Southwest Florida Jr. Challenge Oct. 24-25 Sarasota, FL

(October 24, 2015) The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour arrived at Palm Aire Country Club in Sarasota, Florida to host the Southwest Florida Junior Challenge. Day one at Palm Aire Championship Course was perfect weather as the first tee started off and reached to the mid 80’s with a light breeze by the end of the day, and day two was the same perfect weather with 80 degree temperatures and a light breeze. The competition was close with five ties across the board in the 15-18 Boys Division. All the winners of each division will get an invite to the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational at Chateau Elan and the 2015 HJGT Championship.

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Players accomplished major feats of personal victory with the perfect golf conditions this weekend. With incredible competition and perfect weather, the Boys 15-18 division saw a close finish between three players. Alex Lee of Orlando, Florida came out with the victory with 35, -1 on the front nine, and 33, -3 on his back nine of day one. Doty also came out with an aggressive 39, +3 in the front nine, and 39, +3 on the back nine of day two to hold onto 1st place. Doty fought his way to first place with an impressive first round 68, -4 and was able to keep the lead with a 78, +6 in round two. Genki Sadato of St. Petersburg Florida and David Siwy of Bradenton, Florida took second and third place this weekend with a two day of 148 and 150. On day one Sadato scored a 72, E and 76, +4 on day two. Siwy made it through with 77, +5 on day one and an 73, +1 on day two. At the end of the championship, the Boys 15-18 division saw a tight finish all the way to the end.      

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In the Girls 15-18 division, Alyssa Mercado from Bradenton, Florida lead the rest of the field by 1 with a two day total score of 148. Mercado punched in a 75, +3 on day one but was able to finish strong with a 73, +1 on day two as she added a total of five birdies and twenty-three pars to her score for the weekend. Nicole Polivchak from Sarasota, Florida and Isabella Stepanek of Sarasota, Florida both took second place this weekend. Polivchak put down an 76, +4 in round one and finished strong with an impressive 73, +1 on day two. Stepnak struggled in her first round while piecing together a 84, +12 but fought and made a comeback to reach an 79, +7 on day two. It was a great weekend of incredible play this weekend at Palm Aire Country Club.      

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While the older boy and girl divisions saw battles, the Boys 13-14 didn’t waiver from the gritty tournament here at Palm Aire. It was a close field all the way to the end of the tournament. Jim (Yichen) Cai from Bradenton, Florida won the division championship with a two point lead for a total of 153. Although he went against fierce competitors and personal battles, Cai recorded an 78, +6 in round one and an 75, +3 in round two. Common to the other fields, things were tight for second and third place in the tournament. Noah Kumar of Mars, Pa took second with a two day total of 155 and Egor Eroshenko of Bradenton, Florida placed third with a two day total of 156. They both showed amazing skill, sportsmanship and determination through the tournament and earn their trophies. The competition was incredible for the Boys 13-14 Division and was great entertainment for all spectators to witness.      

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The Girls 11-14 Division had some great scores across the board. Though the age division lacked a large field size the girls were able to produce competitive scores throughout the weekend. Yoo Min Byun of Bradenton, Florida took home the first place prize. Byun finished the weekend 8-over, shooting a pair of 76s both rounds. Sunny Xia also Bradenton, Florida finished in a close second after improving her score by four strokes in the second round to shoot 16-over, 160. Finishing strong in third from Bradenton, Florida was Hanana Kawada. Kawada improved her score by one in the second round to shoot 81, for a two-day total of 163.      

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The Boys 11-12 divisions was lacking in field size, however, that did not prevent the boys from producing some great scores. Gregory Solhaug of Bradenton, Florida maintained his first place position after the first round to clench the first place title after shooting 2-over, 74, in the final round. Zheng Yi Liu of Bradenton, Florida was able to break the second place tie after the first round, and claim the sole second place title for himself after shooting 81 in the final round. Carson Enright of Longboat Key, Florida was able to push through some tough holes to finish in sole third place after finishing with an 88 in the final round.       Weather: Day 1- Low of 66 to high of 82, Partly Cloudy, winds 6-17MPH Day 2- Low of 69 to high of 89, Partly Cloudy, winds 8-14 MPH   Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18 – 6710 yards Boys 13-14 – 6168 yards Girls 15-18/Boys 11-12 – 5818 yards Girls 11-14 – 5080 yards About us: The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) was founded in 2008 with the intent 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 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, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Connecticut. For more information regarding the 2014 HJGT Tour, please visit our website at www.hjgt.org, call the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour headquarters at (904) 379-2697, or email info@hjgt.org   Experience #TheHurricaneDifference

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