There was quiet a bit of activity on the golf course in March, as almost the entire state spent the same week on Spring Break, making it prime season for junior golf tournaments across all regions. The TJGT kicked off the Spring Break week with the Traditions Spring Invitational in Bryan, and capped everything off with events in both Fort Worth and San Antonio. Here are some highlights from a full week of tournaments.
Exciting 3-Hole Playoff Caps Traditions Spring Invitational
In the Boys Division, Austin’s Miko Ospovat and Mexico’s Mauricio Cavazos finished tied for the lead after the final round, sending them into a sudden-death playoff on the difficult 18th hole at The Traditions Club. On the first playoff hole, both Cavazos and Ospovat hit the green, but left themselves long, difficult putts for birdie. Cavazos putted first, lagging it up for a tap-in; Ospovat’s birdie effort looked good all the way, prompting a putter raise as the ball reached the hole, but lipped out in agonizing fashion. The boys went back to the 18th tee again, and once again halved the hole with pars, as neither could convert on much shorter birdie putts.
The playoff moved to hole No. 1, and both competitors missed the green on their approach shots. After Ospovat sailed his putt for par just by the lip, Cavazos holed a tricky right-to-left par putt to capture the victory.
In the Girls Division, a trio of players were locked in a tight battle coming down the home stretch. Plano’s Yunxuan Zhang carded two birdies on her final nine holes to shoot 1-under par in Round 2 and post a two-day total of 148, tying her with fellow playing partner Jackie Feldman of Austin. The final player in the group, Prosper’s Haili Moore, played just well enough down the stretch, rolling in a par putt on the 18th hole to shoot 73-74=147 and earn a 1-shot victory over Feldman and Zhang.
Conditions Tough at South Course Classic @ Blackhorse
Blackhorse Golf Club played host to the TJGT South Classic. The South course played tough as the south wind picked up on day two. The players enjoyed two days of sunshine and warmer temperatures.
The highly contested girls 15-18 division came down the wire. Raelynn Hardgrave held off Grayson Heilman and Karen Alvarez for a one stroke victory. Grayson clipped Karen for second in a scorecard playoff with a solid 37 on the back nine day two. The Boys 15-18 division was claimed by Jack Burke who beat Travis Edwards in a playoff. Samuel Bodine and Ethan Galvan tied for 3rd with Samuel wining the flag on a scorecard playoff shooting a 37 on the back nine on day two.
Alexander Wang led the way in the boys 11-14 division with a 158-event score. Winning the playoff on the 3rd hole. Ashleen Kaur took 1st place in the Girls 11-14 division.
High School Stars Show Out at Tierra Verde Regional Preview
Tierra Verde in Arlington hosted the TJGT’s Region 1 Preview event, and top high school players from around the region showed up to compete.
In the Boys 15-18 Division, a trio of Southlake players were locked in a tight battle on Day 2. Seniors Caden Honea and DJ Springer and junior Tanner Bevill were bunched at the top during the round, with Springer holding a slight lead heading into the back 9. Honea, however, would grab the lead late with a birdie on the par-5 13th hole, and hang on to capture a one-shot victory.
In the Girls 15-18 Division, another Southlake standpoint, sophomore Stephanie Lee, took a three-shot lead into the second round over Allen’s Taylor Mieras, and backed it up with a well-played 74 on day 2 (despite high winds in the latter part of the day) to claim a four-stroke victory over Mieras. Frisco’s Madison Phung finished third.
Round Rock’s Clayton Smith captured the title in the Boys 11-14 division, and, in a highly contested division, Plano’s Avery Zweig squeezed out a 1-stroke victory in the Girls 11-14 division over Plano’s Summer Lee, the 2017 TJGT Player of the Year in her division.
Wet Weather Doesn’t Damper Fossil Creek Spring Break Championship
It was a wet final weekend in DFW, and while rain cancelled the back 9 on the first day at the Fossil Creek Spring Break Championship in Fort Worth, the competition was still fierce, and day 2 gave way to some really good scores.
In the Boys 15-18 Division, Missouri resident Hank Lierz took a 3-shot lead into the second day, but had to battle with a hard-charging Flower Mound senior, Dawson Lewis, to maintain his lead. Lewis fired an even-par round on day 2 to challenge Lierz, but Lierz made a birdie on the par-4 16th to maintain his lead, and captured a one-stroke victory a few holes later. Bullard junior Hayes Esposito took third in a score card playoff over Daniel An.
In the Girls 15-18 Division, Sophie Zhang-Murphy shot even par in the final round to really separate herself from the rest of the field. Her two-day total of even par was good enough for a six-shot victory over Arkansas junior Lilly Thomas. Two shots back of Thomas was Fort Worth’s Jade Staudt, who took third.
Dallas resident Matthew Foster won the Boys 11-14 division, and Avery Zweig captured her second title of the week in the Girls 11-14 division.
Low Scores Abound at The Republic Regional Preview
In San Antonio, birdies were flying left and right as players from across Region IV gathered at the Republic to compete in the final TJGT spring break tournament of the week.
In the uber-competitive Boys 15-18 Division, Brownsville senior Santiago Garcia fired a blistering 5-under 66 in the second round to finish at 4-under for the tournament and a two-shot victory. Garcia’s final round was almost perfect, as he carded six birdies and only one bogey. Right behind him, at 2-under for the tournament, was San Antonio senior Christian Hansen, and Nathan Griffin of New Braunfels took third.
In the Girls 15-18 division, San Angelo’s Ryann Honea almost matched Garcia, shooting 67 on day 2, good enough for a narrow 1-stroke victory over San Antonio senior Romina Gonzalez. Honea started her final round with a double-bogey, but had six birdies during the middle stretch of her round, in which she took the lead. Finishing right behind Gonzalez in third place was fellow San Antonio resident Michelle Becker.
Garrett Endicott of San Antonio won the Boys 11-14 division, and Houston’s Ashley Yen took first place in the Girls 11-14 division.
To view the full leaderboards, visit tournaments.tjgt.com. For hightlights and pictures of the week, follow TJGT on Flickr, Instagram and Twitter.