The Tour Championship at the beautiful Reflection Bay Golf Course marked the culmination of a year-long grind by our junior golfers to earn the title of: Tour Champion. Year two is officially in the books, and we are proud of all of the participants in what they have accomplished. We’ve seen some ups and downs throughout the year, but the one constant we always see from our golfers…good sportsmanship and having fun. The competition at each event is intense and this year’s Tour Championship was no different.
The Tour Championship greeted the players with one of the best courses in the valley, and course conditions were spectacular. The greens at Reflection Bay gave the players some trouble on day 1, but players showed some mental & physical toughness on day 2 to improve their scoring around the greens. For Junior Golf Tour Directors, that is what makes our job special – seeing golfers work their way around a golf course and learn from previous shots.
With only one round in the 70’s by the entire boy’s 15-18 field, Reflection Bay proved it is one of the more difficult tracks we play all year. Redemption was the goal of the day on day two, and the boy’s came through with flying colors. Austen Ancell recovered from a dismal start (83) and posted the only sub par round, with a second round one under par 71. Austen’s round could have been much better; he scored a triple bogey 8 on the last hole, a par five. It was still good enough to squeeze out a one shot victory over Jared Smith 79-76/155. With his 2nd place finish, Jared won the Player of the Year Award, 1750 points to 1660 for Leo Torres. Michael Salerno finished 3rd with 1625 points. What a way to make a statement onto a tour… Jared’s first year playing on the RLJGT and he’s now a Tour Champion! Great job, Jared!
Jackson Parrish, Boy’s 13-14, won his 5th event of the year, his second major championship, and with his victory he was able to pass CJ Martin, with 2700 points to CJ’s 2590. Jackson won the event with rounds of 75-78/153, William Moser came in second with 78-77/155, and new to our tour Austin Smith took third, with 82-79/161. Parrish’s consistency throughout the year propelled him to his first Tour Championship. We’ll see if he can improve on his 84 scoring average this year to defend his title in 2018.
Kyle Guloy, Boy’s 11-12, won his third event of the year and also the tour championship. With rounds of 83-79/162 Kyle cruised to a 14 shot over his good buddy Bradley Bourn 92-84/176. Both these boys played great all year, and became good friends along the way. They will be playing together in the Western Junior Cup next week.
Nathan Putala won the Boys 9-10 with a solid performance and one of his best rounds of the year, an 80. With his 2nd place finish, Nathan was able to finish second in the Player of the Year race with 2275 points. Shenlone Wu won the Player of the Year award with 2450 points. Wu was unable to participate this week but had enough points to hold off Putala. Wu is now a 2-time Tour Champion! Wade Arcella took 2nd with a score of 90, and 3rd to another newcomer, Brendan Barbeau, with a 95.
Rebecca Oertel won her second consecutive Player of the Year award in the girl’s 15-18. Playing steady golf all year, Rebecca finished either 1st or 2nd in every event she participated in. She also won three majors this year. With rounds of 77-80/157, she won by 11 shots over Aliyah Williams 88-80/168. Aliyah also finished 2nd in the Player of the Years race. Angelina Kilton keeps showing improvement with rounds of 96-89/185, took 3rd. Oertel, a 2018 graduate, will eventually land a college roster; therefore, the Girls 15-18 division is up for grabs in 2018.
Another two time consecutive Player of the Year is Carolyn Lemon, girls 13-14 with 3025 points. Also for the 2nd consecutive time Bella Gopwani finished 2nd in the Player of the Year race with 2950 points, only 75 points behind. Bella got the best of Carolyn these two days, 85-76/161 to Carolyn’s 82-93/175, but steady play all year helped Carolyn take the Tour Champion Title.
Natalie Cheong, girl’s 11-12, could not make the final, but she had enough points to take the Player of the Year race with 2775 points. Mizara Norton was 2nd with 1300 points.
Lumina Lu, girls 9-10 played steady golf all season, and won the Player of the Year race with 2500 points. Angelna Huang was 2nd with 1650 points. Brynn Kort won the event with an awesome score of 74. Brynn scored an even par 36 on the front nine, and 2 over par 38 on the back. Consistency is Brynn’s strongest part of her game, and it showed at Reflection Bay — she had 2 birdies, 12 pars, and 4 bogies.
As our year two comes to a close, we would like to thank all the parents and players for supporting our tour. We continually strive to bring you the best facilities in the valley and the 2018 tour is looking to be even better than last year. Our goal of finding scholarships for the kids has been remarkable. You can see where some of our golfers have committed here.
In 2018 our tour will expand into Colorado with a couple other locations in the works. In the Nevada market, we have already lined up tour stops at: Reflection Bay, Anthem Country Club, Royal Links, Southern Highlands, Cascata, Dragon Ridge, TPC Las Vegas, Las Vegas Golf Club, Boulder City Golf Club, and The Club at Sunrise. We’ll see you out on the links!
We hope to see many at our first event for the 2018 tour, January 20-21 at Las Vegas Golf Club. You can register now right here.