Tampa Bay Junior Challenge – February 21-22, 2015
Yint Finishes strong to take home the win
Adams wins by landslide
(February 22, 2015) The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) traveled to Oldsmar, Florida from February 21-22 for the Tampa Bay Junior Challenge and received beautiful weather on the weekend with temperatures in the mid 70’s for both Saturday and Sunday. The Boys 15-18 division winner received four AJGA stars and the top five finishers each received one star. The Girls 15-18 division winner received four AJGA stars and the top three finishers each received one star. The top three winners in all divisions received an invitation to the 2015 Mid-Season Invitational and the first place winner in each age division received an invitation to the National Championship. All divisions were ranked by the Junior Golf Scoreboard. Additionally, the top ten finishers in each division received points towards year end honors which include state teams, ALL HJGT teams and the Hurricane Cup.
After day one in the Boys 15-18 division there were not many players in sight of the 18 hole leader, Thomas Yint of Burma. With a round one total of 70(-2) Yint would jump out to a five stroke lead over Kevin Yu of Clermont, Florida. Yint started off hot with a birdie through the first hole but then would go on to bogey and double bogey the next two. Finding his rhythm after three, Yint wound up finishing his last six holes one under to end the front nine with a 37(+1). Yu and Tyler Dierwechter of Oldsmar, Florida made it close after the front nine by both posting 38(+2). With the two in sight, Yint would overcome the pressure to post an impressive bogey free back nine and shoot a 33(-3) to finish the day at two under. Both Dierwechter and Yu would go on to card 38 (+2) and 37 (+1) respectively to end their first round. With the pressure relieved for the moment, the final round was bound to hold some excitement. With all three paired in the final group there would be some fireworks. Yu started strong out of the gate going even through the first eight holes, only to bogey nine to finish with a front nine of 37(+1). Yint would keep his lead while posting a 37(+1) as well. Dierwechter wound up dropping two more strokes posting a 39(+3). The final nine would be exciting with strong rounds from both Yu and Dierwechter while the pressure would find Yint. With the high score of the final three, Yint would go three over through the final nine to post a 39(+3). Dierwechter from Oldsmar, FL wouldn’t let Yint slip out of his sight starting the back nine with a birdie and posting par on the next nine holes. Then there was Yu, after a slow start to the back nine he would go on to go four under through the last six holes with an eagle on 18 to finish the tournament with a two day total of 148(+4). Just behind was Dierwechter posting a two day total of 149 (+5). With the pressure mounted, and the lead dwindling, Yint finds birdies on the last two holes to hold off Yu and take home the win. His two day total was 146(+2). Congratulations to all our Boys 15-18 junior golfers on an exciting tournament!
Similar to the older boys division, the Girls 15-18 Division had an outright leader after day one. Cindy Kou of Windermere, FL posted a two day total of 148(+4) to win the tournament. Consistency was the key to her win posting a score of two over on both days. Not far behind was Vanessa Yan of Bradenton, FL who was just three strokes back after the first day posting two birdies on the front nine. Finishing just one shot back of the leader on day two would not be enough for her to take home the first place trophy. However, she was able to hold off Kendall Johnson of Plant City, FL to take home the second place trophy with a two day total of 152(+8). With two birdies on the back nine posting a 35 (-1), Johnson’s push would not be enough to secure her the second place trophy. Congratulations to Sara Noto of Tampa, FL who lead the Girls 15-18 division with six birdies on the weekend!
The Boys 13-14 division was very exciting from the start of day one. Connor Murphy of Land O Lakes, FL takes home the trophy by a mere one stroke over Joseph Storey of Delray Beach, FL. After an exciting day one, three players sat within three strokes of the round one leader. With pressure mounted, four players would exchange the lead throughout day one. Murphy with a strong back nine is what would ultimately help him grab the lead after day one. He posted ten pars through the last 12 holes to end round one shooting an 80(+8). Not far behind was Storey with an 81(+9) and Brendan Valdes of Orlando, FL and Grayson Maddox of Tampa, FL both posting day one scores of 83(+11) to put them just three strokes back from the leader. Day two would be interesting as three of the top four leaders were paired together and just one stroke was4 separating Storey and Murphy. The two would exchange the lead for most of the front nine with Storey taking the lead by just one stroke. Storey posted a score of 41(+5) while Murphy would drop two stokes and post a 43(+7). Not far behind were Valdes and Maddox posting scores of 41(+5) and 39(+3) respectively. After losing the lead to Storey after the front nine, Murphy was destine to grab it back. The back nine would prove to be too much for Storey and the rest of the gang while Murphy conquered it with pride. Posting a 37(+1) and finishing the round strong was just what was in store for Murphy. The first place trophy was just out of sight for Storey as he would finish the second nine with a 39(+3) and a round total of 80(+8) to bring him a two day total of 161(+17) just one stroke out of the lead. Valdes would just barely grab the third place trophy from Maddox posting a two day total of 164(+20). Congratulations to all our Boys 13-14 junior golfers on a job well done this weekend!
Our Girls 11-14 division would fair differently than the other divisions on the weekend. Kynadie Adams of Gallatin, TN shot out the gate quickly and never turned back. After posting a round one of 80(+8) on the first day Adams had her eyes on building an even bigger lead on day two. Starting round two was a bit slow as she would go four over through the first five holes. Adams would find her putter on the sixth hole and that would just about wrap up the win for her. She would go on to birdie four of the last 12 holes to post a remarkable 73 (+1) in the final round. Speaking with Kynadie, she gave a lot of credit to her putter as she would go up and down for par nine times on day two. The battle for second and third place wound up being very close as three girls were all within three strokes of each other. Bianca Sol Cruz of Largo, FL who placed second with a two day total of 170 (+26) battled with Emma Hallson of Windermere, FL and Madison Hewlett of Oldsmar, FL to take home her trophy. Ultimately Hallson would hold off Hewlett by two strokes to take home the trophy. Congratulations to all of our Girls 11-14 junior golfers on a wonderful weekend of golf!
The Boys 11-12 division was very similar to our Girls 11-14 division with one junior golfer taking the lead by storm. Jack Irons of Naple, FL with a two day total of 162 put him 14 strokes ahead of the next closest golfer. Feanor Valaquenta of Bradenton, FL jumped out to a one stroke lead after day one shooting an 85(+13). With the golfers scores close after day one, a strong round by Irons would be all the story wrote for the rest of the field. Two over through the first nine holes on day two gave Irons a comfortable lead over his second place competitor. Irons would not let off the petal going two under through the last five holes of the tournament to secure the first place trophy. Although the first place trophy was out of reach for Valaquenta, the second place trophy was sure to be his. After posting a two day total of 176 (+32) he could play a safe and comfortable round. Coincidentally, Valaquenta’s brother Lorien would take home the third place trophy posting a two day total of 204. Congratulations to all our Boys 11-12 juniors on a well-played tournament! Day 1- Low of 50 to high of 75, Sunny, winds 5-10 MPH Day 2- Low of 60 to high of 75, Sunny, winds 5-10 MPH Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18-6,525 yards Boys 13-14-6,264 yards Boys 11-12-5,789 yards Girls 15-18-5,789 yards Girls 11-14-5,340 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 five 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, Louisiana, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information regarding the 2015 HJGT 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