Players Heat Up in Below-Freezing Temperatures
(March 11-12, 2017)
On March 11th and 12th, The Club at Viniterra hosted the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour’s Richmond Junior Shootout, which featured a field of 31 players in total. This week’s event would be played as a regular single person event as well as a Hurricane Team series event, featuring teams of 5 to 6 players. Conditions and weather were perfect the week of the event, with highs reaching the mid 70s at times. However, a cold front rolled through and both tournament days began with temperatures below freezing, in addition to cold gusts of wind. Nonetheless, the course was in great shape overall, with greens rolling smoothly and the course kept in great condition. Also to be taken into account this weekend was Daylight Savings Time, where everyone would surrender an hour of sleep, making the turn around from Saturday to Sunday more difficult for the players, parents, and staff alike. The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour would like to extend special thanks to all of the staff and volunteers at the Viniterra Golf Club for making this tournament possible and providing a challenging course for the players to compete on. At stake during this tournament for individuals was an exemption into the 2017 National Championship December 2-3, 2017 and exemption into the 2017 Mid Season Invitational at Sea Island Plantation, June 11-13 for the top three finishers in each division, 2017, Tarheel Youth Golf Association Points, as well as points for top 10 finishers that go to end of the year honors. Each individual winner of the team series gets an embroidered carry bag. Additionally, the top two teams earn an invite to the HJGT national team championship in November. Each division provided great play all weekend and an exciting Sunday with close scores at the top of the leaderboard.
Boys 16-18 Division
The Boys age 16-18 Division had low numbers all across the leaderboard on both days and featured many very talented golfers. Earning the first place of the trophy from Herndon, VA was Kuris Grant. Grant was the outright leader after the first round, after shooting a two over 74 to take the lead. He then followed up an already impressive first round score with a one under 71 on Sunday to secure the victory. Grant was swinging it well all day, especially off the tee. Even with an already impressive two day total of one over 145, Grant knows that he could have played even lower. Overall it was an incredible performance by a great player. Finishing second on the leaderboard of the Richmond Junior Shootout was Rob Kinder, from Quinton, VA. Kinder is another fierce competitor who can go shot for shot with any player on the tour. He proved this during his first round, shooting a three over 75 to trail the leader by just a stroke. However, come Sunday Kinder couldn’t put it all together and finished with a two day total of 158, earning himself second place. Typing for third place in the oldest boys division was Karsen Rush from Chamberberg, PA and Anthony Barr from Harleysville, PA. Both players finished with a total of 159, just one stroke shy of tying for second place. Rush and Barr both shot a 76 over the weekend, proving that they have the game to win. Both boys are familiar with the top of the leaderboard and their impressive play is not surprising. The Boys 16-18 year old division continues to be competitive throughout the field and any of the players could jump up the leaderboard during their next event.
Boys 14-15 Division
The Boys 14-15 Division was extremely competitive once again as any of the players in the final two pairings could be taking home the first place trophy. The Champion of the Boys 14-15 age group came into the second round of the event leading, but knew he would feel pressure from his competitors. Hoisting the first place trophy after Sunday’s round was Nikita Gubenko, From Great Falls, VA. Gubenko posted a round one score of 79, featuring two birdies, including a strong finishing birdie on 18. Gubenko followed his first round score up with a second round 81, often feeling pressure from his playing partners. The boys 14-15 champion remained composed and got the job done at the end of the day. Taking the second spot was Tanner Koons from Centreville, VA. Koons struggled to find his groove during Saturday and posted a first day score of 84, but came back much more composed on Sunday and posted an impressive 79 to finish with a two day total of 163. Koons did a great job of keeping pressure of first place winner Gubenko all day and more good golf can be seen in Koons future. Wrapping up the Boys 14-15 division leaders with a third place finish from Leesburg, VA was Jackson Gessaman. Gessaman scored a total of 166, earning the third place spot by 6 strokes. Holes five, six, and seven hurt Gessaman, posting a three hole total 6 over. As the season continues, stretches of errors such as this should decrease and the final positioning for Gessaman will increase. A strong Boys 14-15 division gave spectators something to cheer for in this weekend’s cold weather.
Boys 11-13 Division
The Boys 11-13 Division featured the lowest round and two day total of the event by any player in the field, and many young, competitive athletes. Highlighting the Boys 11-13 division was Kelly Chinn from Great Falls, VA. Chinn trailed the first day leader Mehrbaan Singh by three strokes after shooting a first day 76. Knowing there were more birdies to be had on Sunday, Chinn fired a second round 66 that featured no bogeys and six birdies. It appeared that no aspect of Chinn’s game was off come Sunday, and that he was determined to take home the first place trophy. Placing second in the Boys 11-13 division from Ashburn, VA was Mehrbaan Singh. Singh played very well all weekend, and very well could earn the top spot in any given event, which can be proved by his two scores of 73 and 78 over the weekend. An impressive three under finish on the final three holes Saturday highlighted Singh’s great weekend. Rounding out the leaderboard from Syracuse, NY was Anthony Maglisco. Maglisco got off to a rocky start over the first four holes on Sunday, but soon found his stride and finished with a second round total of 80 to finish the tournament strong. Despite a small field of just six players in this division, there was plenty of excitement over the event.
Boys U10 Division
The Boys U10 Division featured three players that showed plenty of signs of promise throughout the weekend. Your first place finisher for the weekend was Benjamin Siriboury from Clarksville, MD. He headed into the final round Sunday tied with the Co-leader and second place finisher, William Griffith after shooting a first round score of 85. Siriboury went on to shoot an even better second round score of 82 to secure his victory over the field. Second place finishers Griffith, from Silver Spring, MD, struggled to find the rhythm he had Saturday and finished the tournament with a 93. His Sunday round was highlighted by a great birdie on the par 5 number 10. Finishing in third place for the youngest boys division was Jeremiah Smith from Bristow, VA. Smith, just 8 years old, played well all weekend and clearly will only get better with age and time. All three competitors fought hard all weekend through treacherous and a long walking course.
Hurricane Team Series Results
The Team Series at The Club at Viniterra was an extremely tight race that came down to the final players on Sunday. Earning the first place finish for the weekend was Team 4, featuring Grayson Hopple, Mehrbaan Singh, Anthony Maglisco, Aryan Vuradi, and Dylan Erks. Team four posted a first day combined score of 325 and responded Sunday with a team score of 316 to finish the event with a total score of 641. Coming in a tie for second with a combined scored of 643 was Team 3 and Team Next Level Golf. Team 3 consisted of Anthony Barr, Jackson Tyler, William Griffith, Wyatt Seilkop, and Kelly Chinn. Team Next Level Golf consisted of 5 players from Virginia, Kurtis Grant, Nikita Gubenko, Aidan Baron, Aryan Tandale, and Jackson Gessaman. The Team Series was very competitive and an exciting change for all players involved.
Weather March 11th and 12th, 2017
Round 1: Low 26, High 44. Sunny, Cloudy and Windy
Round 2: Low 27, High 42. Sunny with Clouds
Tournament Division Yardages
Boys 16-18: 6,501 yards
Boys 14-15: 6,501 yards
Boys 11-13: 5,534 yards
Boys U10: 4,900 yards