Smith Battles for Victory in Final Pairing
Bishop Saves Win on Round Two Back Nine
Sevierville, TN (May 5, 2013) – Last weekend's event in Hixson Tennessee marked the first ever rain-out in the five year tenure of the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. This weekend players and spectators seemed equally skeptical as to whether or not two rounds would be played in Sevierville, TN. The event this past weekend was the Tennessee Spring Challenge, hosted by the Sevierville golf club. Certainly one of the more challenging courses on the 2013 schedule, the Sevierville Golf Club features very firm, fast, and unforgiving greens. The course is laden with lateral hazards and water is present in some fashion on nearly all holes of the championship caliber River Course. Fortunately the heavy rain bands that were thought to wreak havoc on the town located just east of Knoxville were broken up when they reached the Smokey Mountains and decimated into mild rain. The event was ranked by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard, one of the premiere ranking systems for junior golfers in the nation. At stake for this event was an automatic bid into the 2013 tour championship, which was granted to each division winner. Top ten finishers received numerous honors including valuable points toward state teams, all HJGT teams, and the Hurricane Cup. Scouts were present at the event from National Scouting Report to help provide insight to junior’s in the many ways to play golf at the collegiate level.
The boy’s 15-18 age division produced a great day of competitive golf from the final pairing. Zach Smith (+15) of Mt. Sterling, KY, Benjamin Huskey (+18) of Sevierville, TN, and Harris Dodson (+24) of Knoxville, TN, who placed first second and third respectively, were all playing together in Sunday’s final pairing. Smith who finished first led the division in 5 of the 7 major statistical categories. Smith led with 5 birdies, and a par or better percentage of 61.1%. Smith started the round Sunday in magnificent fashion chipping in on three consecutive holes (2, 3, and 4) to shoot birdie, par, and birdie again. Coming off the division leading 78 on day one Benjamin Huskey was not able to emulate his round one performance in Sunday’s rain. Huskey shot an 84 to finish the event +18. Huskey’s greatest 9-hole stretch came on the back nine Saturday where he managed an astonishing two over, shooting seven pars and just two bogeys on holes 11 and 18. Harris Dodson rounded out the top three from the boy’s 15-18 division. Dodson did his best work on par fours where he maintained an average of 4.60, second best in the division.
The girl’s 15-18 division yielded a few great performances in the top three. Familiar face to the HJGT top three was Katie Bishop (+23) of Cleveland, TN who finished ahead of High School Golf teammates Eliza Hudson (+27) of Mauckport, IN and Morgan Stanley (+37) of Georgetown, IN. The two teammates finished the event in second and third. Bishop, who was in the lead by a stroke to start the day faltered on the front nine to lose the lead for a short period of time only to make her comeback and secure the win shooting two over on the back nine. Bishop performed significantly well on par fives with an average just a half stroke over par at 5.50. Bishop tied the division lead for pars with Eliza Hudson accumulating 15 total. Bishop also led the division with 2 birdies. Placing in second was Indiana native Eliza Hudson who performed significantly well on the course’s par threes. Hudson shot an immaculate average of 3.25, just ¼ of a stroke over par. Hudson gained three strokes from Saturday to Sunday to push her out of the lead, this was likely in part to the rainfall throughout the round. In third place was Hudson’s high school teammate and fellow Indiana native Morgan Stanley. Stanley’s most notable statistic was her 10 pars through the two rounds of play.
The most impressive play this weekend came from the boy’s 11-14 age division. Devout Ohio State fan Micah Knisley (+14), who resides in Jefferson City, TN revealed the lowest two day total from any age division this weekend. Knisley came out Saturday firing the second best score in the division at 82. Knisley showed up day two determined to secure the victory and shot a tournament low 76 to solidify first place. Knisley’s low score was aided by a score of one under on the back nine Sunday, shooting six pars, 2 birdies, and one bogey. Knisley managed the division lead in birdies (3), pars (19), and the lowest average on par fives with a 5.12 average. Finishing in second was JonErik Alford (+18) of Roswell, GA. Alford shot rounds of 84-78. Alike Knisley, Alford performed extremely well through the demanding elements Sunday shooting even par on the back nine Sunday which was proven by seven pars, one birdie, and one bogey. Davis Kirk of Dalton, GA slid into the top three with an impressive 78 on Sunday to finish the tournament +20. Kirk tied the division leading average of 3.25 on the courses par threes.
The smallest division of the weekend was the girl’s 11-14 division. Katelyn Skiffen of Chatsworth, GA finished in first place. Skiffen shot a total of eight pars. Skiffen played well on par threes shooting a 3.88 average. Kennedy Anne Noe of Knoxville, TN placed second in the division. Noe led the division on par fours with a 5.60 average. She tailed her competitor Skiffen by a mere two pars in the division to finish with 6 total. Weather: Saturday – Light rain showers, High of 63 Low of 54. Sunday- Mild rain showers throughout the day beginning early morning. Temperatures fluctuated between the high 40’s to high 50’s. Tournament Yardages: Boys 15-18 Division: 6,850 Boys 11-14 Division: 6,259 Girls 15-18 & 11-14 Divisions: 5525 Tournament Awards:
EFX Birdie Challenge: Boys 15-18 division: Zach Smith Boys 11-14 division: Micah Knisley, JonErik Alford, Zach Miller Girls 15-18 division: Katie Bishop Golf Pride Grips – Most Improved: Boys 15-18 Division: Brycen Walker Boys 11-14 Division: Davis Kirk Girls 15-18 Division: Morgan Stanley Girls 11-14 Division: Kennedy Anne Noe About Us: 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 tour will compete in one of four age divisions: Boys 15-18 Division, Boys 11-14 and Girls 15-18 Division and 11-14 Division. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the southeast as well as Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.