Buckeye Junior Golf Tour’s PA Opener
Pittsburgh Junior Shootout
Belle Vernon, PA March 31st, 2019— Buckeye Junior Golf Tour headed East this past weekend for a great tournament at Cedarbrook Golf Course-Red. Our PA season opener brought another record-breaking week from the Girl’s Division and a large field from our Boys Divisions.
Round 1 – Saturday March 30th—The temperatures were great on Saturday, starting the day off in the low 60’s. Spring is here! Our participants didn’t have to fight the temperatures on Saturday but did have to deal with the whirling wind gusts of over 20 MPH, making accuracy the key to Round 1. Due to the large field size for the Boys Division, we were able to split them into 2 different Divisions and still offer them those much sought after JGS Rankings. The Boys 15-19 Division were finding the 5th-handicap, Par-5, 545-yard down sloping 2nd hole to be playing the toughest on the day. Only about half of the field were able to find par on this hole. Making the turn, the Boys found the easiest hole to be Hole-12. This straight uphill but short Par-4 held true to it’s 18th ranked handicap by playing slightly above par for the day. Most of the field was able to find par on the hole but Seth Callaway from Monongahela, PA was able to get a stroke on the entire field by sinking one of his two Round 1 Birdies on this hole. Jake Caldwell from Rostraver Township, PA came in as our Round 1 Leader for the Boys 15-19 Division. Jake was consistent all-day playing both 9’s with 38-strokes with a Round 1 score of 76. Our Boys 13-14 Division was filled with heavy competition Round 1. The Boys found the hardest hole on the course to be holding to it’s 1-handicap. The long Par-4 6th-hole did not produce anything better than a bogey on the day. The Boys once again found the Red course’s handicaps to be playing true, finding the 17-handicap 3rd hole to be playing the easiest on the day. This short 90-yard Par-3 over water almost produced an ace from McMuray, PA native Nick Wetzel. Nick would come in as our Round 1 Leader with a blistering hot back-9, parring 4 straight as he made the turn. The Girls 14-19 Division also found the course to be playing true to it’s handicaps. The Girls found the long Par-4 6th-hole to be playing the toughest just like the Boys 13-14 Division. Danae Rugola from Uniontown, PA, who will be playing her college golf at Youngstown State, was able to get a stroke on the entire field on this hole by getting a par. The Girls also found the 18th-handicap 12th-hole to be playing the easiest just like the Boys 15-19 Division. Danae Rugola would once again get a stroke on the entire field by birdieing this hole. Danae eventually came in as our Round 1 Leader for the Division playing the front-9 at nothing higher than a bogey all day and even saved Par on the 18thhole with a solid 15 foot putt.
Round 2 – Sunday March 31st—Most will remember Sunday’s round as the complete opposite of Saturday’s. March reminded us it was still March by changing from 70s and sunny to cold and overcast. A slight wintery mix added to Sunday’s crazy weather but that didn’t deter any of the players, as they were able to produce lower scores than the day before. Once again, Hole-6 showed its toughness by playing the most difficult for the 15-19 Division in Round 2, as no pars were found the entire day on this hole. The Boys overcame the adversity of the chilly weather by showing their ability with some great short game. They changed it up by finding the 128-yard, par-3, 15th-handicap 5th-hole to be playing the easiest on the day. Jake Caldwell and Seth Callaway would continue their battle for the division lead by both birdieing the hole. Jake Caldwell apparently had a lot left in the tank because he held on to his lead and came in as Champion for the Boys 15-19 Division. Jake’s key stat was the number of holes he parred, including a 20 foot chip-in on Hole 2 . Staying consistent throughout the entire tournament while also playing the Par-4s and Par-5s the best allowed Jake to hoist the Division Champ trophy at the end of Round 2. Congratulations Jake! Mark Moran from Silver Spring, MD would come in as Runner-Up in the Division. Mark went on a Bogey-Free-Streak of 5 straight holes guiding him to his Runner-up Finish. Great job Mark! The Boys 13-14 Division once again found Hole-6 to be the most difficult hole. Surprisingly, Nick Wetzel was able to further his lead on this hole with a bogey, as the entire rest of the field wasn’t able to get lower than a double bogey on the day. The Boys stayed consistent and once again found Hole-3 to be playing the easiest on the day. Seth Bockman from McMurray, PA played a great front 9 and beat out Nick Wetzel to become our Division Champion. Seth came in as champion by having the most par-breakers, most birdies, played the par-4s the best and played the Front-9 on average 4 strokes better than the rest of the field. Congratulations Seth! The Girls 14-19 Division changed it up in Round 2 finding the long Par-3, 166-yard, 6th handicap 15thhole to be playing the toughest in Round 2. This long par 3 has a tee shot over water and the green is guarded by 3 tough front bunkers. Accuracy is key to a good score on 15. The Girls found Hole-5, another par-3, to be playing the easiest on the day producing nothing higher than a Bogey from the Girl’s in Round 2. Danae Rugola held on to her lead and came in as our Division Champion. Danae’s consistency and short game were working the entire tournament, finishing with the most par’s and playing the par-3’s and par 4’s the best on the weekend. Danae also broke BJGT’s 9-hole scoring record (38), 18-hole scoring record (77) and 36-Hole scoring record (155) for the Girls 15-19 Division this weekend! Congratulations Danae! Vileska Gelpi from Markleton, PA came in as Division Runner-Up. Her driving ability helped her to a Runner-Up finish by playing the Par-5’s the best and having the most birdies from the Girls in the tournament. Great Job Vileska!
We want to give a huge Thank You to all of our participants and spectators this past weekend. We know Round 2 was cold to say the least, so we really appreciate everyone sticking it out and making it a great tournament! Danae, we wish you the best of luck at Youngstown State next year! We will be coming back to Cedarbrook in two weeks to play their Championship Gold Course for our College Prep Series @ California University (PA). We hope to see many of you out there for that event! Go to our website, BlueGolf.com or click the link to Register! College Prep Series @ Cal U. (PA) Registration Link
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Player Of the Week
Danae Rugola, Uniontown, PA 2019
This week’s Player of the Week goes to Danae Rugola. Danae will be playing college golf at Youngstown State next year. Danae set 3 All-Time BJGT scoring records this week for our Girls 14-19 Division. Her 38 in Round 1 on the Front 9 set the 9 Hole record by 1 stroke, her Round 1 77 set the 18-Hole scoring record and her 155 total through 36-holes set the tournament scoring record. Danae’s 23 pars or better led to consistency throughout the tournament and led her to be BJGT’s Player of the Week!