Premier Series at Saddlebrook Resort
On Thurs., March 10, the HJGT traveled to Wesley Chapel, Fla to host the Premier Event Series at Saddlebrook Resort. On Friday night, the HJGT and Saddlebrook partnered together to provide our players and their families a gourmet dinner and a college coach open forum. Randy Keck, former Tulsa women’s head coach, AJ Broderick, head men’s coach at Johnson and Wales University, and Thomas Baker, head women’s coach at Saint Leo University all spoke and provided our players with great advice as they begin to look into their college golf careers. Tommy Riehle, a former college player at the University of South Florida turned performance coach, was also able to speak on his journey as a college player. The HJGT would like to thank the entire Saddlebrook staff for all of the hard work they put in for us to have a successful weekend. We also would like to thank Game Golf for being a great sponsor of our tour and allowing us to give out three new units for our players to use. Winners in each age division received an invitation to the 2016 Tour Championship on Dec. 3-4. Top three finishers in each division were also awarded exemptions into the 2016 Druh Belts Mid Season Invitational at Chateau Elan on June 11-13.
Boys 16-18 Division
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Hao Hua Zhang[/caption]
Conor Byrne led round one by recording three birdies and 11 pars on the day putting him at even-par 71. This gave him a first-round two-stroke lead over Julio Bello, and a three-stroke lead over Sean Siegman and Ryo Harada. This would make for a tight leaderboard going into round two. In round two, Hao Hua Zhang made an impressive comeback, improving his score by ten strokes from round one. Zhang shot two-under-par 69 in round two and recorded five birdies and an eagle for the weekend to claim his first place trophy. Coming in tied for second out of 36 divisional competitors, falling short by only one stroke, but also with an impressive five birdies and an eagle was Tennoshin Ogawa. Also tied for second at a 149 total and recording six birdies for the weekend was Harada.
Boys 14-15 Division
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In our Boys 14-5 division, Jeffrey Wu, had a rocky first round with two double bogeys and no birdies leaving him at eight-over-par 79. Wu did not let this faze him at all. He worked on his chipping and putting, which became the best part of his game for round two. Wu recorded four birdies and 13 pars in round two to improve his score by ten strokes and to post the round of the tournament, a two-under-par 69, giving him the lead and first place. First round co-leaders Antonio Miguel and Marc Sabria were unable to hold on. Miguel shaved five strokes off of his first-round 78 to hang on for second. Jake Davis, tied for fifth out of 14 divisional competitors after the first round, made an impressive comeback during round two. He improved his score by seven strokes to round out the top three with a total of 159.
Boys 11-13 Division
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Brett Reid, Brendan Valdes, and Andrew Clark were all within one stroke of each other after round one. What was shaping up to be a tight race turned into a route after Valdes, an Orlando, Fla., native, came in strong with a two-under-par 69, the best round in the division by nine strokes. Valdes knocked in five birdies in round two to lock in his win and a 149 tournament total. This marked Valdes’ second win on the HJGT this season after also finding the winner’s circle at the Orlando Junior Shootout one week prior. A tight battle for the second- and third-place trophies still persisted, with Clark of Winter Park, Fla., prevailing for second at 163 (81-82). Making a four-stroke comeback between round one and round two was local player AJ Jaiawal of Wesley Chapel, whose 80 in round two gave him a 164 total.
Boys 10U Division
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Our Boys 10U division consisted of Floridians Jonathan Elter, of Naples and Alexander Kaufman of Sarasota. Jonathan took home his third win in a row at Saddlebrook, which bumped him up to first place in the Boys 10U Hurricane Cup standings. For his third win, the HJGT presented Elter with a new Hurricane logoed OGIO golf bag. Elter posted rounds of 91 and 95. Improving his first round total by three strokes to finish with a two-day total of 217.
Girls 14-18 Division
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Ashley Zagers led round one after recording three birdies. She started the back nine strong, proving herself after sinking two birdies in a row. Tracy Lee fell only two strokes back from the lead after having a double on No. 14. Round two started with a tight leaderboard as three players were within six strokes of Zagers’ lead. Yukie Sasaki, had a tough first round but was able to take on round two with full force. Sasaki recorded five birdies and 10 pars to make a full comeback, improving her score by thirteen strokes. Sasaki finished round two at an impressive two-under-par 69 to take home first. With a 78 in round two, Zagers finished only two strokes behind the lead, tying for second with Lee (77-76). Both finished two strokes behind Sasaki.
Weather for March 12-13
Round 1: Low 63, High 83. Sunny Skies, Wind 4-7 mph Round 2: Low 54, High 76. Cloudy Skies, Slight Drizzle, Wind 5-12 mph
Tournament Division Yardages
Boys 16-18: 6,273 Yards Boys 14-15: 6,273 Yards Boys 11-13: 5,706 Yards Boys U10: 4,882 Yards Girls 14-18: 5,706 Yards