Kim, Clark Take Titles in Windy Weekend
Florida Junior Tour (Girls 13-18)
- LPGA International - Jones Course
- Yardage & Rating
- 5,836 yds. 74.1/135
- Round 1 - Saturday - Partly cloudy with winds 15 mph and gusts up to 33 mph
- Round 2 - Sunday - Sunny with winds 15 mph and gusts up to 30 mph
DAYTONA BEACH - To say that the weather played a small part in this weekend's FJT event at LPGA International would be an understatement. With steady winds of 15-18 mph and gusts of up to 35 mph, the Jones Course was playing every bit as tough as it could on Saturday and Sunday. Some players were able to break through the conditions and shoot red numbers, while others held steady just a few strokes over par.
The Girls' 16-18 division played out similarly to the younger division, with two girls competing down to the final hole to decide a winner. Jenny Kim, of Heathrow, and Taylor Roberts, of Parkland, were the only two players to shoot under par for the entire tournament. Their impressive first round 70 & 71's respectively were not matched on Saturday, with Kim carding an eagle and a birdie while Roberts carded four birdies of her own. Sunday saw the two paired together, and as they made their way around the course it was easy to see that this match would go down to the final hole. Roberts got off to a hot start, shooting a one-under par 35 on the front nine to pull even overall with Kim. As they headed to the back nine, Roberts made bogeys at holes 12 and 14 to drop to 1-over par and one shot behind Kim. After birdieing her 16th hole, Roberts had pulled even with Kim yet again. The two girls came to the par-3 17th, where both made great pars to keep the tense match going to the last hole. It was there that Jenny Kim made the birdie that would seal her victory and notch her first win since her Junior Championship victory last year. Auston Kim, of St. Augustine, and Ariel Yu, of Bradenton, rounded out the top three.
In the Girls' 13-15 division, Lauren Clark, of Orlando, jumped out to the early lead after shooting a 2-under par 34 on the front nine. She would go on to make a few bogeys on the back nine and finish at 2-over par. Her first round 74 would be good enough to hold a one-shot lead over Natalia Jimenez, of Pembroke Pines. Jimenez played an up-and-down front nine on Saturday, starting her first four holes without a par. She made sure to right the ship though, making a birdie on the par-5 fifth hole. She would go on to make one more birdie and eagle the par-5 ninth hole to finish at one-over par for her first nine holes. She would go on to birdie both of the par-5's on the back nine, making her 5-under par total on the par-5's Saturday. Clark did not let Jimenez's slew of birdies get to her, as she fired off four birdies of her own on Saturday and two more on Sunday in tough playing conditions. The two girls would battle it out on Sunday for the title, going shot-for-shot and ultimately carding the same score of 79. After Clark's first round 74, she was declared the winner by one shot over Jimenez, who finished with her best result of the year. This was Clark's first win of the 2018 season, although she had previously won the FJT at Falcons Fire GC back in September of last year. Madison Hewlett, of Oldsmar, rounded out the top three with her fourth consecutive top-5 finish this year.
Congratulations to Genevieve Bushey, of Ponte Vedra Beach, who made her first hole-in-one on the par-3 sixth hole on Saturday!