Four Champions Crowned at Tour Championship
PALM COAST, Fla. – After battling the rain and wind on Sunday, four players were crowned champions at the Florida Junior Tour Championship at The Conservatory at Hammock Beach. Brendan Valdes captured the Boys 16-18 division, while Sam Kodak took home the Boys 13-15 title. On the girls’ side, Bailey Shoemaker won the 16-18 trophy, and Madison Hewlett secured the 13-15 title.
Valdes secured the win in the Boys 16-18 division, carding a seven-under 137 for the two-day championship. After the first round, he was in second place and one shot behind Boy’s Junior Player of the Year, Tyler Wilkes. Valdes shot 5-under 66 on Saturday, posting eight birdies on the round.
He began the round with a birdie on the first hole, before a double bogey on the fourth hole after hitting it into the water. The 2021 graduate then birdied three of the next four holes and finished the final round with a 2-under 70. In total, he carded 15 birdies on the weekend. This is Valdes’ second FJT win of the season, after he won at Fairwinds Golf Club in May.
Wilkes finished runner-up, while also posting the low-round of the tournament (66). Jordan Sarhaddi and Drew Angelo finished in a tie for third.
Kodak earned his first FJT win at Hammock Dunes with the Tour Championship win in the Boys 13-15 division. He posted a 1-under 70 on Saturday and entered the final round with a one-stroke lead over Parker Bell, Jay Brooks, Leo Goosen and Yuze Zhang.
The Naples, Fla. native got off to a quick start on Sunday, birding three of the first five holes. He posted a final 1-under 143, the only under-par round in his division. Yuze Zhang took second place, while Parker Bell finished third.
Shoemaker took home the title for the Girls 16-18 division, earning her third FJT win of the season. She recorded the only under-par round in her division on Saturday (1-under 71) to hold a one-shot lead over Aaron Whitley heading into the final round.
She posted a 1-over 73 on Sunday to finish the championship with an even-par 144. The West Edmeston, N.Y. native has competed in a total of three FJT events, winning all three. She captured wins at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club, the first event of the year, and at Ocala Golf Club. Jacqueline Putrino and Whitney finished tied for second.
Hewlett won the Girls 13-15 division to secure her third win of the season. After the first round, Hewlett and Lauren Clark were in a tie for first after posting 3-under 69. Hewlett went on to shoot 1-under 71 on Sunday to secure the championship. The Oldsmar, Fla. native was the only player in her division to card two under-par rounds.
In addition to the Tour Championship winners, the FJT Points Champions were decided. Chloe Schiavone and Tyler Wilkes had FJT Points Champions for the 16-18 age division locked up prior to the Tour Championship. Valdes and Hewlett were awarded the Points titles for the 13-15 division.