Wilkes and Mercado Capture First
The Florida Junior Tour's 13-15 age division experienced sunshine, warm temperatures, and great golf course conditions at Lemon Bay Golf Club in Englewood. Lemon Bay Golf Club is a par 71 and welcomed the juniors with great hospitality! The players appreciated receiving the support of the club staff and club membership as well as the donated hamburger and hot dog lunch from Lemon Bay.
The players posted impressive scores during round one with a two under-par 69, carded by Fletcher Wunderlich and Carter Dalili, leading the boys’ division. Wunderlich, of Port Saint Lucie, and Dalili, of Vero Beach, were one stroke ahead of Drew Angelo who opened with a round of one under-par 70. Nicklas Staub and Sam Nicholson were tied for fourth place at even par and many other players chased close behind the leaders heading into the second round.
Red numbers lit up the leaderboard in the boys' division on Sunday after 10 boys posted under-par final rounds. Round one leaders, Fletcher and Carter, continued to play well in the second round both posting scores of one under-par 70 to remain tied for the tournament. Fletcher birdied holes 4, 10, and 11 en route to his fourth top three FJT finish out of the five events he has played in this year! Carter birdied holes 8, 11, 14, and 16. Fletcher and Carter could not hold on to first place and joined Drew Angelo and Jonathan Yaun in a tie for second place with tournament totals of 139. Angelo bettered his opening round by one stroke with a final round 69. Yaun started his round by birdying the first two holes and continued on a birdie train with a birdie on his last hole giving him six birdies for the day and a closing round 67.
However, no one on the course played better than Tyler Wilkes on Sunday. Wilkes fired a bogey free round of six under-par, 65 to climb up the leaderboard and capture first place! Tyler birdied holes 1, 3, 4, 13, 14, and 16 for a one stroke win and a tournament total, four under-par, 138. Wilkes, of Tampa, was the 2015 Junior Amateur Match Play Champion and can now add a FJT victory to his resume!
In the girls' division, Alexa Pano, of Lake Worth led by two strokes after Saturday’s round with a one under-par 70. Bradenton resident, Alyssa Mercado, followed close behind in second place with an opening one over-par 72, placing her well within striking distance heading into the final round. Behind Alexa and Alyssa, the trio comprised of Emily Felix, Bianca Sol Cruz, and Julie Zhang were tied for third after all posting steady rounds of 74.
Similar to the boys' division, the girls provided plenty of excitement which saw a come from behind victory as well. Alyssa Mercado made birdie after birdie during her final round to erase the two stroke deficit Pano put together! During Alyssa’s final nine holes she started hitting shot after shot close to the hole making four birdies pushing her into first place. Her back nine, 33, and front nine, 35, combined for a final round 68 and tournament total 140. Finishing two strokes behind in second place was Alexa Pano. Pano’s three birdies and four bogeys led her to a final round 72, tournament total 142. Bianca Sol Cruz and Julie Zhang both carded tournament totals of 147 and tied for a third place finish. Alyssa was the only girl to finish under-par for the tournament and it earned her first FJT win in the process!