Back in Action at Oakmont Green
Baltimore Junior Golf Shootout
Hampstead, MD — May 19th, 2020 — BJGT was back in action this weekend at the crowd-pleasing Oakmont Green Golf Club. Oakmont Green is one of the most unique courses we have played on tour. It has a little bit of everything which made for an unexpected higher than normal round 1 followed by a much cleaner Round 2. The fast, dime-sized greens surprised everyone and proved to be the most difficult aspect of the course but our players took advantage of the wide-open tee boxes and fairways. Check out some of the highlights from a truly great weekend of golf below!
Round 1 – Saturday May 16th — The sun was out in full force Saturday. Humidity and high temperatures affected play both positively and negatively, so there were few complaints after being trapped inside the past couple of months. The Boys 15-19 Division had the most trouble with Hole #4 on Saturday. This par-5 is fairly straight but the distance of 518-yards proved to be more difficult than expected. Distance and the unnerving Out of Bounds that stretched the entire left side of hole was a deadly combination. Evan Twyman from Hanover, PA, one of the most consistent players you’ll find on tour, gained a stroke on the entire field with a Birdie on the hole in Round 1. Although hole-4 was the most difficult for the older boy’s division, they quickly bounced back and played the next hole the best as a group for Round 1. One of the easier holes on the course, the 13-handicap Par-4 doesn’t have much defense. A bunker sits 205-yards on the left and a large hill in the middle forces you to consider shot selection. If you are able to place your shots correctly, you could end up like Freshman Mac Arida, from Gambrills, MD and earn yourself a Birdie. Reese Watson from Mechanicsburg, PA apparently has been practicing by day and pushing his virtual classes to the evenings because he finished as the Round 1 Leader for the Division, carding a 79. Mac Arida made sure to keep Reese honest sitting 4 strokes back with an 83.
The younger Boys division lost a little focus heading into the Back-9 having the most difficulty with the middle of the pack 10th-Hole. Honestly though, this hole proved tough for almost everyone. A large downward slope off the tee box with a wide-open fairway seems easy enough; the real trouble is placing your tee shot far enough and left enough to get around the dog-leg right. Tyler Fortney was the only player in the Division to finish with a Par on the hole, which would eventually help Tyler on his way to finish as the Round 1 Leader with a 75. There’s a saying in golf, author unknown, “The hardest hole on the course is always the first hole.” With courses being closed the last couple of months, this should’ve been the case. The Boys 10-14 division put that saying to rest and started off Round 1 in perfect style. A double fairway makes this hole a little tricky, it is also longer than it looks, and there is OB looming left…I guess it’s safe to say not to underestimate this deceivingly open starting hole. Tyler Fortney lead the pack snagging a Birdie. Horace Pennix from Clinton, MD stayed on Tyler’s heels carding a 79 in Round 1. Great job gentlemen.
The Girls 14-19 Division had the most trouble with another mid-handicap hole. Hole-16 was the toughest for them on Saturday and once again, is of the dog-leg variety. One of the courses’ few defenses, the dog-legs add significant distance from any tee. This hole also has one of the smaller greens on the course and is guarded by two bunkers sitting on the left side and front. Sydnee Gaines from Nottingham, MD secured herself a position at the top of the Leaderboard by making Par. Hole-7 proved to be the easiest in Round 1 for the Girls. Avoiding the bunkers sitting in the landing zone off to the right of the tee is the main difficulty here. Clearing these bunkers should make for an easy play onto the green. Sydnee Gaines and Samantha Richie from Great Falls, VA gained strokes on the rest of the field by finishing with Pars. Sydnee Gaines had a dominant Round 1 finishing at the top of the leaderboard with a 79. Erica Honadel from Bel Air, MD, a familiar Champion on tour, continued her string of great Round 1 performances as Runner-Up in Round 1.
Round 2 – Sunday May 17th — After a hot and sunny Round 1, the cooler weather of Round 2 was welcome, the slight drizzle to start the round however was not. The Boys 15-19 had trouble with the 3rd hole at Oakmont in Round 2. A simple glance will tell you why this hole is so tough. The distance, a 424-yard Par-4, and uphill slope is tough at any given time. The rain-soaked ground and zero roll didn’t help either. It appeared as though the Boys wanted to end Round 2 strong because Hole-17 provided the best scores of Round 2. Dante Billoni from Lancaster, PA ran out of tees and showed impressive out of the box thinking when he decided to use his Chapstick as a tee to finish the Round. He finished with a birdie, gaining a stroke on the rest of the field We thought we had seen it all… pretty unbelievable!?! Reese Watson put together an even better Round 2 which made it very difficult to catch and finished the tournament as the Boys 15-19 Champion. If you’ve read previous Press Releases, you already know the key stat that many of our Champions finish with throughout the tournaments, having the Most Pars. Reese absolutely dominated the Par-4’s, playing them 11 strokes better than the rest of the field, which is where he gained most of his strokes. Reese will be attending California University of Pennsylvania in the Fall and we want to congratulate him on his first win on Buckeye Junior Golf Tour! Mac Arida came in as the Division Runner-Up. Mac had a great tournament overall and held a very unique combined stat that we rarely see on tour. He played the Par-3’s and Par-5’s the best in the tournament. Mac is just a Freshman and is likely to grab many more trophy flags on tour in the future. Great job boys!
The Boys 10-14 had issues with one of the most difficult holes of the course in Round 2, Hole-13. This hole holds the common denominator of the toughest holes out at Oakmont, a dog-leg. This is not just any dog-leg, this 90-degree bend makes placement and distance key. You need to hit your tee-shot at least 200 yards to be able to have a shot at the green and ultimately score well. Bogey was the lowest score of the division. On the contrary, the Younger Boys followed the lead of the Older Boys and played Hole-17 the best on Day 2. Every player in the field escaped with a Par. Tyler Fortney and Horace Pennix were neck-and-neck throughout the entire tournament. A couple of missed opportunities and a strong finish allowed Tyler to come out on top. Like Reese, Tyler had the Most Pars in his Division. Tyler’s 4 stroke victory was a result of him playing the back-9 four shots better than Horace. Great first win on tour Tyler, hoping to see many more from you! Horace Pennix earned his 2nd Runner-Up finish in as many tournaments. Horace is just a natural on the course. His mental game is tough and he is bound to finish on top soon enough. Great job to all of our boys in the 10-14 Division.
Like the Younger Boys Division, Hole-13 was the hardest hole for our Girls 15-19 division on Day 2. Briannah Beall from Eldersburg, MD thought differently and finished the hole with a Par gaining at least a stroke on the rest of the field. The Girls showed the best drive and determination in the entire tournament. They played the extremely tough 2nd-handicap 18th-Hole the best in Round 2 of all divisions. What a great way to finish 36 holes! Sydnee Gaines had one of the best all-around tournaments from our Girls of all-time. Sydnee broke all kinds of BJGT Records this weekend. Sydnee broke the Girls All-time BJGT 18-hole Scoring Record, the 9-Hole relative to Par Record and the 18-Hole relative to Par Record. Sydnee gained most of her strokes on the Par-4’s. Great first win on tour Sydnee! Erica Honadel, no stranger to the Trophy Circle, earned herself a Runner-Up finish this weekend. Erica is an extremely accurate player; she always plays the Par-3’s extremely well and this tournament was no different. This will be the second of many great tournament finishes for Erica in the 2020 Season. Great job ladies!!
BJGT wants to thank all of our players, participants and the wonderful hospitality of the Oakmont Green staff for an amazing weekend back on the course. We want to give specific shoutouts to Clay and Patrick from Oakmont Green for hosting us and helping us run such a successful event. We understand we are in some very unique times and appreciate all of you following social distancing guidelines and taking our hygiene tips very seriously. We feel as though golf is one of the safest activities one can do right now and this past weekend demonstrated just that. We were so excited to see 3 new faces in the Winner’s Circle and can’t wait to see tons of new and old faces at future events. We have tons of events coming up in the area in the coming weeks and we hope to see you out at the revamped 2020 Season! Check out our upcoming events below:
WASHINGTON JUNIOR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP (Dbl POY points) – May 23-24 | Old Hickory Golf Club, Woodbridge, VA
YORK JUNIOR GOLF CLASSIC – May 30-31 | Briarwood Golf Clubs – East, York, PA
*BJGT TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP @ PENN STATE – July 11-12 | Penn State Golf Course – Blue, State College, PA
GETTYSBURG JUNIOR GOLF OPEN – July 18-19 | South Hills Golf Club – N/W, Hanover, PA