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Barcenas, Lee, Monssoh, and Badiga Crowned at Futures Championship

July 2, 2024

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Four juniors claimed titles at the Futures Championship at Countryside Country Club. In the Boys (11-12) Division, Daniel Barcenas went wire-to-wire to win by one stroke. Iris Lee took home a six-shot victory in the Girls (11-12) Division, her fourth of the year and 10th overall. In the Boys (9-10) Division, Victor Monssoh edged out his competitors by three shots to pick up his first FSGA victory. Lastly, in the Girls (9-10) Division, Sritha Badiga would outlast her competitors by one shot, taking her first FSGA victory.

Boys (11-12)

Daniel Barcenas, a 2030 graduate from Weston, had a scalding start to the Futures Championship. After recording an eagle on the par-5 third hole, Barcenas would complete the remainder of his first nine holes bogey-free at 4-under par. The Weston native would add another birdie on the par-5 11th hole before a few bogeys late in his round brought his first-round total to 2-under par, 70. This was good enough for a one-shot lead over Bobby Jones Potash, a 2030 graduate from Eustis, whose three birdies on the front nine propelled him to the only other under-par score in the division (1-under par, 71). Axel Monssoh, a 2030 graduate from Miami, shot even-par, 72 to sit in third place heading into the final round. 

In the second round, Barcenas would play his first nine holes at even-par to hold a commanding three-shot lead. However, that lead would quickly be elimnated after the Weston native played his next three holes at 3-over par. Thanks to a birdie on the par-4 third hole, Monssoh, who played his first nine holes at 1-over par, would take a one-shot lead, which was followed up by a bogey to bring the two contenders back into a tie. After Barcenas retook the lead with a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole, the tournament would be brought back into a tie once again when the eventual champion bogeyed the par-4 seventh. Ultimately, a bogey from Monssoh on the par-3 eighth would give Barcenas a one-shot lead that he would hold on to to secure the Championship. This was the first-ever victory for Barcenas as he appeared in his first FSGA Championship.

Girls (11-12)

Iris Lee, a 2031 graduate from Orlando, was one of just two golfers in the Division to complete the first 18 holes under-par. Lee, whose last tournament appearance was a tied-for-14th finish at last week’s 65th Girls’ Junior Championship, would make the turn at 2-over par. But then, the Orlando native caught fire as she birdied her next three holes, ultimately completing her round with a score of 2-under par, 70. This was good enough for a one-stroke lead over Alyna Yensabai, a 2031 graduate from Lake Worth. Yensabai would also complete her first nine holes at 1-over par before adding two birdies during a bogey-free final nine holes. Qiaoyi Lyu, a 2030 graduate from Celebration, would enter Tuesday's final round just two strokes back thanks to her round of even-par, 72.

On Tuesday, after picking up where she left off by birdieing her first hole of the day, the par-4 first, Lee would complete the remainder of the front nine at even par to extend her lead to four strokes with just nine holes remaining. The 2031 graduate was determined to keep her distance from the field as she played the back-nine bogey-free at 1-under par, ultimately securing a dominant six-stroke victory. This victory was the fourth of 2024 and a landmark 10th overall victory for Lee. Nirvika Koduru, a 2030 graduate from Boca Raton who had a first-round score of 2-over par, 74, would shoot even-par, 72, on Tuesday to finish in a tie for second with Yensabai (3-over par, 75, on Tuesday).

Boys (9-10)

At the end of the first round, Benny Minter, a 2032 graduate from Lutz, would hold a one-stroke lead thanks to his round of 4-over par, 76. After birdieing his first hole of the day, the par-4 10th, Minter would complete his first nine holes at even-par. Despite not recording another birdie throughout the rest of the round, Lutz native's 4-over par second nine holes was just enough to keep him atop the leaderboard heading into the final round. Victor Monssoh, a 2033 graduate from Miami, played a very similar round to Minter, completing the first nine holes at 1-over par with one birdie before playing his final nine holes at 4-over par to remain one-stoke back.

In the final round, Minter and Monssoh would continue to separate themselves from the field, and the two would be tied for the lead with just nine holes to play. With a birdie, double bogey, and birdie on the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes, respectively, Monssoh would take the lead, give it back to Minter, and then bring the Championship back into a tie during a very exciting stretch of golf. Ultimately, a bogey from Minter on the par-5 15th hole gave the Miami native a lead he would not relinquish as he secured a three-stroke victory. The three-stroke victory was the 2033 graduate's first-ever victory.

Girls (9-10)

Sritha Badiga, a 2032 graduate from Lake Mary, took hold of the lead after the first round with her score of 8-over par, 80, highlighted by her stretch of six straight pars to close out the round. Ziyue Cao, a 2032 graduate from Sanford, would shoot 10-over par, 82, to sit just two strokes back heading into the final round. Lydia Lu, a 2033 graduate from Orlando, was in third with a score of 13-over par, 85.

After the first nine holes on Tuesday, Cao and Badiga created space between themselves and the rest of the field on the leaderboard; however, Cao would overtake the lead from Badiga by one stroke. Throughout the final nine holes, the two contenders would exchange and share the lead multiple times until the Lake Mary native's birdie on the par-3 eighth gave her a one-stroke lead she would not relinquish. The one-stroke victory was the first-ever victory for the 2032 graduate.