North Jersey Jr. Classic–
High Bridge Hills Golf Club
(April 15th-16th, 2017)
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to High Bridge Hills Golf Club in High Bridge, NJ to host the North Jersey Junior Classic. This week’s event featured 41 players from the northeast region of the United States and spanning all six of the HJGT age divisions. After a cloudy and overcast Saturday opening round, Sunday provided more difficult playing conditions with higher wind temperatures and a rain and thunder delay. Play was stopped for about 30 minutes as players avoided a harsh downpour while the skies cleared. This week’s event was also a team series event, with 8 teams competing for an invitation to the team series championships and an HJGT embroidered bag. The HJGT staff would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at High Bridge Hills GC for being so accommodating and providing a great course for the players to compete on. At stake during this tournament 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, Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings, and points for top 10 finishers that go to end of the year honors. Play was exceptional all across the leaderboard, making for a competitive event.
Boys 16-18 Division
The Boys 16-18 Division contained 14 players this weekend, but one player stole the show in particular. First place finisher William O’Neil, from Morristown, NJ, put on a clinic to run away with the first place trophy after posting consecutive rounds under par (69, 67) to finish 8 strokes ahead of his competitors. O’Neil played consistently all weekend, hitting nearly every fairway and green in regulation, and making birdie putts when the opportunities were presented. Coming in second place was Brandon Valvano from Franklin Lakes, NJ with a two-day total of 148. Valvano played great all weekend, and turned his game to another level for the final round to post the second third lowest round of the tournament with a 2 over 72. Rounding out the Boys 16-18 division was Bobby Beck from Allentown, PA with scores of 73-77 for a two-day total of 150. Beck put himself into the mix with his opening round score of 73 but he could not put it all together Sunday. Beck’s game can be dangerous if he can settle into a rhythm, and expect to see his name present on the top of the leaderboard in the future. Impressive play across the leaderboard made for an exciting weekend in the oldest boys division.
Boys 14-15 Division
The Boys 14-15 came down to the wire on Sunday, which needed a playoff hole to determine the champion. Finishing in first place after a one hole sudden death playoff was Tyler McKinney from Middletown, NJ with scores of 79-78 to finish with a two-day total of 157. In the playoff, McKinney pared the first hole to earn himself the victory. McKinney struggled late Sunday, with back-to-back bogeys on holes 15 and 16, but was able to keep his calm enough to get the victory. Coming in second place with an identical two-day total of 157 was Matthew Simon from New York, NY. Simon struggled off the tee in the one hole playoff, opening the door for McKinney. Regardless, Simon fought hard all weekend and his close second finish shows that he has true potential. Wrapping up the Boys 14-15 Division was Jackson Gaynor from Larchmont, NY with a two-day score of 159. Gaynor was in the hunt all weekend and a three man playoff seemed certain until a crucial two stroke penalty was assessed on hole 18 for hitting the flagstick while on the putting surface. While missing the playoff because of an unfortunate two-stroke penalty certainly hurts, look for Gaynor to be back in the hunt in future events.
Boys 11-13 Division
The Boys 11-13 Division featured seven young competitive men this weekend. Walking away with the first place trophy after two days of impressive play was Austin Liao from Warren, NJ. Liao posted a first day 74 but found himself one stroke off the leader entering the final round. He continued to grind and play his game, which resulted in a second round score of 75, which was good enough to earn the top spot on the leaderboard. Finishing in second place was Isaiah Marseille from Linden, NJ with a two-day total of 153. Marseille’s weekend was highlighted by an impressive first round score of 73, which included 3 birdies. With the potential to post scores as low as 73, Marseille will be a force to reckoned with as he continues his golf career. Finishing in third place with a two-day total of 162 was James Pryor from Greenwich, CT. Pryor played well all weekend, but couldn’t get into any sort of hot streak that would boost him up leaderboard. These young competitors brought some exciting play to the golf course this weekend.
Boys U10 Division
Competing in the youngest boys division this weekend was Andrew Liu from Clinton, NJ. Liu played alongside the Boys 11-13 division this weekend and did an excellent job competing within his groupings. Liu finished with a two-day total of 186, shooting scores of 92-94, highlighted by an impressive birdie on the par 3 number 14. It was great to have such a young, competitive spirit out on the golf course this weekend.
Girls 14-18 Division
The Girls 14-18 Division this weekend was competitive and unpredictable as three players battled for the first place trophy. Finishing atop the leaderboard was Casey Oppenheimer from Conshohocken, PA with a two-day total of 168. Oppenheimer found herself in third place entering the final round of the event, but kept her head down Sunday to climb to the top spot of the leaderboard after an impressive final round 82. Finishing six strokes back in second place was Annika Johnson from Newton, NJ with a two-day total of 174. Johnson entered the clubhouse Saturday as the first round leader after posting a first round score of 83, but couldn’t string together another low round come Sunday. Closing out the Girls 14-18 age Division was Inseo Huh from Closter, NJ. Much like Johnson, Huh couldn’t get into a rhythm Sunday after finding success Saturday. Different conditions proved to be challenging for all three girls in the division this weekend.
Girls U13 Division
The Girls U13 division this weekend was the second largest division of the event, with 9 players competing in their field. Taking home the first place trophy thanks in part to an impressive Sunday 74 was Megan Meng from Pennington, NJ. Meng entered Sunday three strokes off the leader after shooting a first round 77, but returned Sunday focused, as is evident in her impressive score. Finishing in second place this weekend with a two-day total of 154 was Elizabeth Beek from Blue Bell, PA. Beek found success in the opening round, as can be seen with her low score 74, but had a difficult Sunday that resulted in a second place finish. Taking home the third place trophy with a two-day total of 156 was Amanda Phillips from New York, NY. Phillips put herself in the mix all weekend, but entering the final round 7 strokes back proved to be just too much to overcome, even with a second round score of 75.
Team Series Results
This weekend’s team series was a tight race entering the final round, with the first round team 5 low of 315 leading the way. Team 4 sat just one stroke back at 316 entering Sunday, but managed to jump past their competitors with an impressive second round score of 311 to finish with the winning total of 326. Team 4’s players include Richie Neufield, Austin Liao, Madison Bentley, Ryan Rinaldo, and Jackson Gaynor. Finishing just one stroke back in second place was team 8 with a two day combined total of 628. Team 8 consisted of Bobby Greer III, Muskan Mankikar, Jack Sterbenz, Tyler McKinney, and Andrew Rush. Both teams will receive an invite to the HJGT team series championship and team 4 will receive embroidered HJGT bags.
Weather April 15th and 16th, 2017
Round 1: Low 53, High 69. Sunny and Cloudy
Round 2: Low 61, High 83. Sunny, and Windy. Thunder and rain delay
Tournament Division Yardages
Boys 16-18: 6,303 yards
Boys 14-15: 6,303 yards
Boys 11-13: 5,473 yards
Boys U10: 4,587 yards
Girls 14-18: 5,473 yards
Girls U13: 4,785 yards
About Hurricane Junior Golf Tour
In 2017, The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour announced a partnership with Nexus, an international hospitality and entertainment company backed by financier Joe Lewis and Tavistock Group, golfing great Tiger Woods and musician and entertainer Justin Timberlake, which will further our collective goal of growing the game of golf, broadening the Tour’s reach across the U.S. and around the world.
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) was founded in 2007 with the intent of providing junior golfers between the ages of 11-18, and now 10 and under, an opportunity to play exceptional courses in a competitive environment. Golfers who participate on the tour will compete in one of six age divisions: Boys 16-18, Boys 14-15, Boys 11-13, Boys U10, Girls 14-18, and Girls U13. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, the HJGT administers events all across the nation, with stops in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In 2016, we have now expanded to the west coast and cover California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Nevada, and Oregon.
For more information regarding the 2017 HJGT Tour, please visit our website at www.hjgt.org, call the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour headquarters at (904) 379-2697, or email email@example.com