Gates Wins Inaugural FJT Event in Playoff
The inaugural Florida Junior Tour (FJT) kicked off this weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando and finished with a playoff in the boys 16-18 age division.
After 36 holes, Robert Gates, Seath Lauer and Cameron Knight were tied with a two-day total 146 in the boys 16-18 age division. On the first playoff hole, the par five 18th, Gates, of Gainesville, emerged as the Champion after he made par, Knight made bogey and Lauer double bogeyed the hole. Gates, who will attend Texas A&M University in the fall, hit his tee shot into the fairway bunker. He then recovered and eventually two-putted from 15 feet for par. Gates led after the first day shooting a three-under par 69 and then recorded a 77 in the final round to finish two-over par for the tournament. Afterwards Gates said, “I just tried to have fun and hit the best shot possible.”
In the girls 16-18 age division, Mandy Friction, 17, of Merritt Island, shot a 87-81—168 to win the division by three strokes over Natalia Godoy, of Weston. Three juniors were tied at 174 to finish six strokes back from Friction.
Oliver Farr, of Ocoee, placed first in the boys 13-15 age division, recording the low round of the final day, 69. Farr shot a 74 in the first round to finish with a 143. Michael Sedacca, of Orlando, shot a two-over par 146 to place second and two players tied at 147 for third.
In the girls 13-15 age division, Vicky Hurst, of Melbourne, shot a 74-74—148 to win the division by five strokes over Alina Lee, of Bradenton. Lee, 13, who won the 2003 FWSGA Junior Championship, shot an 81 on the first day and with her even par round of 72 had a two-day total of 153.
More than 200 entries were received for this first event, but only 78 junior golfers were able to gain entry. Twenty players earned entry through exemptions and the other 58 players were selected primarily based upon playing ability. The Ritz-Carlton field consisted of 27 boys each in the 13-15 and 16-18 age divisions while the girls 13-15 and 16-18 age divisions comprised of 12 competitors each.
To view results, please log on to www.floridajuniortour.org. The website is also a great tool for players, parents and guests. There, you can view player profiles and bios, sign up for membership and tournaments and other valuable information.