Martinez & Zhang Claim Crystal in Ocala
Ocala National Golf Club proved to be a test for all competitors at this weekend’s FJT event, October 4-5. As the last event before the Tour Championship, it provided one last opportunity for the 13 to 15 year-old players to earn points for the Championship at TPC Sawgrass, December 13-14.
Even with a cold front on Sunday morning, the weekend allowed for gorgeous conditions for all competitors and especially the winners, Alberto Martinez, of Weston, and Amy Zhang, of Lake Mary.
With the only sub-par round on Saturday, Alberto Martinez fired a three under-par 69 to hold the first round lead by three shots. He had seven birdies on the 6,586 yard course, putting him in a comfortable spot heading into Sunday. In the Girls' Division, Amy Zhang opened with five birdies, en route to an even par 72. Zhang held a two stroke lead over Lauren Waidner and Anne Yu, who both shot 74 (+2).
In round two of the Boys’ Division, Martinez continued his exceptional play and followed-up his first round with another three-under-par 69. With five birdies and only two bogies Martinez was able to hold onto the lead with a six-under par total of 138. However, the tournament low came from Aden Ye, of Lake Mary, in his final round trying to make a run of it for the win. Shooting a bogey free 33-34 for a final round of five-under 67, Ye claimed second and finished only two shots back. In third in the Boys’ Division, Brandon Mancheno of Jacksonville, shot 72-69-141 to finish close behind Martinez and Ye.
Consistency was also a factor in the Girls’ Division during Sunday’s final round. Round one leader, Amy Zhang, continued her strong play with a final round of 73 (+1) for a two day total of 145 (+1). Faltering slightly at first and being two-over par after four holes, Zhang composed herself and finished one-under par on the final fourteen holes coming into the clubhouse. Close behind Zhang was Anne Yu, of Lake Mary, who followed up her 74 with a final round of 73 to finish just two shots back of Zhang. Tied for third with a two day total of 149 was Ericka Smith, of Orlando, and Lauren Waidner, of Fleming Island.