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Ha & Hines Race Ahead at Rockledge

May 12, 2024

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - This weekend, the 13-15 year-old division of the Florida Junior Tour traveled to Rockledge Country Club, which played as a par-70. Even with varying weather throughout the weekend, the two-day, 36-hole, stroke-play event was filled with impressive play from the competitors. At the end of play, Samuel Ha and Dannika Hines would emerge as champions at Rockledge.

Boys (13-15)

The leaderboard at the end of Saturday’s first round was packed. With 15 players within three shots of the lead, it would be anyone’s tournament to win on Sunday. But, two players would share the lead and have the inside track to taking home the victory. Arnold Pouncy, a 2028 graduate from Saint Cloud, was as consistent as could be, recording a par on all but two holes in the first round to share the lead at even-par, 70. Joshua Castellanos, a 2027 graduate from Windermere, was the other co-leader at the end of the first round after he carded three birdies, including just one of two birdies on the par-3 second hole in the Boys’ Division on Saturday, to get to even-par, 70.

During Sunday’s first nine holes, Pouncy struggled out of the gate and dropped back from the leaders; meanwhile, Castellanos completed the front-nine at even par to maintain a one-shot lead over Samuel Ha, a 2027 graduate from Saint Augustine. Ha, who began the day one-shot back of the lead, played the front-nine at even-par to set up a showdown between him and Castellanos down the stretch. Ultimately, Ha would prevail as he played the back-nine bogey-free at 4-under par, bringing his cumulative score to 3-under par, to secure a four-shot victory. This was Ha’s second victory in-a-row on the Florida Junior Tour. Castellanos finished in second place at 1-over par, while Pouncey would finish in third place at 2-over par.

Girls (13-15)

At the end of the first round only two girls would shoot under-par as they jumped out in front of the field and established themselves as favorites heading into the final round. Dannika Hines, a 2027 graduate from Odessa, would catch fire as she made the turn onto the back-nine, recording four birdies to end the first round with a score of 2-under par, 68. Natalie Angelo, a 2027 graduate from Bradenton, started out hot with an eagle on the par-5 first hole and would play the remainder of her round at even-par to finish at 2-under, 68, and share the lead.

On Sunday, Hines and Angelo maintained their lead on the rest of the field to start the day. Angelo would once again get out to a hot start. The Bradenton native birdied three of her first seven holes and, after a bogey on the par-4 18th, would make the turn with a tournament total score of 3-under par. Hines would play a consistent first nine holes, but two bogeys would drop her down to 1-under par and give the Odessa native a two-shot deficit with nine holes to play. However, just as she did in the first round, Hines got better as the day wore on. After posting back-to-back birdies on the first and second holes, and a bogey from Angelo on the first hole, Hines would overtake the lead and not give it up for the remainder of the round. Eventually, the Odessa native would complete a six-shot victory, her second of the year on the Florida Junior Tour. Angelo finished in second place at 3-over par, while Iris Lee, a 2031 graduate from Orlando, would finish in third at 4-over par.