Four Victorious at Rocky Bayou
You couldn’t have asked for nicer conditions in Niceville this past weekend for the Florida Junior Tour at Rocky Bayou Country Club. Next to perfect weather, a beautifully manicured golf course, and challenging elevation changes added to the fun for a competitive two days of golf.
Red numbers topped the leaderboard in the Boys 16-18 Division. Ryan Hicks of Clearwater took advantage of the conditions early, posting the low score of the day and his overall FJT career low, a four-under-par 68. He would lead by two going into the final day over Bryan Richards of Gulf Breeze. Brandon Mancheno of Jacksonville would stand alone at third, one shot back of Richards at 71.
It was a closer start for the Boys 13-15 Division, as Eric Berggren of Windermere and Gray Albright of Ocala were tied at the top after round one at two-over-par, 74. Local player Kevin Choe of Pensacola was one shot back of the pair at 75.
In the Girls 16-18 Division, Mindy Herrick of Gainesville and local player Sarah Pabst of Niceville lead the field with 77s. Ella Woods of Saint Augustine stood alone at third place.
In the Girls 13-15 Division, Claire Albrecht of Ormond Beach posted a two-over-par 74 for a one shot lead over Rocky Bayou member Lauren Miller. Auston Kim of Saint Augustine sat two shots back of Miller at 77.
Excitement came from the final pairings in all divisions during round two. In the Boys 16-18 Division, Richards made five birdies and one bogey on Sunday for the tournament low, a five-under-par 67. His three-shot victory earned him his first ever FJT win. Mancheno, who was trailing behind Hicks and Richards after round one, fired a bogey free three-under-par 69 to claim second place. Round one leader Hicks held on with a final round of 74 to capture third.
After bogeying the first three holes, Berggren of the Boys 13-15 Division made birdie on Nos. 7, 14, and 15 to shoot even par 72. His two-day, two-over-par 146 was good enough for a one shot victory over Choe, and Gordan Brixi of Potomac, Md. Brixi’s 71 was tied for the low in the Boys 13-15 Division, and he was the only player that placed who did not come from the final group.
Round one leader Pabst of the Girls 16-18 broke away from the pack. Three birdies on her back nine secured her victory with a two-day, 151 total to win by five strokes—her first ever FJT victory. Woods also posted a 74 for her final round, which was tied with Pabst for the tournament low in the division. This secured Woods a second place finish. Herrick rounded out the division in third.
Miller, who had trailed behind Albrecht in the Girls 13-15 Division was able to keep things even during her final round. Three birdies, three bogeys, and pars on her final seven holes allowed her to capture her third FJT win. Kim, who was one shot back of Miller at the turn ended up bogeying her 13th and 14th holes which made it difficult to come back from. Regardless, Kim was able to put together an impressive round of 72 to secure second place at 149. Albrecht finished in third place for the event at 152.