Mountain Falls in Pahrump, Nevada was in great condition for our 3rd major championship of the year on September 23-24, 2017. Day one scores in every age group were abnormally high with strong gusts of winds impacting playing conditions. Thankfully, day two was much calmer, and players were able to settle in and score low.
In the Girls 15-18 division, Rebecca Oertel needed a playoff to secure consecutive wins in her last two starts on the tour. Rebecca struggled on day one in the wind with consecutive 8’s on her card to shoot 89, four strokes behind Lexi Hamel (85) from Santa Clara, UT. Rebecca poured it on day two on the front nine with an even par 36 to head to the back nine tied with Lexi. Both girls scored the same on the back to force the playoff with 167 totals. Starting the playoff on the tenth hole, Rebecca won the playoff with a par. Katelyn Smith finished 3rd with rounds of 86-84/170.
Bella Gopwani, girls 13-14 division, also came from behind to catch point’s leader Carolyn Lemon on day two. Bella started the second round five behind Carolyn, but Bella took charge on the front nine shooting a 37 to Carolyn’s 44. Bella shot 85-78/163 to finish four ahead of Carolyn with 80-87/167. With this victory for Bella, she is currently in second pace in the Player of the Year race…only 175 points behind Carolyn. Bella has now won 4-times on the 2017 RecruitLook Junior Golf Tour.
In the girls 11-12 division, Natalie Cheong won her second event in a row with rounds of 91-81/172. This age division was tight from top to bottom…all girls played competitively. Cheong passed first round leader Lauren Wong who shot 90-83. Cheong and Wong both shot 44 on the back 9 on day two, but it was Cheong’s one-over-par on the front 9 on day two that proved to be the difference. This is Cheong fourth win on the year. Third place went to Lauren Pham with 93-91/184.
Angelina Huang, girls 9-10 division, had the low round of the event with an impressive one over par 73. Huang got a practice round in on Saturday to help her with course management. It’s evident that she knows her way around a golf course, as she shot 1 over with 4 birdies. Huang is now in 4th place on the points leaderboard. A distant second in the girls 9-10 division was Shenmei Wu with an 85.
The Boys 15-18 winner Jared Smith put it in cruise control after day 1, posting a 78 to hold a 7 shot lead over Ryan Handley and Tyler Smerz with 85’s. Jared shot 78-84/162 to win by 7 shots over Leo Torres (88-81/169) and Ryan Hadley (85-84/169). Leo won the scorecard playoff to take the second place medal. This was Jared’s first career win on the RecruitLook Junior Golf Tour, and it now puts him only 325 points behind first in the points chase.
Another playoff was needed to determine the boy’s 13-14 winner. With his first victory ever on the tour, Ryan Barish (77-83/160) won on the first playoff hole to defeat Tyler Pham (81-79/160). This was also Pham’s first ever playoff opportunity to win on the tour, way to go boys! Jackson Parrish took third with rounds of 83-79/162. The boy’s 13-14 Player of the Year race has tightened up considerably — only 100 points separating CJ Martin 1,900 and Jackson Parrish 1,800…this should be interesting.
As if we needed more impressive performances to validate the talent level on the RecruitLook Junior Golf Tour, Vincent Kyle Forbes, boys 11-12, played from the boy’s 13-14 distance and shot rounds of 86-79/165. We love to see golfers pushing themselves on the course! Forbes is now 3-for-3 on tournaments having taken first in each of his 3 starts this year.
Shenlone Wu won the boy’s 9-10 division with an 81 over second place, Eli Marshal, who shot an 83. Close third went to Ethan Long with an 84. Shenlone leads the Player of the Year race with 1,900 points.
Thank you everyone for your continued support of the RecruitLook Junior Golf Tour. We’ll be headed to The Falls Golf Course for the Lake Las Vegas Golf Experience on October 1st.
Following the Skills Challenge will be the Las Vegas Executive Golf Course Championship at Eagle Crest Golf Course on October 21-22, 2017.