FJT Tour Champions Determined
The top junior players in the state battled at Walt Disney World Golf, the “happiest place on earth”, for the fourth FJT Tour Championship, December 12-13. The juniors started the Championship on the Palm course on Saturday and finished on the Magnolia course, which is known for hosting the Children’s Miracle Network Classic, a PGA Tour event, for the past 30 years. The juniors experienced summer-like temperatures making for great conditions and impressive golf scores!
In the Boys 16-18 division many red numbers were posted both days of the Championship. Logan Membrino, of Ponte Vedra Beach never faltered with rounds of 69-72 to be crowned champion by one stroke! After round one there was a close race at the top with four players under-par. Clearwater resident, Greyson Porter shot the low round of the day with two consistent nine hole
scores of two under-par, 34, for a total four under-par 68. Logan Membrino was one stroke behind with a 69, followed by Matthew Ruel in third at two under-par and Calvin Sierota finishing fourth after a 71. Chris Nido, Tim Graham, and Landon Weber would start Sunday’s round at even par, tied for fifth place.
Logan Membrino played steady golf on Sunday to climb one spot to first place with a three under-par total of 141. Membrino started the second day hot with three birdies on the front nine and stayed in control on the back nine for the win and the 2015 Boys 16-18 FJT Points Champion! Chris Nido, of Palmetto Bay fell into a good pattern of birdying every other hole from hole 4 to hole 12 en route to a two under-par, 70, tournament total 140 and second place title! Cody Carroll and Calvin Sierota finished the 2015 FJT season tied for third at one under-par, 143.
Brittany Shin and Morgan Baxendale battled closely in the Girls 16-18 division final round to crown Baxendale the Champion. Shin, of Cape Coral played an impressive first round with 16 pars and two birdies on holes 16 and 17 to finish on top at two under-par, 70. Windermere resident, Baxendale tied Sarah Noonan for second place with a first round one over-par, 73. Round two got off to a rough start for Shin as she double-bogeyed the first hole and, despite two birdies on holes three and six, fell to second place after a 76 leading to a tournament total 146. Morgan seized the open opportunity by making a birdie on hole 16 followed by two pars on 17 and 18 to be crowned Tour Champion and 2015 Girls 16-18 FJT Points Champion.
A phenomenal second round of three under-par, 69 propelled Joseph Pagdin, of Orlando to win the Boys 13-15 division by four strokes! Leopoldo Herrera III, of Doral and David Morgan, of Naples sat tied for first place after round one with a two under-par 70. Anthony Muttillo Jr. and Pagdin finished round one tied for third after a steady even par round. Pagdin unleashed the beast on Sunday, starting his final round with birdies on holes two and three and an eagle on the par five, fourth hole. He finished the day with birdies on holes 11 and 16 for a three under-par tournament total 141. Morgan carded a final round 75 for a tournament total 145 and second place finish. Herrera followed close behind in third place after a second round 76, tournament total 146. Alberto Martinez, who was the 2015 Boys’ Junior Amateur Champion, earned the Boys 13-15 FJT Points Champion.
Mimi (Xiaoyi) Chen, of Longwood went wire-to-wire to win in runaway fashion, shooting the tournament low, even par 144, in the Girls 13-15 division. Chen led her division by two strokes after Saturday’s round of one over-par 73. Ariel (SinQin)Yu and Xin (Cindy) Kou, would begin the final round tied for second at three over-par. Although Chen began day two with a doube-bogey, she did not let that bring her down and birdied the next two holes, along with holes five, 15 and 18. Chen finished the year strong with a final round one under-par! Yu, of Bradenton came in second place, five strokes behind, and Kou’s second round of 77 dropped her to third place with a tournament total 152. Alyssa Lamoureux is named the 2015 Girls 13-15 FJT Points Champion after a tied for seventh finish in the 2015 Women’s Amateur Championship and coming in second at the Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship.
This event concludes the 2015 Florida Junior Tour Season. We want to thank everyone for another great year, and can't wait to see some great golf in the new year. The 2016 season is just around the corner and will kick off at Belleair Country Club on January 9-10.