Penny & Yu Defeat Strong Field
Ocala's Stone Creek Golf Club attracted an impressive field this weekend, February 27-28, with 27 past Florida Junior Tour Champions teeing it up. Sunshine and temperatures in the mid 60s along with open fairways and fantastic course conditions resulted in low numbers and intense competition in both divisions.
After the completion of round one, 16 red scores were up on the leaderboard, including Macy Somoskey's tournament low 68. Somoskey's four under-par score not only marked her first under-par tournament round but also her first round in a Florida Junior Tour 16-18 event. In the girls' division, Mimi Chen, Andie Shukow, Ariel Yu and Alyssa Lamoureux all trailed behind with one over-par 73. Calvin Sierota, of Melbourne, stood alone in first place by one stroke in the boys' division. Michael Mattiace, of Jacksonville, posted a six under-par 66 to hold second place while Kaleb Johnson and Alberto Martinez recorded 68s to tie for third going into the final round.
Despite a chill in the early morning, the beautiful weather and course conditions continued during Sunday's final round leading to 15 more scores in the red. Leaders in the girls' division shifted with Ariel Yu's consistent play. Yu, a Bradenton resident, carded a final round of even par 72 to capture the title and her fourth Florida Junior Tour victory in the past two years. One shot back, Macy Somoskey, Mimi Chen and Athena Yang finished tied for second place with a tournament total 146.
The tough competition in the boys' division only continued into the final round with a four-way tie for first place at 8 under-par 136. Michael Mattiace, Brandon Mancheno, Kaleb Johnson and Jacob Penny made their way to the par 5 eleventh hole to begin the playoff. Off the tee Johnson found the out of bounds but was still able to find the green with a chance at par while Mattiace, Mancheno and Penny all had an opportunity to sink their birdie putts. Of the three players on the green, Jacob Penny, of Valrico, was the only one to drain his putt, ending the playoff and capturing the title and his first Florida Junior Tour victory.
The Florida Junior Tour 16-18 division will head to Amelia Island's Amelia National Golf Club next weekend while the 13-15 division will tee it up at Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club in Tampa.