SARASOTA, Fla. - This weekend, the Florida Junior Tour traveled to Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club in Sarasota for the last non-exempt event of 2023. Warm and windy days combined with the quick greens at Heritage Oaks presented a challenge for the players as they sought to earn exemptions. After 36 holes had been played, four players walked away with trophies. Nolan Hyatt and Jack Bachman won their respective divisions for the boys while Sadaly Campbell and Lily Reitter picked up wins in the girls divisions.
After the first round was completed, two players were tied at the top of the leaderboard after recording scores of even-par, 71. Both Nolan Hyatt, of Cocoa Beach, and Cody Guetzke, of Hartland, Wisconsin, recorded three birdies and three bogeys during their balanced rounds to make it into the final pairing on Sunday. Joining them, and in third place, was Callan Fahey, of Wheaton, Illinois. The Wheaton native sat two shots back after his round of 2-over par, 73.
While there were no scores under-par in the Boys (16-18) Division in the first round, the second round had four players reach that mark. One of these players was the Round One co-leader, Hyatt. The Cocoa Beach native would record three birdies and one bogey on the front nine before recording nine pars in his final nine holes to shoot 2-under par, 69, and secure a four-shot victory. This was the first-ever victory for the Class of 2025 member. Guetzke would go on to shoot 1-over par, 73, on Sunday to finish in second place. Emilio Garcia, of Orlando, who recorded a 5-over par, 76, on Saturday, would shoot 1-under par, 70 on Sunday to finish in third place.
Through 18 holes, two players held a share of the lead after they completed the round with scores of 2-over par, 73. Maddie Rathjen, of Saint Augustine, recorded two birdies on the front nine and eight pars on the back nine to get to 2-over par, 73, during her overall consistent round. On the other hand, Sadaly Campbell, of Fernandina Beach, recorded just eight pars throughout her entire round on the way to a score of 2-over par, 73. Four shots behind the leaders, and in third place, was Morgan Franklin, of Fort Myers, who had a score of 6-over par, 77, after 18 holes.
On Sunday, golfers in the Girls (16-18) Division began on the back nine. Rathjen would once again record eight pars and one bogey on the back nine, providing her with a two-shot lead over Campbell, who would play the back nine at 3-over par. After Rathjen bogeyed the par-4 first hole, Campbell would move into a tie with the Saint Augustine native with a birdie on the par-4 second hole. With a birdie on the par-3 sixth hole, the Fernandina Beach native would take the lead and not relinquish it, ultimately securing a three-shot victory, her first on the Florida Junior Tour. Rathjen would go on to record a score of 7-over par, 78, on Sunday and finish in second place. Franklin finished in third after shooting 6-over par, 77, in the second round.
At the end of the day on Saturday, Jack Bachman, of Prescott, Arizona, had jumped out to a lead in the Boys 13-15 Division with a score of 2-under par, 69, the lowest score of the day across all four divisions. The Prescott native’s round was highlighted by five birdies as he built a one-shot lead. Brett Tarver, of Lakewood Ranch, carded six birdies on his way to a score of 1-under par, 70, which was good enough for second place heading into Sunday. Harrison Zhang, of Bradenton, and Jack Hudson, of New Port Richey, finished the first round in a tie for third after recording scores of 1-over par, 73.
Despite a rocky start to his round on Sunday where he was 4-over par on the back nine, including two double-bogeys in his first four holes, Bachman would still hold a one-shot lead over Tarver and Devin Wortinger, of Sebring, who shot up the leaderboard by going 2-under par on his first nine holes. The Prescott native would ultimately rebound on the front nine, recording three birdies to shoot even-par on the front nine and secure a three-shot victory, his first on the Florida Junior Tour. Tarver and Wortinger would both go 2-over par on the front nine to finish in a tie for second.
At the end of the first round, Lily Reitter, of Naples, held a three-shot lead over her competitors after recording a score of 2-over par, 73. Reitter’s consistency was the key to her jumping into the lead as she recorded a par on all but four holes. Sophia Christy, of South Barrington, Illinois, would complete her first 18 holes in second place at 5-over par, 76. Rebekah Im, of Bradenton, would round out the final pairing for this division after she recorded a first-round score of eight-over par, 79.
Then, on Sunday, Reitter would continue to outperform her competition. The Naples native would shoot a bogey-free 2-under par on her first nine holes and would shoot even-par on the front nine to record a second-round score of 2-under par, 69, the lowest in her division and tied for the lowest across all divisions for the tournament. This 12-shot victory, tied for the fourth largest margin of victory in the Girls (13-15) Division, is Reitter’s first victory on the Florida Junior Tour. Christy would go on to shoot 7-over par, 78 to secure second place, while Im would record a second-round score of 8-over par, 79, to finish in third.