Jr Tour of Northern Calif – Summer Series I – Palo Alto Hills CC
The Junior Tour of Northern California kicked off its Summer Series at Palo Hills Country Club. One hundred and twenty juniors were able to enjoy the beautiful course for two spectacular days, and we would like to thank Palo Hills for their generosity and support of our juniors. In fact, if any of the families would like to send a thank you note to Palo Alto Hills, they are sure to appreciate it.
The story of the tournament was the weather. It was hot, hot, hot on the first day! Temperatures during the first round reached 95 degrees, and by many reports, it felt even hotter than that. However, a handful of players were able to overcome the heat to post some very strong scores in the first round.
In the Boys Championship flight, Jonathan Lin and Steven Sunwoo Choi paced the field with rounds of 70 on the first day. Will Scarlett was in second place with a 71, and Gian Silvestri was in third with a 72. The final round, thankfully, brought cooler temperatures, and the scores reflected the more comfortable conditions. Unfortunately our final group got tripped up a bit by the short, but challenging course. First round leader Jonathan Lin clung onto his lead with a one over par on the front nine, but two bogeys and a double bogey on the back doomed his chances for a win. That opened the door for Justin Suh. Justin shot a blistering 68 in the final round, and came from three shots down to at the start of the day, to finish in first place at 141 – one under par for the tournament. Second place went to Will Brueckner, who shot a tremendous round of 69 in the final round. Will finished at 143, two shots back of first. Jack Wilson came from behind too. His first round 74 left him four shots off the lead, and his final round 71 gave him a total of 145, tied for third place with Jonathan Lin, who shot 75 on the final day.
After the first round, the Girls Championship Flight was led by a familiar pair. Paige Lee, who just qualified for the US Junior Girls Championship a day earlier, shot a 72. Mariko Tumangan, who will also be competing in the US Junior Girls, matched Paige’s 72. Hannah Suh and Grace Park each shot 76 in the first round. The final round proved to be a good race. Grace had three birdies in her final round 74. She finished in third place at 150. Mariko struggled with her game and shot a disappointing 77 to finish at 149 in second place. That left the door wide open for Paige Lee to capture her first Junior Tour win of the season. Paige’s steady play carded her a final round 75 – this despite a triple bogey on number 16. She steadied herself on 17 with a par, and then birdied the par five 18. Paige’s total of 147 was good enough for a two stroke victory.
After the first round, the Boys First Flight was led by Andy Zhou and John Knowles, who each shot 78 to lead by one shot over Jack Jaffe’s 79. All three played in final group. Jack Jaffe played solidly on the second day, carding a 75. His 37 front and 38 back nine showed off his steady play as he won by three strokes over John Knowles. John shot a final round 79 for a two day total of 157 and second place. Jason Pan took third place as he carded two rounds of 80. His 160 total left him six shots back.
The Girls First Flight also had a familiar name at the top after day one. Tyler Akabane’s 78 led the way by six strokes over Christine Kim and Kyleigh Moreno. They each shot 84 to play in the final group with Tyler. Tyler struggled a bit on the second day, but still managed to shoot an 83. Despite being off her usual game, she managed to post a two day total of 161 and first place. Kyleigh Moreno posted her second 84 in as many days for a total of 168 for second place, and after an opening round of 91, Jessie Rong shot an fantastic round of 78 to come from nowhere to take third place at 169.