Highlander Junior Tour Results and Report from Red Tail Golf Club, Sorrento, FL. on Saturday May 30th 2020.

A spectacular venue, a very tough golf course and yet another strong field of talented junior golfers. That was the backdrop to our latest competition….but we’re not finished yet!

Add in to the mix a separate 6-hole competition in our Wee Highlander Tour series, the added excitement of a historic space launch close by and then round off the day with some rather scary and unpredictable early-summer Florida thunderstorms and I think most of us will probably remember this one for some time to come!

As usual our competitors were each placed in one of our traditional 3 flights with tee placement and suitable yardages to match both age and ability.

It is worth pointing out again that Red Tail is a significant challenge to all! There is no question it is by some way the toughest course on our rota and going low is not going to be an easy task. Having said that we also believe that juniors who are serious about improving their game and perhaps even one day carving out a career in golf understand why they need to embrace this type of challenge.

First up were our most experienced junior players representing:

The Old Tom Morris Flight.

Winner: Nick Zarillo (73)
Runner-Up : Jonathan Ring (81)

ALL of our players deserve great credit for perseverance yesterday. One player in the field however deserves our special recognition for not only taking the winners medal but for the manner in which he got the job done. Nick Zarillo was our runaway flight winner yesterday returning a highly impressive 73.

Nick has now won 4 times on the HJT. and we are running out of good things to say about how strong his game is right now! He is rapidly becoming a fine young golfer and equally as pleasing is he has both the temperament, belief in his game and grounded personality to keep on improving further still…it was interesting to note yesterday that his 73 even included a double bogey! Congratulations once again Nick from everyone at Highlander Junior Tour on a job well done!

The Young Tommy Morris Flight:

Winner: Tripp Watkins (37)
Joint Runners-Up: Caden Fockler and Quinton Barnhill (39)

In our remaining two flights yesterday the “golfing” weather god played his part! We were all aware that the later part of the day could see some storms heading our way and so it came to pass that only two of our players in this flight managed to complete and record the full 18 holes before we called time on remaining play and asked in the interest of safety that players and spectators make their way in to the safety of the clubhouse. A special mention at this point to one of them: Well played Caden Fockler who shot his best HJT score to date and a very impressive 77.

Our contingency plan for events like this is that we will revert to scoring the competition based on each players front 9 hole score only assuming all players have played at least that same 9 holes.

When we calculated the final scores it was another of our previous HJT winners and a young talent we know very well indeed. A player who works extremely hard and with strong family support is as committed to perfecting his game as anyone we have seen at that age level : Tripp Watkins.

Tripp took it by two shots carding an impressive +1 front nine total. Congratulations once again Tripp from everyone at Highlander Junior Tour. Good job !

The Bobby Jones Flight

Winner: Justin Wallace (40)
Runner-Up: Ryker Huther (42)

Our youngest group and again unfortunately weather put paid to completing the full 18. Nonetheless enough golf was played by all to ensure we could reward our best players on the day in a fair and even handed way.

This was a close call with Justin taking the medal by just 2 strokes from previous winner Ryker who also deserves a strong mention for another solid performance while improving his game and playing from longer tees than most 10 year olds are used to.

In the end the win, and securing his 1st Highlander Junior Tour medal, goes to Justin Wallace with a very impressive front nine total of 40….even more impressive when you consider that included a very early triple bogey that he had to come back strongly from! Justin joined the HJT and only started playing competitively fairly recently. Yesterday saw the culmination of his previous hard work and perseverance pay off…and to shoot 40 at a course like Red Tail means you should be VERY proud of yourself!

Everyone at Highlander Junior Tour sends their Congratulations Justin on a great achievement and hopefully the start of a winning journey with us. Good job young man!

*Unfortunately it was not possible to present Justin with his medal so no pic.below.The weather understandably meant a sharp exit for many! We will present this at the next opportunity we have to catch up with Justin.

And so that was it for another great day of Junior Golf. As the thunder rolled in close by we completed our “social distancing” medal presentations, said our goodbyes and headed for home. It was a great day for us despite the weather issues and we thank you all for being a part of it. We hope you will join us for the next one as we once again go for another HJT “first”…our first two-day competition – The Highlander Junior Tour Summer Open will be played over 36 holes at Eagle Ridge on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June. Registration for that one is open now.

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