Pinehurst Junior Shootout
Pinehurst No. 5 – Pinehurst North Carolina
A Challenging Shootout in the Pinehurst Winds
On January 28th and 29th, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to the historic Pinehurst village for the junior shootout on the beautiful course 5. The course was in pristine condition, despite near freezing temperatures and frost delays that provided unique challenges for the participants. On Saturday, the first day of the tournament, the sun was out but it was no match for the wind, causing players and spectators to bundle up for a long day. Players fought through the weather and hoped for more warmth on Sunday. The player’s wish’s were granted as the temperature rose nearly 10 degrees, making for an ideal final round. All in all, Pinehurst didn’t disappoint by any means. The top ten finishers received points towards end year honors, which include state teams, all HJGT teams, and the Hurricane Cup.
Walking home with the first-place hardware in the Boys 16-18 Division from Harleysville, PA was Anthony Barr, who posted a second round 75 to secure the first victory of the year. Overall, Anthony finished just 11 over par, which proved to be more than enough in the very challenging conditions. Saturday played particularly difficult and players had to make adjustments with a frost delay, but this did not stop Barr from doing his job and posting a well-deserved 80 to put him in contention. On Sunday, Barr amped up his game and fired the tournament winning 75. Barr made very few mistakes over the course of the tournament, putting him in great position to win, and when the opportunity arose, Barr did not miss his chance to take home the first-place trophy. Finishing in second place was Holden Grigg from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Grigg finished the tournament three strokes behind the leader bar, but Grigg was in contention all weekend. Grigg posted a first round 82 and bounced back by firing a second round 76 to earn the second-place trophy and 700 points. Expect to see Grigg in contention in every tournament he competes in. Also going home with hardware, and finishing in tied for third place was Andres Domenech from Mexico City, MX and Thompson McClure from Little River SC. Domenech really seemed to be firing on all cylinders Sunday and we can expect to see similar results in the future. Thompson posted consistent scores of 79 and 80 over the weekend and had multiple birdie chances throughout the day that will drop as tournament play continues and McClure finds his stride. Overall, the Boys 16-18 year-old Division was very competitive this weekend, and all of the players possess the ability to finish at the top of the leader board.
In the Boys 14-15 age Division, Jaron Leasure from Virginia Beach, VA finished the tournament in the top spot. Leasure claimed the lead in the first round and did not look back the rest of the way, posting scores of 76 and 79 to walk away with the 1st place trophy. Leasure played relaxed and composed all weekend, finishing as the only player in his division to post back to back scores in the 70s. The weekend was a weekend a very few mistakes and an abundance of great shots for Leasure. This play should be a common occurrence for Leasure in the future. Finishing right behind Leasure in second place was Angel Guerra, from North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. After posting a competitive 80 in the first round, Guerra fired a 76 on the second day to increase the pressure on the leader Leasure. After struggling on the first 9 in the second round, Guerra found a rhythm in back 9 to finish one over, nearly sinking multiple putts to increase the pressure on the leader. Overall, Guerra performed as many expected and as conditions improve, expect this young man’s game to as well. Going home with the third place trophy was Randall Hudson from New Bern, NC. Hudson posted 80 in the first round of the Pinehurst Junior Shootout followed by a 79 on the second day. The third place finish provides hope for higher finishes in the future for Hudson. The Boys 14-15 Division had a very exciting weekend, and amazing golf was played by all participants.
The Boys 11-13 Division provided some of the most exciting tournament play throughout the whole weekend resulting Keegan Royalty from Raleigh, NC walking away with the number one spot and 1,000 points. Royalty played exactly as he needed to in both rounds, posting scores of 81 and 76 to win the division by one stroke. While pressure was on during the second round, Royalty did not seem phased once. Finishing second in the 11-13 Division with the lowest round of the weekend was Tyler Jones from Jacksonville, NC. Jones posted an 88 the first round of the tournament, as cold conditions proved difficult all day. Overcoming the rough start, Jones posted a tournament low 70 the second round, showing that he will be a common face on the leader board. Rounding out the 11-13 age division in third place was Joseph Lenane from Dedham, MA. Lenane finished the tournament 4 strokes behind the leader after posting a 75 the first round and an 86 in the second round. A few putts falling for Lenane on the second round and the results may have been very different. Overall, the 11-13 Boys Division provided exciting play all weekend and spectators should expect to see much of the same in the future.
In the Boys U10 division, Griffin Barke took home the first place trophy, battling adverse conditions to post a well earned 103 the first day and 100 the second day. Barke was the only competitor in this division at Pinehurst No. 5 this past weekend, but that didn’t stop him from teeing it up with some of the older division players and showing everyone that he is here to compete. Barke’s swing and short game showed spectators the promising young talent that he has.
The Girls 14-18 Division also brought lots of talent to our tournament this week. Sydney Abruzzino from Myrtle Beach, SC took home 1,000 points and the first place trophy this weekend, posting an 82 in the first round and an 84 in the second round, to secure a two stroke victory. Despite a few rough holes, Abruzzino weathered the storm and walked away happily in first. Finishing behind Abruzzino, was Jia Yin Shen from Longs, SC. Shen posted a 90 in the first round before returning Sunday with a girls 14-18 division low score of 78 on the Sunday round. Shen really buckled down mentally and showed her true abilities in Sunday, which other players made sure to take note of. The third place finishers in the girls 14-18 division were Mercedes Rudolf from North Myrtle Beach, SC and Ashley Knight from Sylvania, OH, both posting final scores of 172. Both players showed real promise and could easily jump to the top of the leader board. Overall, the Girls 14-18 Division really brought some talent this tournament and we were pleased to see two great rounds of golf coming from both competitors.
In the Girls U13 Division at Pinehurst No. 5, it was a battle between two great competitors in Jia Lin Shen from Cary, NC and Victoria Matthews from Great Falls, VA. In the end, Shen finished in the top spot with a hard fought 83 in the first round that boosted her to victory. If Shen plays the way she did during the first round, she will be dangerous in future tournaments. Finishing in second place, Matthews fought hard on the first day but caught a few bad breaks that impacted her score card. Not to be let down, Matthews performed well on Sunday and posted an 88, showing her potential to forget the previous round and start fresh each day. As the field grows in the future, these two names will be present regularly come the final round. Weather: Saturday: Mid 40’s, Clear, Wind 15 MPH Sunday: Low 50’s, Clear, Wind 10 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 16-18- 6,644 YDS Boys 14-15- 6,644 YDS Boys 11-13- 5,667 YDS Boys U10- 4,974 YDS Girls 14-18- 5,667 YDS Girls U13- 5,176 YDS Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the country. In 2017 the HJGT will conduct events in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Juniors will compete in 1 of 6 divisions which are: Boys 16-18, Boys 14-15, Boys 11-13, Boys under 10, Girls 14-18, and Girls Under 13. Memberships for the 2017 season start at $169 and tournament fees range from $189-$249 for 36 hole events. The HJGT season is based on a calendar year and players earn points throughout the season towards year end honors beginning January 1. Each Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event is ranked by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard (NJGS). Most events on the HJGT schedule feature a chance for players to earn AJGA stars. What’s at stake for each event is listed under each tournaments information page. For more information regarding the 2017 HJGT Tour, please visit our website at www.hjgt.org, call the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour headquarters at (904) 379-2697, or email firstname.lastname@example.org