The Battle for Gettysburg
College Prep Series @ Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania August 31st, 2020 — Buckeye Junior Golf Tour held its 2nd Annual College Golf Prep Series @ Gettysburg College. The tournament was hosted once again the beautiful Links @ Gettysburg. Probably the toughest course that we play on tour used its 144 Slope Rating to take on the field in this weekend’s tournament. Read below to check out some of the action!
Round 1 – Saturday, August 29th — Light rain was prevalent throughout the morning and the threat of Thunderstorms loomed throughout the day. BJGT hasn’t had a weather delay since late last season, so we knew something had to give. There were no delays for the older boy’s division, but heavy rain passed through a couple of times adding an extra challenge for those out on the course. The hardest hole for our Boys 15-19 was a surprising one in Round 1. Hole-14, with its 12th-handicap does not stand out as extremely tough, but it is the beginning of a really tough stretch of holes on the back. Water is a factor on every hole from here on out, so a consistent, and dry, tee shot is crucial. Hole-14 dog-legs and the entire left side of the hole is a pond. Don’t miss left! Unfortunately, that is what some of the older boys did. Jackson Soska from Waterford, VA saved the day by putting in the only Birdie. The rest of the field averaged a bogey. The easiest hole in Round 1 was the short Par-3, 6th-hole. The bunkers are the main difficulty here. Like many of the holes at the Links, stay straight you’ll be just fine. Over half of the field got their Pars. Dustin Stocksdale, a very familiar name on tour shot a Round 1, 74 to lead the charge. He was followed closely by 2019 Player of the Year Jeremy Bershak with a 76.
The Boys 10-14 Division had the most trouble with the difficult 2nd-hole. This 3rd-handicap hole out at the Links is fairly easy until you get to your approach shot. A very precise 2nd-shot into the green is needed for a par. The hole has large water hazard that sits in front of the hole, a very shallow green and a couple of bunkers surrounding it. Jesse Shue from Columbia, PA, who is currently leading the Player of the Year Race for Boys 10-14, along with Reagan Flynn from Lebanon, PA had the irons working well and were the only players to pick up Pars. In another surprising move, the Boys played the extremely difficult 9th-hole the best in Round 1. Once again, this hole does not offer much defense until you get up close to the green. A road sits Out of Bounds behind the hole, along with 2 very large bunkers in front of the hole. Jesse Shue and a new face on tour, Drew Wolven from Woodbine, MD brought down the hole average by snagging Birdies. Benjamin Baker, who’s earning himself a household name on tour, lead the charge for the Younger Boys in Round 1 with a 75. Keeping him honest and following close behind was another rising star on BJGT, Reagan Flynn from Lebanon, PA.
Here’s where the weather got bad and really screwed things up. A black wall of clouds came out of nowhere and fast, leaving the girls stranded on the really hard stretch of holes mentioned before that also happen to be furthest from the course. The younger boys were almost finished and were relatively close to the clubhouse, so getting back for the weather delay was fairly easy. The girls on the other hand had to mark their balls and find shelter wherever possible. Some made it back to the clubhouse while others found shelter under decks on some of the immaculate homes that are situated throughout the course. This was probably a huge factor as to why Hole-16 played the most difficult for the older girl’s division. That and the creek that sits right in front of a green that is surrounded by bunkers accented by tall fescue. These bunkers look really cool but that’s it. Erica Honadel, our Girls Player of the Year Winner last season, was the only player in the field that picked up a par and gained at least 1 stroke on rest of the field. On the contrary, Hole-6 didn’t provide much of a challenge for anyone in Round 1. The girls dominated it with with Katherine Lapinsky from Lancaster, PA and Jennifer Sorkin from Westminster, MD picking up Birdies to lead them to the front of the pack in Round 1.
Round 2 – Sunday, August 30th – Opposite of Saturday, Sunday was the perfect weather for Golf. With temperatures hovering in the Mid-to-high 70’s, everyone had a little more pep in their step than in Round 1, making for some great scores and finishes. The Boys 15-19 Division was really struggling with the hardest hole on the course in Round 2. Hole-7 is an extremely long Par-5, but don’t be fooled, it is not the distance that is tricky here, it’s staying straight off the tee. This hole demands accuracy. If you are even slightly right or left off the tee you will be fortunate to finish with anything better than a Bogey. Coming in 1.5 strokes over Par, that is what happened to a lot of the older boys on Sunday. They made up for it at the end though, finishing strong and playing Hole 18 the easiest on the day. This is the easiest hole on the entire course. Had the leaderboard been a little more stacked up top, it could have proved for an extremely fun finish. Esteban Knorr from Arlington, VA lead the pack with his Eagle, and almost surely gave his signature smile after carding that to end the day. In the end, Dustin Johnson…I mean Stocksdale didn’t allow anyone to take the lead from him. “Stock” is so impressive. At his young age he has all the potential in the world to play high level D-1 Golf. This is Dustin’s 3rd win on Tour this year in just 6 events. He takes home another trophy flag to add to his collection and widens his lead even further in the Player of the Year Rankings. Dustin played the much harder Back-9 3 strokes better than his nearest competitor which boosted him into this winning position. Congratulations on another fantastic finish Stock! Jackson Soska played great golf in Round 2. He challenged Dustin the entire Round and even tied up the score on Hole-12 of the Back-9 to keep the fire lit. Dustin did Birdie the next 2-holes after this to jump out in front but Jackson stayed calm and earned himself the Runner-Up finish. Jackson lead the Division with 7 Birdies to safeguard that second-place finish. Congratulations Jackson!
The younger boys had the most trouble with Hole-17 in Round 2. After the tough stretch of holes on the back, there was no more fuel in the tank. Water stretches the entire left side of this hole and there is OB to the right. Benjamin Baker continued his strong performance by putting in for par along with newcomer Jamesson “JP” Radwanski from Mohnton, PA, the only two to do so. Collectively, the Younger Boys had their best performance on Hole-4 all weekend. Hole-4 shot under par for them! BJGT Tour Championship Winner Dylan Ramsey from Lebanon, PA and Jesse Shue were the main contributors for an under-par average, both earning Eagles. In the end, it was Benjamin Baker from Broadlands, VA that took home the crown. Benjamin shot an astounding 69, -3, in Round 2. Benjamin takes home his 3rd Champion Flag of the year in as many tournaments. Ben really had complete focus in Round 2 not letting anyone catch him with his 5 Birdies. Just like Dustin Stocksdale, Benjamin also played the Back-9 the best throughout the weekend for his Age Division. This was clearly the path to victory and Ben claimed it. Congratulations on another fantastic finish Benjamin! Jesse Shue was lights out in Round 2. Shooting a 73, he completely turned his game around making sure to earn himself another trophy flag and continue his dominance at the top of the Player of the Year Standings. Jesse is unreal. In his 7 tournaments with BJGT, he now has 2 Wins and 2 Runner-Up finishes. He continues to improve every tournament and is pushing the competition to catch him for Player of the Year. Congratulations on another trophy flag Jesse!
The girls once again found Hole-6 to play the easiest. 70% of the field walked off with Pars to complete a great showing on this Par-3 throughout the tournament. The Girls once again struggled with Hole-16, besting most of the field all weekend. Jennifer Sorkin was making a huge comeback on Katherine Lapinsky towards the end of the tournament, only down 1 stroke going into Hole-16. They were the only two to find pars and it kept the race to the finish alive and closer than ever. This 1 stroke difference lasted all the way to Hole-18. Going for it, Jennifer hit into one of the many water hazards and had to take a drop leading Katherine to a 2-stroke win! It was a nail-biter finish and everyone was watching from the birds-eye view near the clubhouse. It was Katherine’s first time out on tour and you can’t ask for anything better than a Champion flag to start of your BJGT career. Katherine is extremely consistent. She did what you want to do at The Links which is to find Par as much as possible because there are not many Birdie opportunities, especially on the back. Katherine dominated the Par-5’s. She was able to play them to Even Par throughout the tournament and this was the decider in the end. When you can mix accuracy with power like Katherine did, you are guaranteeing yourself a chance for success. Congratulations on your first tour win Katherine! What a comeback from Runner-Up Jennifer Sorkin. Jennifer cut Katherine’s 7-stroke lead down to 1-stroke at the end of Round 2. She was on fire. Her Birdie streak on Holes 13 & 14 was a huge factor for the comeback. Jennifer lead her Division with 5 Birdies and played the Par-4’s the best throughout the weekend. Congratulations on another trophy flag Jennifer!
We want to thank everyone who came out and spent their weekend with us at The Links of Gettysburg! We had a mix of history and beauty at this well-maintained course. This course can be a tough walk at times and the weather on Saturday was not ideal but we appreciate everyone powering through and making for another successful BJGT event in the Gettysburg/York area. The 2020 Season is starting to wind down and chances to move up the Player of the Year Leaderboard are starting to dwindle. If you are looking for a chance to win a Short Par 4 Fairway Membership for a Year by becoming a Player of the Year check out our upcoming events on our Schedule Page
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