Big Birdies at Brambleton
Washington DC Junior Golf Shootout
Ashburn, Virginia, March 29th, 2021 — BJGT was back at Brambleton after cancelling last year’s tournament due to the pandemic. It was great to be back, as this course offers quintessential Northern Virginia golf and they always support junior golf and BJGT. The course fairways are lined with trees and grassy knolls with a large mix of bunkers and ponds sprinkled throughout the course. Let’s see how the weekend unfolded!
Round 1 – Saturday, March 27th — Clear Skies and Sunshine with temperatures hovering in the Mid-70’s, a beautiful start to any tournament!
Hole-7 stayed true to its 1-Handicap playing the hardest for the Boys 15-19 in Round 1. This is a brutal 588-Yard Par-5. An extremely tight fairway with lateral penalty areas on the entire left and right side. There are a couple of bunkers around the green that don’t really come into play, the real trouble is the boulder lined creek that sits exactly 100-yards out from the green that can make for a tricky lay-up. None of the Older Boys were able to Birdie this tough Par-5 in Round 1, doing so would be impressive. Hole-14 was the easiest hole for the Boys in Round 1. This is a relatively Short Par-4 playing only 358-yards from the Buckeye-Black Tees. Once again, lateral penalty area stretches the entire left and right side of the fairway but besides that, this hole offers almost no defense. The only trouble you may find other than the lateral hazards is if you fly the green on the left side. There are 2 large bunkers sitting there, but it appears as though they were avoided, or everyone was able to get up and down. Horace Pennix III from Clinton, MD shot an amazing Round 1, 72 (E), and came in as our Round 1 Leader. Benjamin Chamberlin from Germantown, Maryland shot a Round 1, 74 (+2), to finish right behind Horace. This is a streak for being in the Top-2 on the Leaderboard at the end of the last 4 out of 5 Rounds on Tour, dating back to last season.
The Boys 10-14 found another tough hole playing the hardest in Round 1. The 6-handicap, Par-4, 11th-hole plays 343-yards from the Buckeye-White Tees and is just a strange hole all-around. What do ya know, the entire hole is tree-lined with lateral penalty areas. The hole slightly dog legs left adding a little extra yardage and has a large hill right before the start of the fairway. Staying straight the entire time is your only option. None of the Younger Boys were able to earn anything better than a Bogey. Naturally, the easiest hole for them was the easiest hole on the course. A short 101-Yard Par-3, Hole-12 is an easy way to get yourself back in a groove. Carrying the large creek that sits right in front of the hole only takes 73-yards. Most of the Boys took advantage and shot low on the hole. Finn Watson from Arlington, VA and Caleb Greenberg from Olney, MD took major advantage of this hole both picking up a Birdie and at least a stroke on the rest of the field. Tyler Fortney representing his new hometown of Waynesboro, PA was back on tour at Brambleton and back to his old low scoring ways. Tyler shot an awesome Round 1, 73 (+1); to lead his division. Aidan Tudor a new face on tour from Mount Airy, Maryland followed closely behind Tyler with a Round 1 75 (+3)
The Girls got off to a tough start having the most trouble with the 2nd-Hole in Round 1. Another extremely tough hole at Brambleton, this Par-4 plays 354-yards from the Buckeye-White Tees. Over a 200-Yard tee shot is needed to hit the edge of the giant dog-leg on this hole. It opens up surprisingly well once you hit the dog-leg but be careful, large sand traps sit on the front right and back left of the green. Alana Alexander-Giles from Marriottsville, MD was able to pick up a stroke on the rest of the field with a Bogey, proving how tough this hole was. The Buckeye-White tees on Hole-12 were treating everyone pretty well apparently because the Girls played it the best in Round 1, just like the younger boys. Newcomer to the tour Eliza Rademaker who just recently made the long distance move from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Virginia picked up a stroke on the rest of the field by having a great Birdie! Alana Alexander-Giles continues to impress in the early part of the season. Dominating the Leaderboards and Player of the Year points. Alana Shot a Round 1, 79, to lead the Division. Using her Birdie on 12 to help, Eliza Rademaker finished Round 1 in 2nd Place.
Round 2 – Sunday, March 28th – The forecast for Sunday was iffy to say the least. Prior to Round 2, no one was certain if we would be able to tee off come Sunday morning, let alone stay dry for most of the day. With a little bit of luck, the skies were mostly clear for 7 hours straight, the perfect amount of time for us to have an 18-hole Round 2, and it did not disappoint.
The Boys 15-19 were once again really struggling with Hole-7. If you could get through this hole unscathed, count yourself lucky, or give your instructor a raise. Seth Callaway made the trip out to DC all the way from South Pittsburgh and gave himself a good reason to come out. He was the only player to Birdie this beast of a hole the entire tournament and gained at least one stroke on the rest of the field. Very impressive Seth! Hole-9, the second Par-5 on the Front-9, offered some relief shortly after Hole-7, playing the easiest for the Boys in Round 1. Hole-9 boasts long yardage, but really if you play the dog-leg to the right side of this hole, you can save yourself about 100-yards. 2 huge Bunkers sit on the right and left side of the green, so a good approach is needed for a low score. 25% of the field were able to Birdie the hole in Round 2. Round 2 was neck and neck all-day with low scores getting posted all over the course. Jeremy Bershak (E) from Sykesville, MD and Argyle Downes (+4) shot great Round 2’s respectively, waiting in the clubhouse with a shot at a trophy flag or playoff at +9. Horace Pennix III and Benjamin Chamberlin were still out on the course sitting 1 and 2 strokes ahead of the Clubhouse Leaders on Hole-18 battling it out. Horace had nerves of steel and sank a deep putt, earning himself a rousing applause from the gathering of fans that were watching for his 1st victory of the 2021 Season! Horace was extremely accurate throughout the tournament going +1 on the Par-3’s to lead his division. This stat can’t go overlooked, as Brambleton forces accuracy for a good round. Horace also completely dominated the easier Back-9 at Brambleton. Horace went an incredible -1 on the Back-9 leading the division by 3-strokes to ultimately cement his victory. Congratulations on a fantastic tournament Horace! Benjamin Chamberlin continued his fantastic play on BJGT. His Runner-Up finish was helped by his Birdie Streak early in the tournament on Holes 2 and 3. He also got in the zone in Round 2 going Bogey Free from Holes 7-14 in Round 2. Congratulations on another fantastic finish Benjamin!
The Buckeye-White tees were not very forgiving on Hole-2. The Boys 10-14 played it the worst in Round 2, like the girls the day before. Finn Watson and Colin Ford from Burke, VA earned themselves Pars on this hole putting them back into the running for the Win on Sunday. The Younger Boys were able to take some tips from the Older Boys on Hole-9. This hole gave up a ton of Birdies throughout the weekend and the Boys were up to the challenge. Tyler Fortney wanted to keep his lead going, he had the first Eagle of the Boys 10-14 Division in 2021 on this hole. Dylan Ramsey from Lebanon, PA became just the 4th player in BJGT history to have a Round in the 60’s. Dylan forged a miraculous comeback in Round 2 shooting what would finish as a 69 (-3). Just when we thought Dylan couldn’t get any better, he goes out and just misses the BJGT record score by a single stroke. Dylan earned himself Player of the Week with his amazing performance. He led his division with 7 Birdies, 21 Pars, Best total Score on the Par-4’s and Par-5’s, a Birdie Streak of 3-holes (8-10) in Round 2 and a Bogey Free Streak of 9-holes (3-11) in Round 2. Wow! My fingers hurt after typing all those accolades. Great job Dylan! Once again, he is proving to be the player to beat in the Player of the Year Rankings! Tyler Fortney finished in 2nd and earns himself another trophy flag to add to his collection. Tyler was a great competitor in 2020 earning a trophy flag in almost every event he played in with our tour. Him and Dylan went into a playoff at our Tour Championship in 2020 and we count it as the most exciting tournament finish to date on BJGT. Great job once again to Tyler as he continues his string of strong performances on tour!
The Girls had a tough time with the 2nd-hardest hole on the Back-9. The long-distance Par-5 13th-hole is, you guessed it, tree-lined with lateral penalty areas. The hole has a slight dog-leg that adds some extra distance. The approach is extremely tough, large bunkers sit right in your line. Alana Alexander-Giles and Anvitha Vemuru from Herndon, VA both pulled out Bogeys on the hole, which ended up being a great score. Everybody was taking advantage of Hole-9 and the Girls did so for the second day in a row. The average on the hole was helped out by Alana Alexander-Giles’ Birdie! Alana earned her 2nd Victory in as many tournaments as she once again dominated this Washington DC metro course. Alana is extremely consistent. She Pars everything in sight. This is easily helped by her long drive off the tee for her age and her ability to sink them from anywhere on the green. Another great win Alana, congratulations! Anvitha Vemuru was the tournament Runner-Up. After Akshitha earned herself the Runner-Up finish two weeks ago at Twin Lakes, Anvitha wanted to prove that she could earn herself a trophy flag as well. She did just that. Anvitha is one of the youngest girls in her age division and results like these prove she is going to be force to be reckoned with for many years. Congratulations Anvitha!
Another great tournament in the Washington DC area. We can’t believe the weather held off on Sunday and we were rewarded with some really great golf from every Division. We want to thank the great staff out at Brambleton including Dustin and Matt. We want to thank all of our players for some really great play. I also want to thank our Parents and Spectators. With it being so early in the season, we want to remind everyone what BJGT’s goal is: providing affordable tournaments to help junior golfers advance their game, play against great competition, make new friends and most importantly, have fun. Starting on April 17th at Briarwood, we are going to be implementing some stricter Spectator Policies on Buckeye Junior Golf Tour. We really enjoy having family and friends attend our events, the more the merrier! We also appreciate when spectators help pace of play by staying ahead of the groups to spot and search for balls or grab things like food and water for the kids. With that being said, we need to put the kids first, as they are our main focus. We are asking for spectators to stay on cart paths at all times possible, unless searching for balls or handing food and water. As we continue to grow, it will help Pace of Play, allow for the kids to focus on the tournament and make new friends. We hope that you understand and will continue to set great examples for all of the junior golfers and newcomers to the tour. Thank you, we look forward to seeing everyone soon!