Florida Junior Tour: Wire to wire wins
18 Jan 2009
see also: FJT at Gainesville CC, Gainesville Golf and Country Club


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2008) -- Taylor Hancock and AJ Newell both went wire-to-wire to capture the 13-15 division title at the Florida Junior Tour’s (FJT) event at Gainesville Country Club in Gainesville, January 17-18.

Taylor Hancock, of Clearwater, had a one-stroke lead after shooting an even-par 72 in his first round.

The players started round two in temperatures hovering in the mid-30’s and high winds. The extreme conditions didn’t faze Hancock, who shot another even round of 72.

“With these conditions I knew it was important to hit the ball low and I did a great job of controlling my ball flight,” Hancock explained. “I also did a great job scrambling. I was making all my putts inside 10 feet all day.”

Coming in second place was Trey Valentine, of Melbourne, who recorded rounds of 76-72 for a 148 total. Joshua Lee, of Orange Park, claimed third place honors with rounds of 74-78 for a 152 total. Evan Byrd, of Ocala, celebrated his first ever hole-in-one in the second round acing the par-3 13th hole.

AJ Newell, of Tampa, also expressed the importance of short game in her victory.

“I didn’t make good contact this weekend but I putted and chipped great," she said. "I was getting up-and-down from all over the place.”

Newell had a two-stroke lead after round one with an even par round of 72 and followed with a 74 in the second round, capturing the title by nine strokes. Irene Jung, of Jacksonville, shot 74-83 for a 157 total, coming in second.

Three players tied for third place. Samantha Wagner, of Celebration, shot 82-76 for a 158 total, while Samantha Marks, of Maitland, and Lauren Gros, of Gainesville, both shot 80-78 to also close with a 158 total.

Conducted by the Florida State Golf Association, the Florida Junior Tour (FJT) is a junior golf tour offering highly competitive and affordable competitions for juniors in Florida. The 2008-2009 season consists of 23 events for juniors, male and female, ages 13-18. Beginning September and running through May, the FJT schedule will play at some of the state’s top courses including LPGA International Golf Club and Sara Bay Country Club. This year will also feature 54-hole events over the Thanksgiving and Memorial Day weekends.

Working closely with the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), FJT top competitors will receive exemptions and performance points towards AJGA events. The FJT is the only Florida tour to participate in the AJGA’s Performance Based Process. In addition, FJT events will be ranked by the Junior Golf Scoreboard, which helps junior golfers market themselves without having to travel the country. The FJT will maintain a points list to assist in determining Junior Player-of-the-Year and invitations to other tournaments.

--Courtesy FSGA

ABOUT THE FJT at Gainesville CC

Part of the Florida Junior Tour (FJT) tournament series for boys and girls 13-18 years old who haven't graduated high school and started attending college. Operated by the Florida State Golf Association. 36 hole stroke play format. This tournament is limited to the 13-15 age division. Must be a FJT member.

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