ATHENS, G.A.– The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Athens, GA on July 18-19, 2015 for the College Prep Series at UGA. Saturday’s round began right on time at 8:00 AM with junior golfers eager to take on the challenge of the Georgia Bulldogs’ golf course. Play also opened at 8:00 AM for Sunday’s final round, with the competitors taking aim at the collegiate course. UGA was in fantastic condition, setting the stage for two competitive rounds of junior golf. Trophy winners in all five divisions received an invitation to the 2015 HJGT National Championship. Additionally, top ten finishers in each division received points towards year end honors which include state teams, ALL HJGT teams and the Hurricane Cup, along with receiving AJGA PBE stars, Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings, and SCJGA Rankings.
The Boys 15-18 Division featured some of the weekend’s best performances. Atlanta native Alex Ross provided the highlight of the tournament with a round of 4-under in his comeback victory. Ross (145) started 5 strokes back from the first round leader and executed brilliantly during his bogey-free round to secure the victory. Joseph Daniel Kim held the lead at even par heading into the final round, but would falter on day 2 and finish tied for 10th place with a total of 154. Caleb Jansen of Woodstsock, GA strung together two excellent rounds of 74 and 72 to finish one stroke shy of the lead and claim 2nd. Tanner Merck of Gainsville, GA drained 7 birdies on the tournament to lead the division. The UGA win was Ross’ first of the season in 3 starts and his lowest round on Tour this year. Congratulations to Alex Ross on his excellent performance!
The Girls 15-18 Division also saw a comeback winner in Duluth, GA’s Louise Yu. She would post the lowest final round score to erase the 3 stroke deficit to finish with a 154. Kelly Strickland of Alpharetta, GA would own the outright lead at 75 after the first round but would squander the advantage on Sunday and drop into a 3-way tie for second place. Tess Davenport (Buford, GA) and Emily Haigwood (Roswell, GA) would also earn second place status, tying Strickland at 157. Yu would average 3.5 on par 3s, 4.1 on par 4s, and 5.5 on par 5s. This was her second victory in a row in HJGT events. Congratulations to Louise Yu on her College Prep Series victory!
Noah Zediker would grab the first round lead and never look back as he topped the Boys 13-14 Division in the College Prep Series at UGA. He came off of his victory at the Major Championship at Pinetree hot to post a line of 74-73-147 – good for an 8 stroke win. The Macon, GA native would make 3 birdies, post excellent scoring averages (3.1, 4.1, 5.0), and minimize his mistakes to cruise to victory. Will Stakel of Duluth, GA would claim 2ndplace with a 155 and Lindsey Cordell of Rome, GA (3 birdies) would shoot 157 to take 3rd. Congratulations to Noah Zediker on his second win of the HJGT season!
After an exciting round of play, the Boys 11-12 Division would go to a playoff. Bruce Murphy (Johns Creek, GA) would join first round leader Myles Jones (Swannee, GA) after the Jones bogeyed 18 to finish at 149. The players would remain tied, after an unblemished first playoff hole. On the par 4 11th hole – the second of the playoff – Murphy would save par from under a tree and Jones would recover from an errant approach shot, neither player able to gain an advantage. As the playoff continued to the par 5 12th, Murphy’s tee shot would clip a branch, causing him to play from an unfavorable lie and eventually costing him the win after he was forced to hit an extra shot to approach the green. Congratulations to Myles Jones for winning in exciting fashion!
Consistency was the name of the game in the Girls 11-14 Division. Adrian Hopkins of Lawrenceville, GA would shoot 82-81 on her way for a 9 stroke victory over Abbie Claire Boozer. Boozer, of Bishop GA, would also open with 82 but could not keep up with the eventual leader in the final round. Boozer would make 3 birdies, but Hopkins would build her lead on UGA’s par 3s and 5s with averages of 3.2 and 5.5, respectively. Congratulations to Adrien Hopkins on her HJGT win!