Gifford and Somoskey Prevail in Nole Country
The Don Vellar Seminole Golf Course and Club was the host this past weekend for the opening Florida Junior Tour event of the 2016 season in the 13-15 age division. Home to the men’s and women’s golf teams at Florida State University, the players were able to use the team practice facilities all weekend both before and after their rounds. Players were also able to attend two open house sessions held by the men’s head golf coach, Trey Jones, and the women’s head golf coach, Amy Bond. Trey and Amy were beyond welcoming this weekend and the players were provided a terrific opportunity to see what a successful college golf environment entails and the hard work required to play at such a high level.
The golf course provided a difficult challenge for the field of 80 players. The five par 5s on the golf course provided plenty of birdie chances throughout each competitor’s round on both days. In the boys’ division, the players took advantage of the perfect scoring conditions on Saturday. At the end of the first round, there were five players that posted scores in the red numbers. Harrison Ornstein and Luke Gifford (pictured left) both fired impressive rounds of 3-under par, 70, to take a two stroke lead heading into the final round of play. Luke and Harrison combined to make 10 birdies in the first round which allowed them to jump ahead of Taylor John McGerity, Andrew Farraye and Feltcher Wunderlich after all three players posted rounds of 1-under par, 72.
The scoring conditions on Sunday changed dramatically from the previous day’s beautiful sunny weather. Heavy winds and rain over night brought in much cooler weather for Sunday’s play as the high temperature for the day only reached just over 50 degrees. Round one co-leader, Luke Gifford, played steady again in the second round shooting a 1-over par, 74 for a two round total of 144, 2-under par. Luke was able to hold onto the lead and claim the victory by one shot over both Gray Albright and Fletcher Wunderlich. Gray had the round of the day in the boys’ division as the high winds and cold weather did not affect his play. He shot an impressive 71, 2-under par, to climb up the leaderboard for a tie for second.
The girls’ division also had a number of players take advantage of the generous scoring conditions during their play on Saturday. Erika Smith played a very steady opening round, carding an even par 73 to start the 2016 season. Erika made three birdies and had a three stroke lead heading into the final round over Juliana Camargo and Macy Somoskey (pictured right). Three other players broke 80 in the first round including both Megan Schofill and Lauren Heinlen who posted scores of 77 on Saturday. Karoline Tuttle also came in with a first round of 6 over par, 79, only six strokes off the lead heading into Sunday’s final round.
Similar to the boys’ division, the weather proved to be a tough test for the girls’ division as well. First round leader, Erika Smith, posted an 83 in her second round and finished third overall after her impressive opening round of 73. Macy Somoskey proved to be the most consistent player over the weekend as she posted rounds of 76-77 to win by one stroke over Megan Schofill. Congratulations to Macy on her first victory in a Florida Junior Tour event!
Congratulations to all of the top finishers at this weekend’s Florida Junior Tour event. Thank you to the Don Vellar Seminole Golf Course and Club for all of their hard work and dedication during the event. Finally, a big thank you again to the Florida State University’s golf program for allowing the players and their families an opportunity to take a look at a premier college golf team and facility. The Florida Junior Tour will head back to Tallahassee next weekend with the 16-18 division at Southwood Golf Club. The 13-15 age division will have their next event at River Wilderness Golf and Country Club in just a few weeks on February 6-7.