Champions crowned at Truckee Tahoe Junior Golf Tour finale
Tour championship trophies and the Truckee Tahoe Junior Golf Tour Cup were on the line earlier this month at Gray’s Crossing Golf Course as 60 junior golfers competed in the final event of the season.
The organization’s Tour Championship was held on Wednesday, Aug. 7, and was worth double points for the season-long race for the Truckee Tahoe Junior Cup.
The round of the year was turned in at Gray’s Crossing by Sofia de Wit as she saved her best play for the last event. De Wit fired a 1-under-par 71 to win the girls’ 15-18 age group.
Through most of the round it looked like de Wit would need every shot to take the win. She made the turn with a one-stroke lead, sitting at 2-under-par. Ryan Flynn was in close pursuit after carding a 1-under-par 35 that included two birdies and an eagle on the par-4 sixth hole after she drove the ball within four feet of the pin. De Wit stayed very steady on the back nine, shooting a 37 to close out the deal to finish with the first under-par score of the season. Flynn finished with a 75 for the day. Ella Williams came in third with a 90. Each of the seven girls in the division broke 100.
In the cup race, Flynn finished two points ahead of de Wit after going back and forth all season. Flynn closed the year with 23 points to claim the Truckee Tahoe Junior Cup.
In the boys’ 13-14 age group, which plays nine holes, there were five players in the running for the cup. Reed Loper, a returning cup winner, was in the lead going into Gray’s Crossing with 13 points. Aidan Sweeney was in second place with 10.5 points. Newcomer Benjamin Szabo had eight points. Chase Kacher also had 8 points and was a tournament winner this season, but had to get stitches in his hand right before the last tournament. Raymond Ponce had 7.5 points.
Loper had three tough holes that he couldn’t overcome and shot a 49, which put him out of the top five, resulting in no cup points. Kacher finished in fifth for the day with a 45. Ian Smith shot a 43 to tie for a season-best third place. Sweeney also shot a 43. Ponce had the cup in his sights until the eight hole. He closed his round with a pair of double bogeys, finishing with a 42 to come in second place.
The steady play of Szabo catapulted him from a tie for third in cup points at the start of the day to tour champion. Szabo’s first-place finish in the 13-14 age group at the Tour Championship along with his cup win made for quite the finish for the tour newcomer.
In the 10-and-under girls’ age group, Ava McGee began the round with 18.5 points, Allison Mortimeyer had 16 points and Abby McCormick had 7.5 points. McCormick got a late start to the season as she returned from a playground injury.
Mortimeyer had to win the Tour Championship and get a little help from McCormick to take the cup. She went on to pick up the win at Gray’s Crossing, breaking 50 for the first time with a 49 to earn 10 points. McCormick came in second with a 52 and McGee finished with a 56. Mortimeyer’s win propelled her past McGee in the standings as she captured this year’s Truckee Tahoe Junior Cup.
Sienna de Wit conquered the 11-13 girls’ age group, which also plays nine-holes, shooting a 47. She won every tournament she competed in during the season and won the Tour Championship and the cup for the 2019 season.
Hunter Neave capped off a dominant season winning the boys’ 11-12 age group with 27 points. Hunter shot 46 to take the tour title and cup. Ty Whisler came in tied for second with a 53. Jake Reinhard also carded a 53, which was his best round of the year to earn seven cup points for third place in the standings. Pierce Bolen finished fourth as he continued to improve over every tournament this season. Grayson Perryman and Sage Gaffney finished in a tie for fifth at 57 as both Tahoe City juniors continued to improve through the season.
Will McGee finished off the season in the boys’ 10-and-under division, winning the Tour Championship by one stroke with a 44. McGee finished the year with 29.5 points, just shy of a perfect-season 30.
Luka Karnickis came in second with a 45. Ryder Gillis and Gavin Kratz, of Tahoe City, had very respectable finishes of 49 and 54 to take third and fourth, respectively. Hunter Smith, of Truckee, finished in fifth with a 57 to end a strong year.
In the boys’ 15-17 age group, Neil Babu, of Reno, won the Tour Championship with a 4-over-par 76. Murphy Scott finished second with a 77, which gave him enough points to win the 2019 cup for the division with 23.5 points. Owen Slusher battled back on the back nine, shooting a 36, which completed his round of 78 to finish in third place. Of the twelve competitors in the boys’ 15-18 age group, 10 of the juniors broke 100. In the first season of the tour seven years ago, only one junior broke 100 in the 18-hole division.
For complete results visit the website TTJGT.com.