Washington DC Junior Golf Open
Ashburn, VA, March 28th, 2022 — BJGT hosted its annual Washington DC Junior Golf Open at Brambleton Regional Park Golf Course in Ashburn, VA. This is our 3rd time out at Brambleton and was easily the wildest weekend of weather (say that 5 times fast) that we have had on tour to date. Let’s dig in to how this weekend’s tournament went below!
Round 1 – Saturday, March 26th — Can you get all 4 seasons in a day? Apparently, you can in Northern Virginia. Wind, Rain, Hail!!!, Snow, Sleet, Clouds and Sunshine all made an appearance in Saturday’s round and our players felt the full surge of the early Spring weather.
Call it first tournament of the year jitters mixed with some awful weather but Hole-1 was playing the toughest for the Boys 15-19 in Round 1. Known as one of the easier holes on the course this straight away Par-4 can pose some challenges if you do not have the accuracy working. Also don’t fly the green with the 3 bunkers sitting in the back ready to catch errand shots. The Boys started clearing it up by the end of the Front-9, playing Hole-9 the best. This hole has some tricky bunkers that are strategically placed at the start of the dog-leg and 2 huge ones that sit on either side of the green. Once again proving that accuracy is the name of the game at Brambleton. Birdies from Noah Segui from Gaithersburg, MD and Patrick Carl Mount Airy, MD (Both Maryland Regional Players from The Buckeye Cup Last Season) helped to spur the low scores with their Birdies. Trevor Heid from Churchville, MD led the Division with a fantastic 77. Shiv Bhaskar, who will be attending Drew University next season to continue his golf and academic career, followed closely behind with a 79.
The Boys 10-14 went in an opposite direction and found Hole-10 to be playing the hardest in Round 1. The huge left side fairway bunker can swallow up golf balls if you don’t check your drive enough. Best to play this hole from the right where it will be much easier to drive and approach the green from. Playing this hole extremely smart is tough to do but that is just what Lawson Leeper from York, PA and Landon Tudor from Mount Airy, MD did with their Pars. Hole-9 was offering up great scores all weekend and there was no difference with the Boys 10-14 as they also found this hole to be the easiest. James Castle from Alexandria, VA was absolutely exceptional on this hole earning the tournaments lone Eagle here. Great shooting James! Owen Love was absolutely amazing in Round 1 shooting a +1 (73) tying the best round of the weekend in Round 1 to lead the Boys 10-14. Owen was followed closely behind by two of the Premier Players in the Boys 10-14 with both Aidan Tudor from Mount Airy, MD and Lawson Leeper shooting +4’s receptively.
Round 2 – Sunday, March 27th – Minus the hail, add some wind and turn down the temperature even further from Saturday and you have Sunday’s weather. Big shout out to our players who can hold their own in weather like this. Those players that are looking to play in college will have to play in all conditions so getting used to this now is extremely important.
Once again, a tough start for the Boys 15-19 as they were having trouble getting revved up in the weather. The Boys 15-19 were having the most trouble with Hole-1. In extremely surprising fashion Hole-6 was playing the easiest for the Boys 15-19 in Round 2. This is the 3rd-handicap out at Brambleton and some people might even consider it the hardest with how it plays. A large pond blankets the entire left side of the hole. The hole also dog-legs almost right in the center adding some extra distance. Not to mention the bunker that sits on the right side of the fairway ready to swallow up anyone that might pull it a little too far that way. The extremely small green sits in a little pocket surrounded by bunkers and woods behind it. Ouch, just typing all the trouble areas on this hole wore me out, imagine having to play it! Noah Segui gets featured again here with his incredible Birdie only matched by Jai Kathuria a local from Fairfax, Virginia. Well done guys, extremely hard hole to Birdie! Dustin Stocksdale came storming back in Round 2 to become the Champion at the Washington DC Junior Golf Open. Dustin is no stranger to the Winner’s Circle, he is a 5-time Champion on BJGT. He was also our Player of the Year in 2020. Simply put Dustin knows how to win. Dustin had a few keys to his victory this weekend. First and foremost he led all players with 23 Pars of Better. If you are new to BJGT you will notice that this is stat almost always goes hand in hand with a Victory. Dustin also led the field on the much harder Front-9 at Brambleton. Once Dustin grabbed the lead he went on a tremendous Bogey Free Streak of 9 Holes in Round 2 to make sure he was forcing the other players to catch him and not give away any strokes. Congratulations on another fantastic BJGT Win Dustin! Minh Le from Frederick, MD was our Runner-Up. Minh was an absolute Par Machine this weekend leading the Boys 15-19 with 20 of them throughout the tournament. Another great stat to lead in to get yourself at the top of the Leaderboard. Congratulations on a great tournament Minh!
This early in the year handicap’s can be a little harder to read since the weather can have a large impact from hole-to-hole. That may be why one of the easier holes on the course, Hole-14, was playing the toughest for the Boys 10-14 in Round 2. This is a straight away Par-4, but into the wind it can be daunting with additional power that might need to be added. The entire hole has woods stretching on the left and right. The lone par on the hole was earned by Nicholas Mantzouranis from Gaithersburg, MD. Our players destroyed Hole-9 all weekend long and Round 2 was no different for the Boys 10-14. 2 Birdies from Aidan Tudor and James Castle helped to make it the easiest hole of the Round for Boys 10-14. Aidan Tudor would match Owen Love’s 73 in Round 1 in Round 2 and came in as our Champion by a single stroke! Aidan had absolutely textbook accuracy all weekend. He shot 7 Pars and 1 Bogey on the Par-3’s to lead his Division. Just like our Boys 15-19 Champion, Aidan also had the longest Bogey Free Streak for the Division at 9-Holes stretching that out over the 2 Rounds. Aidan also took advantage of the easier Back-9 in the tournament playing it the best out of anyone in the tournament. This is Aidan’s first win on tour and we could not be happier for him! Owen Love continued his strong first ever BJGT tournament by coming in as our Runner-Up. Owen went an insane -5 on the Par-5’s in the tournament. Wow, that is incredible, hitting 5 Birdies and 3 Pars on those holes respectively. Congratulations on a great tournament Owen!
It was so great to be back in action for our defacto Season Opener after the snowstorm a couple of weeks ago canceled our real Season Opener. Tons of new and old faces made this tournament something special and we want to thank each and every one of you for braving the cold weather. Don’t forget about our Taylormade Match Player Series tournaments for probably the easiest way to make a Buckeye Cup Team this year. We also have our annual huge tournament at Briarwood coming up in 2 weeks!
I just want to personally give a remembrance to a very special person in my life, my Mom, Penny Downard. She lost a 4-year battle with cancer this past weekend. She was a huge supporter of BJGT and loved that I was working with kids and sports. We will look to honor her in some way with the tour going forward. Love You Mom!