Clark would lead in par five scoring average (5.1).
Jake Allstun of Cohutta,GA and JP Cave of Mobile, AL came into the final round sharing the lead in the Boys 13-14 Division one shot ahead of Wilson Andress of Macon,GA. Andress would put pressure on the leaders early on after birdies on the first and second hole Sunday. Andress would drop two shots on the third hole keeping Allstun and Cave within striking distance. Andress, the Macon, GA native would add birdies on the seventh and twelfth holes to build to his lead heading into the closing stretch of holes. After all three players found the fairway on the difficult par four eighteenth hole, Andress’ second shot found the hazard left of the green while Allstun and Cave both missed the green. Andress was able to play his shot from the hazard to within a few feet of the hole with a gallery looking on and secure the win with two putts. Andress secured his second win of the season with a two day total of 153 while Allstun and Cave both finished just one shot back. Andress would lead in most birdies made (6) and share the lead in par five scoring average (4.6) with Harrison Davis of Fort Payne, AL. Jake Allstun would lead in par three scoring (3.1) and JP Cave would lead in par four scoring (4.1).
In the Girls 11-14 Division, Madison Tenore of Destin, FL held a comfortable nine shot lead after firing an impressive 76 on Saturday. Tenore would not relinquish her lead as she ended the weekend with 155 total (76-79). Rounding out the top 3 in the Girls 11-14 Division was Alia Scotka (163) of Crestview and Payton Pacheco (178) of Pensacola. Alia Scotka would lead in most birdies made with seven total. Tenore would lead in par four scoring (4.3) and most pars made (24). Tenore would earn her first win of the 2015 season coming off a third place finish at the Pensacola Junior Classic in February.
Will Klecka of Huntsville, AL would lead wire to wire in the Boys 11-12 Division to secure a win over Nicholas Dimitroff of Pensacola, FL. Klecka had impressive rounds of 76-79 over the weekend highlighted by an eagle on Saturday on the par four hole. Klecka came out of the gates in solid fashion both days combining for a two under par total on the first two holes. Klecka would make five birdies over the weekend. In par three scoring average Klecka combined for an impressive 3.1 average while Dimitroff averaged 3.8 strokes. Klecka held a 4.5 scoring average on par fours while Dimitroff combined for a 4.9 average. Klecka had an impressive par five scoring average of 4.9 over the weekend. Klecka earned his first win of the 2015 season with his victory earning a spot into the HJGT Mid-Season Invitational and National Championship. Weather: Day 1- Low 38, high 65. Sunny. Winds 5-10mph Day 2- Low 40, high 67. Sunny. Winds 10-20mph Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18-6,880 yards Boys 13-14-6,263 yards Boys 11-12-5,763yards Girls 15-18-5,763 yards Girls 11-14-5,187 yards 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 the tour will compete in one of five age divisions: Boys 15-18, Boys 13-14, Boys 11-12, Girls 15-18, and Girls 11-14. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the nation, with stops in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Connecticut and Massachusetts. 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 email@example.com Experience #TheHurricaneDifference