Pittsburgh Jr. Challenge – April 11-12, 2015
Ford finesses win Tragesser clips Lee while McKelvy maneuvers to defeat Carlson Nittany Lion commit Waller waltzes to victory
(Freeport, PA) The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) made its way to the metropolis area of the steel city this past weekend. Birdsfoot Golf Club in Freeport, Pennsylvania hosted the 2015 HJGT Pittsburgh Junior Open and oodles of excitement unearthed itself at the two-day event. Those who finished in the top three received invitations to the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational at Chateau Elan while the winners of each division were rewarded with exemptions into the 2015 National Championship in Orlando this December. Additionally, the 15-18 division winners for both boys and girls were given exemptions into a Hurricane Collegiate Golf Tour event of their choosing.
Fellow Keystone State native Zachary Ford (Cochranton, PA) won the Boys 15-18 division by a hearty three strokes over Pittsburgh native J.T. Kuchnicki. Ford posted a 73 on the second day of action with three birdies and the only blemish being an eight on the eighth hole. Ford had a total of seven birdies and earned his first win of the 2015 season. Second place was tied in this division between Kuchnicki and Brian Terlesky (Youngstown, OH) with two-day totals of 151. Terlesky tied Ford for his Sunday score of 73, +1 but the difference was established on Saturday with Terlesky’s 78 compared to Ford’s 75.
Lauren Waller, a class of 2015 commit to Penn State University, walked away with a two-stroke victory in her division in the Pittsburgh Jr. Challenge which earned her 4 AJGA Performance Stars. Her two-day total of 151, +7 was enough to fend off both Jacinta Pikunas (Youngstown, OH) and Maddy McDanel (Aliquippa, PA) in their pursuits of victory. Pikunas and McDanel each earned 1 AJGA Performance Stars. While Waller herself noted that her putting game might not have been superior, she still was able to net a total of four birdies over the course of the event. Pikunas’ efforts on the second day were remarkable as she posted a division-best 73, +1 along with five birdies. McDanel, who had scores of 76 and 77 on the weekend, finished with a total of four birdies in the event.
Noah Kumar went through an up-and-down stretch on Sunday on his way to his victory in the Boys 13-14 division. After starting off with four bogeys in the first five holes, Kumar hit par on his next six holes, and went on to birdie Hole 12, an eight and a seven in two of his next four holes, along with two bogeys as well, put him in a precarious position. It was then that Kumar nailed a par on Hole 17 and got a birdie on Hole 18 to seal a win with a two-day total of 160, +16. Alex Kipert (Ebensburg, PA) and Justin Hand (Ellwood City, PA) rounded out the podium at second and third place respectively. Kipert finished six strokes back of Kumar with a 166, +22 and Hand was nine strokes behind the leader with a 169, +25.
In the Girls 11-14 division, Tate McKelvey and Katie Carlson engaged in duel that came down to just a one-stroke difference. It was Sewickley native McKelvey who emerged victorious over her counterpart with her 189, +45, beating Carlson of Pittsburgh who posted a 190. Despite birdying Hole 15, Carlson scored a bogey on Hole 18 while McKelvey nailed a par to win the division.
Finally, the Boys 11-12 division was won by Chuckie Tragesser of Murrysville. His two-day total of 173, +29 was enough to edge out Christopher Lee of New Market, Maryland, who posted a 174. Tragesser and Lee posted identical 88s on Sunday but Tragesser’s 85 on Saturday made a difference as Lee scored an 86 which was the big benefactor in this division. Tragesser chipped in on Hole 18 for birdie to help seal the win, which was one of his two birdies throughout the tournament. Caleb DeBass of Forest, Virginia finished third with a 178, +34 two-day total. Weather: Day 1- Low of 35 to high of 65, Sunny, winds 10-20 MPH Day 2- Low of 45 to high of 67, Sunny, winds 0-5 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18 -6432 yards Boys 13-14 -5881 yards Girls 11-14/15-18/Boys 11-12 -5442 yards About us:
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) was founded in 2007 with the intention of providing junior golfers between the ages of 11-18 an opportunity to play exceptional courses in a competitive environment. The tour’s vision is to provide superb hospitality and make every event a memorable one. With play open to both males and females, nearly every junior golfer is eligible to participate on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. Currently the HJGT is the largest junior golf tour in the United States hosting more 2-day nationally ranked events than another other tour. The HJGT has been able to achieve this goal by running the most professional events and providing an exceptional value to all of our players and families over the last 8 years. There are several factors that set us apart from the competition which we call #TheHurricaneDifference.
Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the country. In 2015 the HJGT will conduct events in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Juniors will compete in 1 of 5 divisions which are: Boys 15-18, Boys 13-14, Boys 11-12, Girls 15-18, and Girls 11-14. Memberships for the 2015 season start at $139 and tournament fees range from $189-$229 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