On Saturday, October 7th, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Ewing, NJ to hold the New Jersey Fall Challenge at Mountain View Golf Course which hosted the tournament as well. Saturday and Sunday saw equally beautiful, breezy conditions perfect for low scores and plenty of smiles. There was a lot at stake during the tournament as the top 3 in each division received an exemption into the 2017 National Championship December 2-3, 2017. While the top 10 finishers received points towards year end honors which include state teams, All HJGT teams and the Hurricane Cup. There were also Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings (JGS) on the line as well for qualified players. Overall, Mountain View Golf Course allowed for a weekend full of great competition from all divisions with elevated levels of play from the nation’s most talented junior golfers.
Ryan Pongrac is the boys 16-18 champion. The Freehold, NJ native took home the division championship by edging out his competition in two highly contested rounds. Our division champion posted a 74 on Saturday and 72 on Sunday for a two-day total of 146 in route to a victory. Casey Lyons from Mountain Lakes, NJ finished in 2nd with a two-day total of 153 (77-76). 3rd place was won by Andreas Aivazoglou (76-78) of Glen Mills, PA with a two-day total of 154. The field, spectators, and staff were excited to see such a fantastic finish by this division full of talented competitors.
Payne Elkins is the champion of the boys 14-15 division. The Valdosta, GA native posted rounds of 77 and 81 for a two-day total of 158 by playing sharp and consistent. Nicholas Hano of Warrington, PA took home the second-place trophy after finishing with a two-day total of 159 (85-74). Third place was taken home by Stephen Sloan of New York, NY who posted a two-day score of 162 (79-83). The play of this division was enjoyed by the field, spectators and staff who were excited to see such great play and effort from these promising young golfers.
Austin Liao is the boys 11-13 champion. A 75 and 78 were enough to secure the victory for the Warren, NJ native, in a tightly contested division finishing with a two-day total of 153. Franklin Zhu (79-75), also from Warren, NJ took home second place posting a two-day score of 154 which was just a point behind the champ. Mark Vitels (84-75) of Garden City, NY took home third place with a total score of 159 to round out the division. These group of boys showed nothing but class, sportsmanship, and gentleman like behavior over the course of the tournament, even with the elevated levels of competition.
Pasqualina Tartaglione of Pine Bush, NY is the girls 14-18 champion. Tartaglione paired an 82 Saturday with a 87 Sunday for a two-day total of 169 to edge out the competition and take the girls 14-18 division. Coming in 2nd was Liv Schwandt (87-83) from Wilmington, DE for a two-day total of 170. Caroline Tamasi from Pennington, NJ who posted rounds of 88 and 84 for a two-day total of 172 to come in third to round out the division. The ladies all enjoyed their experience, even with some intense competition down the stretch.
Megan Meng is the girls under 13 champion. Meng, of Pennington, NJ, emerged victorious after pairing a 76 Saturday with a 71 Sunday. This netted Meng a score of 147 to take a championship trophy back to Pennington. Finishing 2nd was Elizabeth Beek of Blue Bell, PA who posted a two-day total of 150 (76-74). 3rd place honors were brought home by Sarah Shao of Green Brook, NJ who submitted a two-day total of 161 (74-87). This division’s great play was inspiring and promising as the field, staff and spectators enjoyed watching them compete.
Boys 10 Under
Colby Baran of Wading River, NY took home the 1st place trophy for the boys under 10 division. Baran posted a two-day score of 167 (81-86) to become the only champion of his division for the New Jersey Fall Challenge at Mountain View Golf Course. Although Baran was the only competitor in his division everyone was excited to see such lively play from one of golf’s future leaders.