Butler & Lamoureux Defeat the Wind
It was a crazy weekend in Ruskin for the 16-18 year old juniors. Playing conditions proved exceptionally difficult with winds gusting up to 30mph. The firm and fast greens made it almost impossible for players to hold an approach shot, upping the playing difficulty a few notches. In the effort to beat Sunday’s forecasted storms, round two was changed to an 8 AM shotgun start. Luckily, the weather didn’t stop play, but the wind was there to stay. Alyssa Lamoureux and Luke Gifford shot the lowest rounds of the weekend with 74’s.
The Boys’ Division rewarded three gentlemen tied for third and a solo second place. Two boys tied for the lead and forced a sudden death play-off. Enrique Vila (80-76—156) improved after round one to finish tied with the consistent Ignacio Arcaya Jr. (78-78—156) and Alex Lee (78-78—156). Luke Gifford (78-74—152) finished in second this weekend after carding an impressive 74 during round two to come back from behind and force a play-off with Presccott Butler (76-76—152).
Gifford and Butler started the sudden death play-off on hole number one that would eventually decide the winner on the second play-off hole (number nine). After pars on the narrow first hole, they continued to the ninth hole where Luke's approach shot flew the green and into the back rough, leaving him with a tricky chip shot that rolled back over the green. Making up for the first chip, Gifford stuck his second to a few feet while Prescott stood on the green lying two, giving him two putts to win. Luke recovered, making his putt for a five, but Prescott sunk his par putt to secure his first Florida Junior Tour win.
In the Girls’ Division it was yet another win for Alyssa Lamoureux who continued her hot streak into the 2017 season after being honored with the 2016 Girls’ Junior Player of the Year award. Lamoureux carded the only sub 75 round in the Girls' Division during round one. After a second round of 79, Alyssa finished with a four stroke lead and a two day total of 153. Morgan Baxendale (77-80—157) finished second, one stroke ahead of the consistent Victoria Hwang (79-79—158) in third place.
The Florida Junior Tour 16-18 Age Division will head to Palm Aire Country Club in Sarasota, February 4-5, 2017. Click here to see the full 2017 Florida Junior Tour schedule.