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3rd Annual York Junior Golf Classic

York Junior Golf Classic

                    York, PA — June 1st, 2020 — BJGT held its 3rd annual York Junior Golf Classic at the prestigious Briarwood Golf Clubs-East Course. The East Course out at Briarwood holds the Districts Golf Tournament for Boys and the West Course holds the Districts Golf Tournament for Girls for the South-Central Pennsylvania area. Briarwood is a wide-open, American-style golf course with trees lining the majority of the fairways on either side. Wide open and easy to walk resulted in an impressive average pace of play of 4 hours and 8 minutes. Check out the details below for BJGT’s biggest tournament in our first 3 seasons on tour!

                   Round 1 – Saturday May 30th — Heavy rain and crazy weather followed the BJGT crew on Friday during set up, the second week in a row. No complaints though, as Saturday was nothing but sunshine and good vibes, a beautiful day for golf. The good vibes went away for the Boys 15-19 Division on the extremely tough 11th-hole. This long-distance Par-4 stretching 417-yards is not one to take lightly. If you are able to keep your tee shot in the tree-lined fairway, the down sloping will add some extra yardage. The second shot is where it gets really tricky. The elevated and relatively small green makes for a difficult landing zone. Of the 28 golfers in this division, nobody was able to pull out a score better than Par in Round 1. The easiest hole in Round 1 for the Boys was Hole-17. 17 is an extremely easy hole, well, at least for these juniors anyway. Its only real defense is internal OB on the left with a small pond in the middle that the fairway wraps around. If you hit the ball 240 yards as a crow flies, you can fly the lateral hazard pond and give yourself an easy approach. Peyton Mussina, a Junior from Muncy, PA, must’ve done just that because he gained a stroke on the entire field by putting in for Eagle! We had a 4-way tie for first after Round 1 between Jack Novis, Devin Smith, Seth Callaway and Brady Davidson. It was pretty epic and made for a very exciting Round 2 on Sunday.

                   Hole-18 showed why it has the number 1 handicap out at Briarwood by giving the Boys 10-14 the hardest time in Round 1. Hole-18 is tough because hitting the ball at least 200 yards off the drive and away from the Driving Range that is Out of Bounds on the right is crucial from the Buckeye-White tees. If you are able to do that you will have a shot into the green, albeit a long one. Jesse Shue, who eventually came in as the Round 1 Leader for the Division, gained a stroke on the rest of the field by playing this extremely tough hole to par. It was interesting to see the difference the tee placement made for Hole-11 at Briarwood. Contrary to the Older Boys, the Boys 10-14 played this hole the best in Round 1. 141 yards shorter, the placement of the Buckeye-White tees compared to the Buckeye-Black tees seems much easier, but it is still no easy feat to play this hole the best in Round 1. Every player in the Field got out with a Par. Caden Blanchette from Manchester, PA was right behind Jesse Shue to finish in 2nd place for the Round. Good job boys!

                   Apparently, it was opposite day out at Briarwood on Saturday. Each division’s hardest hole was another’s easiest. This was the case for the Girls 14-19 Division on Hole-17. Easiest for the Older Boys turned out to be the hardest for the Girls. Once again, different tee placement can make a hole play completely different. From the Buckeye White-Tee, a tee shot of at least 200 Yards is needed to clear the pond on the left and to have an easy approach. Avoiding trouble at the end of the round or maybe seeing the internal OB got in their heads because it appeared that most the Girls made the conscious decision not to challenge the pond and to play right. Victoria Witouski, this week’s player of the week, secured her Round 1 lead by being the only player in the field to finish with a Par. Hole-12, a downhill Par-3, played the easiest for the Girls in Round 1. Don’t be fooled, this hole can be tricky. It has 3 bunkers that all sit in various spots in front of the Green. Making sure you hit the ball at least 150-yards is crucial here to avoid the bunkers but you also need to be weary of the tall grass and woods behind the hole. Precision and gauging the right club for this downhill shot is what allowed Cassidy Miksich from Tyrone, PA to gain a stroke on the rest of the field by grabbing a par. Great job ladies!

                   Round 2 – Sunday, May 31st— The weather for Round 2 was a cooler but no one was complaining about that. The major concern for all players on Sunday was the high wind gusts that came and never left, a factor we always underestimate. Winds were coming in around 11 MPH but some of the gusts were reaching 25 MPH. Mother Nature decided to give the kids an extra challenge, she knew they’d be up for it and hey, it builds character, right? The hardest hole in Round 2 for the Boys 15-19 was Hole 10. An intense headwind was taunting the players as they made the turn. Double and Triple Bogeys galore made Par feel like you won the lottery, only a third of the field was able to do so. One of the hardest holes on the course, Hole-15, surprisingly played the easiest in Round 2. Hidden in a valley (no, not America’s favorite dressing), the winds weren’t as intense on the back. The 3 Bunkers placed strategically throughout this hole do offer some defense but a nice 160-yard iron shot into the green helped 6 players finish with a Birdie. Connor Strine from Lancaster, PA entered Round 2 only 1 stroke behind the 4 leaders. He was able to jump to T-1 by parring the last 4 holes. Brady Davidson from Mechanicsburg, PA put together 2 extremely solid Rounds and was able finish T-1 with Connor with a final score of 150 on the weekend. This brought our 2nd playoff in as many weeks on Tour. 2.5 years without a playoff then we have 2 in a row!?! Connor opened up the playoff by demolishing a drive that went a little off right into the rough. Brady smoked one right down the pipe and landed a little further back from Connor, but was right in the middle of the fairway. Both boys played their approach shots in with Brady going just off the green onto the backside. Connor in contrast played his ball just a little bit short and landed in the middle-front of the green. Connor then made a fantastic deep putt to land within 5 feet of the hole. Brady had a nice pitch but left a little distance for the Par putt. Brady just missed his Par putt, Connor did not. A fantastic playoff finish from two extremely talented local golfers. Connor had the winning formula mix that we see most often with our Champions. He played the Par-4s the best in his Division and had the Most Pars. Great first win on tour Connor! Brady is a Birdie Machine. We might need to call him Brady ‘Birdie’ Davidson from now on! He led the Division in Birdies and absolutely dominated the Par-5’s at Briarwood going 2-under on them throughout the tournament. Great Runner-Up finish Brady!

                   The Boys 10-14 were not fazed by the wind, their scores decreased by almost 2 strokes on Sunday. Hole-14, the signature hole out at Briarwood, was the toughest hole on the course in Round 2 for the Boys 10-14. An extreme downhill Par-3 that is guarded by 3 large Bunkers was just too difficult. Caden Blanchette didn’t think so however, attempting his comeback on Jesse Shue, gained a stroke on him by making Birdie. Hole-13 played the easiest in Round 2. This hole’s defense lies in its OB on the left side and the lateral hazard on the right side. The Boys thought “hmmm so all I have to do is stay straight and I will probably have a good score.” That is what the entire field did with everyone earning Par! Well done boys! Jesse Shue’s 4 stroke lead to start the 2nd Round was just too much to overcome and he came in as our Boys 10-14 Champion. Jesse has a high golf IQ and has had some great rounds on tour this season. Being a local from Columbia, PA, he knows Briarwood well. He was able to take advantage of his course knowledge and played the Front-9 9 strokes better than his closest competitor. Congratulations on your first tour win Jesse! Caden Blanchette made a run at Jesse in Round 2, but lost by just a single stroke. Caden was the opposite of Jesse, finding the Back-9 to be much easier out at Briarwood. He played 10-18, 8 strokes better than the rest of field. Congratulations on grabbing Runner-Up in your first BJGT tournament Caden! Great job to all of our younger boys on awesome POP, solid scores and great attitudes!

                   Like the younger Boys, the Girls also used the heavy winds to their advantage on Sunday, they improved their scores by an average of 3 strokes. The Par-3’s aren’t easy at Briarwood. Low handicaps and down-hill tee shots, with the exception of Hole-3, made these quite difficult. Hole-3 has a large creek/marshland that sits in front of the green. Land in there and you are taking straight line back relief or stroke and distance. The Girls found this hole playing the toughest in Round 2, no one scored better than a Double Bogey. Hole-14 in surprising fashion was playing the easiest for the Girls in Round 2. Per usual, the Girls found it the easiest and the Younger Boys found it the hardest hole in Round 2. Over half the Field was able to finish with a Par. Victoria Witouski was able to hold strong with her commanding lead to be our Champion for the Girls 14-19. Victoria is a Par machine. She is extremely consistent and fun to watch. Victoria is currently exploring her college golf options and wants to be pharmacist. Victoria won our Pittsburgh Junior Golf Championship last season and adds another Win to her Trophy Case! Cassidy Miksich from Tyrone, PA and Lillian McNally, a local from York, PA, were the Runner-Ups for the Girls Division. Cassidy can absolutely demolish a golf ball. Her tee shot off #1 in Round 1 drew some “Wow’s” from spectators. Just a Freshman, Cassidy clearly has so much talent and there is no doubt we are going to see her in the Winner’s Circle many times throughout the next 4 years! Lillian has great accuracy and that really showed on all of the Par-3s throughout the entire tournament, leading the Division. Congratulations on earning Runner-Up at your first BJGT tournament Lillian! Great job ladies!

                   We want to thank all of our players, spectators and the staff out at Briarwood. Surprisingly, this was the first tournament we ever booked for BJGT way back in 2018. It holds a special place in our hearts and we really appreciate the support we get from the York County Junior Golf Tour  & Lancaster Junior Golf Tour, they are phenomenal. We look forward to continuing this tournament for many years to come.     


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