Jr. Tour of Nor. Calif – Spring Series VI – Oakmont GC
The Junior Tour of Northern California completed its Spring Series at Oakmont GC in Santa Rosa. Both championship flights played on the West Course, and both first flights played on the East Course. Although sunny skies were in order over the weekend, Saturday’s round was difficult with windy conditions, and higher scores resulted. No player broke par on the first day – a rarity on the Junior Tour, especially with so many good players.
After the first round, the Boys Championship flight lead was held by three players. Nick Rogers, Zack Sims, and Steven Sunwoo Choi all shot great rounds of 73 to find themselves in the final group on Sunday. Matt Kadiu shot a very strong round of 74 to join the leaders in the last group. The second day was filled with warm temperatures, sunny skies, and no wind. The scores reflected the more benign conditions. Steven Sunwoo Choi shot a two under par 70 on Sunday for a 143 total to take first place. His steady play outlasted Nick Rogers, who matched Sunwoo shot for shot all day long, until Nick tripped up a bit in the final few holes. Nick finished with a final round 73, and fell to second place at 145. After a rough opening round of 78, Ryan Han steadied himself on the final day to come out of the middle of the pack. With his remarkable final round of four under par 68, Ryan Han tried valiantly to catch the leaders. He unfortunately fell short, but raced up the leader board to finish in third place at 146.
In the Girls Championship Flight, players struggled with the windy conditions and tricky greens. Taylor Bickell, a high school senior who will be headed to the University of Nevada Reno in the fall, shot a 75 to take the round one lead. Andrea and Alexandra Wong, twin sisters from San Francisco, shot nearly identical scores to be near the top. Andrea shot a 76, and Alexandra shot a 77. Those three players were joined by Marguerite Swearingen, who, not to be outdone, fired her own 77 to be among the leaders. The nicer conditions on day two helped the Girls Championship Flight lower their scores as well. Mariko Tumangan steadied herself like the champion she is on the final day. After an uncharacteristic 81 on the first day, she posted the only under par round for the girls – a two under par 70. She came out of nowhere to win her third title this year on the Junior Tour by one stroke over Casie Cathrea. Casie bounced back nicely after a rough first day as well to shoot a 74. Her 152 total actually found her in a tie for second place with Alexandra Wong, who posted a very solid round of 75. A scorecard playoff gave Casie the second place finish.
The Boys First Flight played on East Course over the weekend. The short, but demanding par 63 undoubtedly challenged players. Ashkaan Hakim continued his good play from a couple of weeks ago when he won at Oakdale GCC. Ashkaan Hakim fired with a six over par 69 to lead by three strokes over Grant Leppek, who shot a 72. Connor Chesky of St. Helena, rounded out the group of leaders with his round of 73. On the final round, Ashkaan fired a tremendous round of 66 to win by 6 strokes. He carded three birdies on his round, and that was good enough to beat out Connor Chesky who took second place. Thomas Huddleston’s final round of 68 gave him a total of 145. Thomas found himself in a tie for third with Vivek Vasireddy, who posted rounds of 74-71.
The Girls First Flight also played on the par 63 East Course. Jessie Rong was the first round leader with a score of 70. Kelly Shotwell, who previously won at Spring Series I at Stockton CC/Brookside CC, was second with 72, and Kiran Sangha rounded out the final group when she posted her first round score of 73. Jessie took the victory home with a solid round of 73 on the final day. Her 143 total was good enough for an easy seven stroke victory over Dakota Bartels, who came in second place with her total of 150. Third place winner Camille Wagg also came out of the middle of Saturday’s pack. She shot a fantastic final round 73 for a total of 151.
Net Winners: Boys First Flight – Hayden Hui; Girls First Flight – Angela Liu; Boys Championship Flight – Ryan Durante; Girls Championship Flight – Abigail McGrew