Cao and Ma Crowned Champions
The 16-18 juniors were faced with perfect golf weather at the Country Club of Winter Haven, located in Winter Haven, October 17-18. The cooler temperatures brought forth under-par scores in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions in round one but windier weather on Sunday made conditions tougher and scores higher.
Eight boys finished round one under-par with Eric Yiu, of Windermere, at the top with an impressive four-under par, 68. Following close
behind, one-stroke from first place, were Sachin Kumar, of Port Saint Lucie and Ziyi Shi, of Winter Garden tied for second place with 69’s. Four players posted two-under par 70’s and would enter round two tied for fourth; including Kristoffer Max, Tommy Cao, Andrew Dontigny and Connor Futrell. Saint Cloud resident, Carson Sampl, ended day one in eighth place at one-under par.
Round two saw a change at the top of the leader board in the windy conditions. Tommy Cao broke free from tied for fourth by posting a second impressive 70 on Sunday. Two consistent rounds of two-under par, 70, sealed a victory for Tommy who resides in Lake Mary. The Country Club of Winter Haven marks Cao’s first Florida Junior Tour event and his first FJT win. Ryan Hicks came from behind to finish in second place after tying Cao with the low round of the day at two-under par, 70. Hicks, of Clearwater posted rounds of 73-70—143. First round leader, Eric Yiu, tied Han (Harry) Xue and Connor Futrell for third place. Sachin Kumar tied for sixth place after a second round 78, tournament total 147.
Sydney Shrader, 2015 Girls’ Junior Amateur Match Play Champion, finished Saturday in first place after an impressive two-under par,
70. One stroke behind was Lauren Waidner, of Fleming Island, with a first round 71. Wenyan Ma, of Windermere and Brittany Shin, of Cape Coral carded day one scores of 73 to tie for third place.
The girls’ division experienced an exciting finish after Wenyan Ma and Brittany Shin climbed to tie for first place on Sunday. Both girls carded consistent rounds of 73 for a tournament total 146. Sydney Shrader and Lauren Waidner both struggled in the tough conditions to final round 81’s finishing tied for third and tied for sixth respectively.
Ma and Shin headed to the first hole for a sudden death playoff to determine the Champion. Wenyan got up and down for par while Brittany two-putted for par forcing the playoff to the second hole. The girls both missed a birdie putt on the second hole and recorded pars on the third playoff hole. The fourth hole determined the winner after Wenyan sunk a 30-foot birdie putt and Brittany missed her 18-foot birdie putt falling to a par. Despite Brittany’s second place finish, she had an ace in her practice round, which was only the fifth hole-in-one since the Country Club of Winter Haven opened. Wenyan captured her first Florida Junior Tour win and her first win in America after moving here from China at the start of the 2015-2016 school year.
Adena Golf and Country Club, in Ocala will be the next stop for the Florida Junior Tour 16-18 division on November 14-15. Click here to view the FJT Schedule.