Tampa Bay Junior Challenge
Feb. 20-21, 2016
On Thursday, Feb. 18, the HJGT traveled to Oldsmar, Fla., to host the Tampa bay Junior Challenge at East Lake Woodlands Country Club. With a forecasted high of 79 each day, our players were ready to play in the gorgeous Florida weather. With a field of over 90 players, the HJGT would like to thank the East Lake Woodlands staff for aiding us in hosting a great event. A full field meant the top boys and girls between the ages of 14-18 received AJGA Performance Stars, while all top performers in each age division received Junior Golf Scoreboard ranking points. Also, top three in each age division were awarded exemptions into the 2016 Mid Season Invitational at Chateau Elan on June 11-13 and all winners into the 2016 Tour Championship on Dec. 3-4.
Boys 16-18 Division
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Callahan Elzey[/caption] The Boys 16-18 division race was a tight one, seeing Collin Steele take the lead at the turn in round one with two birdies, leaving him at two under. Eric Yiu stayed right behind him by starting off his round strong with eight straight pars and a birdie on No. 18 to go one-under at the turn. Then, with only two strokes separating him and the leader at the turn, Marin Bedino made a move with three birdies to finish even at the turn and an eagle on No. 10. Yiu was then able to inch ahead of both of them to take a two-stroke lead at even-par for the end of round one. In round two, Callahan Elzey entered the scene by making a strong comeback. With six birdies on the day, Elzey shaved six strokes off of his first round score in posting the round of the tournament, a two-under-par 70, to earn victory. This win marked Elzey’s second win in as many starts on the HJGT, which also includes a win at the Major Championship at Black Bear on Jan. 30-31. Our top three finishers all finished two-, three- and four-over par for the two-day tournament, resulting in a jammed leaderboard. Second was taken by Yiu of Windermere, Fla. (147). Louis Francois-Carpenter rounded out the top three and had four birdies on his card in round two. The HJGT would also like to recognize Joey Ranieri for making an ace at the 194-yard No. 8 in round one!
Boys 14-15 Division
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Maxwell White[/caption] Jim Cai, of Bradenton, Fla., started off his Saturday round very strong when he took home three birdies for the day. Coming in closely behind Cai, was Cole Anderson of Camden, Maine, sitting two strokes back. Round two started with a close first round scoreboard, but who would pull through with the two-day win? Improving his round by eight strokes to finish at even-par 72 was Tampa’s own, Maxwell White. White had a clean scorecard of two birdies and two bogeys en route to erasing a five-stroke deficit. Louis Revil-Flavier of Bradenton made a comeback of his own to take second, improving from 79 to 74 to finish one stroke back. Cai, the first round leader, finished in third place, two off the pace at 154.
Boys 11-13 Division
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Armand Loscalzo[/caption] With a playoff being held the past two weekends in a row, our Boys 11-13 Division added a third consecutive playoff. Armand Loscalzo of Tampa, Fla., and Egor Eroshenko of Bradenton, Fla., stayed neck and neck all weekend. Loscalzo started his round on Saturday with several pars to make the turn at one-over to Eroshenko’s three-over. A tight battle continued, resulting in a one-stroke lead for Loscalzo at the end of round one. In round two. both came in with four birdies apiece, but a double-bogey on No. 5 by Loscalzo allowed for Eroshenko to close the gap on the day. The duo went on to compete in a sudden death playoff. It took three holes before Loscalzo sunk his four-foot par putt for the win. Both finished regulation at three-over-par 147. Rounding out the top three was DeWitt Thompson of Bradenton, who finished at 154.
Girls 14-18 Division
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Amanda Gartrell[/caption] Amanda Gartrell, of Lakeland, Fla., started her round on Saturday with a force to be reckoned with birdies on No. 1 and No. 3. Nicole Polivchak of Sarasota, Fla., also made birdie on No. 3, but trailed Gartrell by two after the front nine. Gartrell made another birdie on the back nine en route to a 76 in round one and a two-stroke lead. Leaving Polivchak and Christy Guo of Bradenton, Fla., were only two strokes behind the lead. Gartrell started round two with six pars in a row, further securing her lead. Polivchak gave her a run for her money on the back nine, however, when she birdied No. 12 and made par on the last six to tighten things up. A birdie on No. 17 helped Gartrell nudge back ahead by one stroke. At 155, Gartrell finished one ahead of Polivchak and three ahead of Guo.
Girls U13 Division
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Sunny Xia and Sophie Anand held down the Girls U13 division this week. Each came in with a birdie on their cards in round one. Xia, from Bradenton, Fla., posted an 89 to Anand’s 104. Round two proved to be a much better round for Anand in that she was able to improve by 11 strokes for a 93. Xia posted a 90 for a 179 two-day total.
Weather for Feb. 20-21, 2016
Round 1: Low 55, High 79. Sunny Skies, Wind 7-11 mph
Round 2: Low 55, High 79. Sunny Skies, Wind 2-5 mph
Tournament Division Yardages
Boys 16-18: 6,489 Yards
Boys 14-15: 6,489 Yards
Boys 11-13: 5,738 Yards
Girls 14-18: 5,738 Yards
Girls U13: 5,378 Yards