FJT 54-Hole Major Champs
Memorial Day weekend was full of great golf shots and tough competition for the Florida Junior Tour players participating in the 54-hole major event! The Boys’ 13-15 division and all of the girls arrived at Orange County National, in Winter Garden, on Saturday to play the Crooked Cat Course. The Boys’ 16-18 division teed it up at Longboat Key Club, in Sarasota, to play the Harbourside course. All players experienced three sunny warm days of golf on great course conditions!
Ignacio Arcaya, of Orlando, fired two impressive rounds of 69-68 to enter the final round in first place by two strokes at seven under-par (137). Max Coutsolioutsos, of Bradenton, didn’t let the lead stray too far out of sight with two rounds in the red, 69-70, to follow close behind in second place starting Monday’s round.
Joseph Pagdin, of Orlando, didn’t lose any momentum over night after his second round four under-par, 68. Pagdin carded a two under-par 70 in the final round finding himself in a four-way tie for first with Eric Berggren (71-71-69), Ignacio Arcaya (69-68-74), and Max Coutsolioutsos (69-70-72). A sudden death playoff began on the 18th hole to determine the Champion. Ignacio and Max were eliminated with bogies while Eric and Joseph made pars forcing the playoff to move on to number ten. Eric and Joseph both parred and the playoff went back to the 18th hole where Pagdin locked in a victory with a two putt par. Pagdin won the Tour Championship at Walt Disney World Golf in 2015 and can add a 54-hole major to his resume!
Ariel Yu, of Bradenton, and Erika Smith, of Orlando, would go head to head in the final round after carding two identical rounds to start the tournament. Both girls shot 70-72 for a two under-par two-day total of 142. Two strokes behind in second place was Brittany Shin, of Cape Coral, with an impressive second round three under-par, 69.
Erika Smith pulled ahead to take first place after staying consistent with a final round 73. Smith finished the 54-hole major at one under-par, 215, two strokes ahead of Brittany Shin. Shin also carded a final round 73 to finish in second place alone with a 217 total. Ariel Yu struggled on Monday to a 77 and fourth place finish. Casey Weidenfeld, of Pembroke Pines, took third place with rounds of 71-75-72—218. Congratulations on Erika Smith’s first FJT victory!!
Two consistent rounds of two under-par 70 propelled Chase Ibbotson, of Sanford, to the lead by two strokes after the second day (140 total). Tampa resident, Jackson Suber, sat two strokes behind in second place after rounds of 70-72. Eric Yu and Robert Eisch tied for third, only three strokes from first place heading into the final round.
Excitement took place in the final round as Jacob Penny, of Valrico, made his way from fifth place (74-70—144) to first! Penny made some noise on the par three third hole by firing his third ace! With this momentum, Jacob went on to finish his final round with six birdies for a seven under-par, 65, and first place victory! Penny finished the 54-hole major at seven under-par, 209, three strokes ahead of Jackson Suber in second place. Jackson carded a two under-par final round for a four under-par 212 total, but could not catch Penny. Chase Ibbotson fell to a 76 in the final round to end the major in fourth place. Andre Leveque, of Windermere, tied the tournament low with a 65 to move into third place with a 214 total (-2).
An exciting final would take place on Monday as three girls tied for the lead at one under-par, 143, after day two. Julia Matzat, of Parkland, Alyssa Lamoureux, of Seminole, and Carolina Andrade, of Winter Garden, made up the final pairing fighting for a lone first place finish!
Carolina Andrade fought off tough competition with a stellar final round of three under-par, 69, to capture first place! Andrade finished the tournament at four under-par (212) for a two-stroke win. Alyssa Lamoureux remained consistent with rounds of 71-72-71 for a final two-under par 214 to take second place by four strokes. Morgan Baxendale finished third at (72-72-74) 218 and Julie Matzat fell to fourth place with a final round 76, tournament total 219. Andrade was victorious in the first FSGA event she has ever participated in!