Southwest Florida Junior Challenge Sarasota, FL Oct. 25-26

The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Sarasota, Florida on October 25-26 for the Southwest Florida Junior Challenge. Players had perfect weather throughout the weekend. There was not a cloud in sight throughout the 36 holes. Winners in all four divisions received an invitation to the 2014 Tour Championship. All divisions were ranked using the Junior Golf Scoreboard. Additionally, the top ten finishers in each division received points towards their year end honors which included state teams, ALL HJGT teams and the Hurricane Cup. Division winners also earned AJGA stars.  

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It was a competitive weekend for the Boys 15-18 division from the beginning. After round one ended with a tie for first between Tony Jiang and Juan Castellanos, both shooting at 69. The top 4 boys stayed within 5 stokes of each other all weekend, but Tony Jiang from Bradenton, FL held a solid lead all weekend. His 3 birdies on Saturday and and Sunday helped as he ended the weekend -3. Diego Ovalle of Bogota had a total of 5 birdies this weekend. Sunday he shot -2, rounding out the weekend at -1 and securing second place.  Both of the third place winners had beautiful eagles, Yuhan “James” Wang on hole 14 and Juan Castellanos on hole 8. Impressive golf from the top four players this weekend at the Palm Aire Country Club in Sarasota, FL.  

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In the Girls 15-18 division, Hannah Haythorne of Bradenton, FL finished with a two-day total of 142, impressively finishing two under. She also finished with the best girls’ two-day total and third best overall two-day total. Haythorne finished the two-day round with a total of 8 birdies, which lead her to a 69 on Sunday, where she fired six of those birdies. Haythorne also shot a 73 during round one. Falling only 6 strokes behind and placing second was Chinatsu Kobayashi of Bradenton, FL, who shot a two-day total of 148 with a 75 on Saturday and a 73 on Sunday. Kobayashi carded 6 birdies throughout both days of the tournament. Coming in in third place, only 1 stroke behind Kobayashi was Garbriela Victoria of Bradenton, FL, with a two-day total of 149. She shot a 73 on Saturday and a 76 on Sunday.  Victoria had 4 birdies during the two-day tournament. This event was the first Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event for all of these ladies and they played extremely well.  

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After round one for the boys 11-14 Hector Barnetche of Bradenton, FL made sure everyone knew he came to play this weekend finishing with a 69. His 9 birdies throughout the weekend locked down this overall win. He had the lowest score of all the divisions with a grand total of 140 staying 3 stokes ahead of his competitors. Massimo Mbetse of Bradenton, FL had 8 birdies, one shy of Hectors 9 total. Mbetse hit par on nearly every other hole keeping him in position for a strong second place finish with a -1 score for the weekend. For the third place finish, David Siwy played consistently throughout the tournament with a 74 during the first round and a 73 for the second round. Siwy parred the front nine each day and showed improvement on the back nine on day two. He finished the weekend +3.  

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In the Girls 11-14 division, Alyssa Mercado of Bradenton, FL finished the first round, with a 77; seven strokes ahead Karolina Krasova of Ricany, Cz, who shot an 84. On the second day Mercado finished with a 72 (even par), her best round ever, to hold on to the lead over Krasova, who shot a 79 during the second round. Mercado shot 6 birdies during this two day tournament  with 2 the first day and 4 the second.  Mercado showed great perseverance on the second day during the back nine by improving 6 strokes between the two days of the tournament; she shot a 41 on the back during the Saturday round and a 35 on Sunday. Krasova also showed great determination during the Sunday round by improving her total score by 5 strokes. Finishing in third place with a two-day total of 182 was Teresa Zhuang of China.  Following along with the other two girls, she also exhibited great persistence during the second round of the tournament as she bettered her score by 9 strokes on Sunday on the back nine. She also improved her overall score on the second day by 8 strokes.     Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18-6,836 yards Boys 11-14-6,138 yards Girls 15-18-5,815 yards Girls 11-14-5,111 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 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, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Indiana, 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 infor@hjgt.org.   Experience #TheHurricaneDifference

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