This week, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour held the South Jersey Junior Classic at Blue Heron Pines – West in Cologne, New Jersey. It was an absolutely fabulous tournament, with both Saturday and Sunday in the high 70’s. The players were awoken at the crack of dawn to tee off at 7:30 am Saturday, which was nice because it allowed some of the field to get a bit more sleep. Sunday, everyone was lucky enough to arrive at our fantastic venue at 6:15 am for the twelve-hole shotgun start. Both the first and second round was a great success and lead to many great reviews by parents and players. We are very fortunate that we had the opportunity to create and build new relationships with staff here at Blue Heron Pines. In regards to the tournament, the players competed for a few different kinds of rankings and points. These included a bid into the 2014 Tour Championship December 6th and 7th, Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings (JGS), and possible points that will earn each of them honors for state teams, all HGJT teams, and the Hurricane Cup. Boys 15-18
For the Boys 15-18 Division, George Cultraro out of Wyckoff, New Jersey took the field by storm with a ten shot victory over Reid Bedell and Perry Litwin. Cultrato, who came into the South Jersey Junior Classic with a bundle of previous top 5 and top 3 finishes was finally able to earn first place honors. Round one for this skillful sixteen year old, was nothing to write home about. After a respectable front nine carding only two bogeys and a single birdy, he followed it up with a ghastly back nine. He was not able to get any thing going, posting no birdies, four bogeys, four pars, and a disappointing double for a round one total of 79 (+7). Bedell was not far behind, firing an 84 (+12) sitting five back of the lead. On the other hand, also with a round one total of 79 (+7), Litwin was dead even with Cultraro. The conclusion of day one would only spell out an exciting finish on Sunday. George Cultraro must have been dreaming of birdies the night before because he had one scintillating Sunday. Starting three under through five holes, Cultraro was not going to let that victory slip his grip. Continuing to play brilliantly throughout day two, he carded the only 72 (E) of the tournament. Needless to say, this type of play is difficult to keep up with. Bedell gave it a run firing a 77 (+5) but not hot enough to catch the cunning Cultraro. Litwin was looking rock solid after his round two front nine, posting a 35 (-1). All of this turned to dust at the turn as he proceeded to make two doubles, two triples, two bogeys, two pars and a solitary birdie. A very unfortunate finish for the young man but it was good enough to share second with Bedell. This division of boys also features this weeks most improved player. This honor goes to Hayden Rousselle out of New Hope, Pennsylvania. After an unsuccessful first day shooting 90 (+18), Rousselle shows some serious gumption and comes back in round two with a smooth 75 (+3). Congratulations to all our winners. Boys 11-14
For the Boys 11 – 14 division, Kevin Smith out of Wallingford, Pennsylvania was crowned the South New Jersey Junior Classic Champion with a two-day total of 155. Despite an infinitesimal field of only three players, the competition was not easy. Challenging Smith during both rounds was Brandon Wei out of East Brunswick, New Jersey with a two-day total of 159. Wei could have appropriated this victory from Smith, but his lack of birdies seemed to drag him down. Smith started the tournament with a very steady first day putting an assortment of scores on his card. He did not make too many mistakes on either side of the course, allowing him to post a first round 79 (+7). Wei, ending the first day a few behind Smith, was looking to turn things around on the second day. As it turns out, Smith and Wei both were thinking the same thing as they fire identical rounds of 76 (+4). This of course did not help Wei due to the fact that he needed to make up a few shots. Nonetheless, both of these boys had very solid rounds and deserved to be recognized for their stellar play. Also in the mix was Ryan McCabe out of Media, Pennsylvania. This young player had a rocky two days but kept his head up and played like a champion. He would go on to earn the third place title for this division. Girls 15 – 18
For the Girls 15 – 18 girls division, Anina Ku out or Basking Ridge, New Jersey put on a clinic with an absolutely blistering performance, winning out right by nineteen shots over Bellz Daclan. Ku, you will remember had just won the Major Championship at Westlake Golf and Country Club just two weeks ago. It seems some of the momentum she had during that event had carried over because no one could touch her. After finishing her first round, Ku had described on her 77 (+5) as “poor” and desired to have a strong second round. Ku started off her second round three under through three holes. Not phased by exciting start, she proceeded to make thirteen pars and only two bogeys, finishing with a 71 (-1) and a two-day total of 148. Bellz Daclan was in second place and Nicole Totland, in third, struggled to keep pace. Declan and Totland however, had a nice showdown for second place. Declan was able roll in a few more birdies and clench the second place trophy with a two-day total of 167. Girls 11 – 14
For the Girls 11 – 14 division, Camille O’Halloran out of North field, New Jersey was unequivocally victorious today with a ten shot win and a two-day total of 161. After watching her both days, it was obvious she was going to be in near the top of the leaderboard. Consistency was her game this weekend, firing 81 (+9) the first round and an 80 (+8) the second round. Never making big numbers allowed her to maintain the upper hand over her two other playing parteners Taylor Miano and Yoona Kim. This was a very talented and competitive group of ladies. Throughout the tournament, Miano just could not get anything rolling and was unable to put a string of good holes together. However, she shaved a few strokes off her first round score putting her in second on the leaderboard with a two day-total of 171. Kim struggled the first day making an abundance of bogeys and no birdies posting a first day total of 92 (+20). Filled with determination, Kim fought back the second day and fires an 84 (+12). This comeback was good enough to win her the honors of most improved girl. She received a brand new bundle of golf pride grips and recognition for this wonderful accomplishment. Weather: Saturday – High 70’s, Light breeze Sunday – High 70’s, Light breeze 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 four age divisions: Boys 15-18, Boys 11-14, 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, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and Connecticut. For more information regarding the HJGT 2014 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.