July 22, 2007

Buccina & Barrios Win Q-Series at Lake Jovita

Nick Buccina and Mariana Barrios emerged from a playoff to win their respective divisions.

Playing Lake Jovita’s North Course, Nick Buccina, 17, from Tarpon Springs, captured the boys 16-18 age division winning on the fourth playoff hole. In the first round, Buccina posted a 1-under par 71 to trail the leader by two strokes. Buccina shot an even par 72 in the final round to force a playoff with Roberto Paciornick, the first round leader. In the playoff, Buccina and Paciornick were tied going par, birdie, par on the first three playoff holes. Playing the 4th hole, a par 3, Buccina made birdie to secure his first FJT title. Paciornick, 17, of Curitiba, Brazil, took second place with scores of 69-74. Justin Foster, 16, of Dunedin, finished third shooting a 74-71—145.

In the girls 16-18 age division, Mariana Barrios, 17, from Bogota, Colombia, secured the division title sinking an 8-foot putt for par on the third playoff hole. Barrios shot consistent scores of 78-79—157 to find herself in a playoff with Jenna Taylor. After each girl made par on the first two playoff holes, weather forced them off the course for a short delay. Coming out on the third playoff hole, the par 3 4th hole, Barrios saved par with an 8-foot putt for the win. Taylor, 18, from Valrico, was the first round leader shooting a 75 and went into the playoff after carding a final round 82. In a tie for third place, Christina Gray, 18, of Tampa, and Bruna Spangler, 17, of Santa Cruz, Brazil, each finished with a tournament total of 159. Gray posted an 80-79 as Spangler shot a 76-83.

Since entries into FJT events have exceeded capacity, the FJT instituted the Qualifying Series to accommodate for more players. The Qualifying Series gives newer members and non-exempt players a chance to earn FJT exemptions while competing in a high quality, national ranked event. The events are open to all current FJT members who do not hold a current FJT exemption as of the first day of the Series tournament. Conducted by the Florida State Golf Association, the Florida Junior Tour (FJT) is a junior golf tour offering highly competitive and affordable competitions for juniors in Florida. The 2006-2007 season consists of 23 events for juniors, male and female, ages 13-18. Beginning September and running through July, the FJT schedule will play at some of the state’s top courses including Lake Jovita and TwinEagles. The FJT’s focus is on quality, affordability and integrity. Tournaments consist of 36 holes conducted over 2 days, typically weekends, with an entry fee of $95 or $115. Scholarship entry is available to junior golfers unable to afford the entry fee.

Working closely with the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), FJT top competitors will receive exemptions and performance points towards AJGA events. The FJT is the only Florida tour to participate in the AJGA’s Performance Based Process. In addition, FJT events will be ranked by Golfweek/Titleist and Junior Golf Scoreboard. The FJT will maintain a points list to assist in determining Junior Player-of-the-Year and invitations to other tournaments.

To view complete pairings, tee times, and results, please see www.floridajuniortour.org.

The FJT is conducted by the Florida State Golf Association which conducts 25 State Championships and more than 40 qualifying tournaments for USGA National Championships. The FSGA also maintains the USGA Handicap System, performs course ratings throughout Florida and assists in junior programs and scholarships.

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