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Back at Briarwood

York Junior Golf Classic

               York, PA, April 19th, 2021 — BJGT was back at Briarwood-East for the 4th year in a row. This was actually the first course that was ever booked for the Buckeye Junior Golf Tour way back in 2017. Here we are 4 years later and pulling out one of our largest turnouts to date! Briarwood’s heavy winds and undulating greens were the topics of discussion this weekend. Let’s see who thought the course was a “breeze”.  

               Round 1 – Saturday, April 17th — Windy and a little chilly for this time of year was how Round 1 started. Since we changed this tournament to April from May, we may just have to get used to unpredictable weather for future tournaments out at Briarwood.

               Hole-15 lived up to its number 3 handicap for our Boys 15-19 Division. This long Par-4 played extremely difficult in Round 1. A giant fairway bunker looms right on this hole, which is a perfect spot to play your tee shot, so you’ll probably need to take the long way around if you want to shoot well. A well-placed approach shot is needed as well with 3 green side bunkers protecting the front and a giant drop off that sits right behind the green. Brady Davidson from Mechanicsburg, PA was the only player to Birdie the hole in Round 1, helping him to finish Saturday as a Co-Leader.  The easiest hole on the course, Hole-2, stayed true for the Boys 15-19 Division. This Par-5 plays only 469-yards from the Buckeye-Black Tees, a cake walk for most of our power swinging older Boys. As long as you don’t go way off left into the lateral penalty area creek, you’ll be just fine. This hole surrendered 6 Birdies and 23 pars in Round 1, way to take advantage guys! 2019 Player of the Year, Jeremy Bershak, from Sykesville, MD would match Brady Davidson’s +1 (73) for Round 1 setting us up for a much-anticipated Round 2. E. Alexander Brooks from Hyattsville, MD was right on the leaders’ tail shooting a +3 (75) for Round 1.

               Hole-15 was just brutal in Round 1 for everyone. The Boys 10-14 found it to be playing the hardest as well. There was a shining light as Nathan Eldridge from Owings Mills, MD and local Elliott Evans from York, PA were both able to pick up at least a stroke on the rest of the field by simply picking up Pars on the hole. Hole-17, the 2nd-easiest hole on the course was playing the easiest for the Boys 10-14 in Round 1. An extreme dog-leg of 30-yards comes into play on the hole. If you can maneuver your way around the dog-leg and put yourself into good position to fight up the long hill for your approach, you’ll to be sitting pretty good. 4 of the players in the field picked up much deserved Birdies. Jesse Shue, 2020 Player of the Year winner, was our Round 1 Leader for the Division with a +5 (77). He was followed close behind by 3 players shooting a +6 (78), it would make for an interesting Sunday (a little foreshadowing right there).

                  The Girls found Hole-13 to be playing the toughest in Round 1. Another dog-leg out at Briarwood. It only adds about 10 yards, but the positioning can be difficult. A long fairway with an uphill shot into the green, this hole requires accuracy on the approach, like most holes out at Briarwood. A huge greenside bunker sits on the right side of the hole, while anything left is safe. Unfortunately, no Pars were found. In a surprising twist the 2nd hardest hole on the course, a straight downhill, Par-3 , Hole-12 played the easiest hole for the Girls in Round 1. Surrounded by bunkers on the sides and in the front, distance is key here. Going a little long is fine to make sure that you have the best possible shot if you miss the green. Elle Overly from Lititz, PA and Angelina Duriez from Falling Waters, WV both found Pars on the hole gaining at least one stroke on the rest of the field. Bryn Krosse a local from York, PA had a miraculous Hole-in-One on Hole-8 in Round 1. What makes this even more amazing is that Bryn is only 9 years old!?! This was just the 2nd Hole-In-One in BJGT history. Congratulations Bryn! Elle Overly shot a Round 1 +14 (86) to lead the Division. She was followed closely behind by Angelina Duriez’s +17 (89).

               Round 2 – Sunday, April 18th – Sunday’s weather was absolutely beautiful and it felt much more like Spring. Sunday produced much lower scores and had the best entertainment for a tournament that we have seen since last year’s Tour Championship, so let’s dive right in.

               The Boys 15-19 changed it up playing Hole-10 the worst in Round. Maybe it was fatigue after 27-holes, maybe it was grease on their hands from grabbing a hotdog at the turn, either way, this is one of the simpler holes out at Briarwood but for some reason played the hardest. It does play fairly long at 380-Yards, but staying straight is all that is needed. Sawyer Marten from East Petersburg, PA and Caden Blanchette from right down the road in Manchester, PA both were able to snag Birdies on this hole that was giving everyone else trouble. They both picked up at least 1 stroke on the rest of the competition. The Boys once again absolutely demolished Hole-2. This was the scoring hole for the entire division giving up 10 Birdies and 47 Pars throughout the tournament. Brady Davidson had the lead by 4-strokes going into Hole-12 but Jeremy Bershak would just not leave the Top of the Leaderboard. Jeremy hit 9/9 Greens in Regulation on the Back-9 inching his way back and finally sealing a 1-stroke victory over Brady on the 18th-Hole. Jeremy picks up his first win on tour since the 2019 Baltimore Junior Golf Open. Jeremy had a couple stats the propelled him to victory. He led the Division with the most Pars or Better (29/36 Holes). Jeremy also absolutely dominated the Back-9 at Briarwood beating his next closest competitor by 3-strokes and going a total of -1 on the Back-9. Jeremy’s Birdie Streak on Holes 16-18 in Round 1 and then 17-18 in Round 2 solidified his win. Congrats Jeremy on a great tournament! Brady Davidson played a fantastic tournament as well. Brady just barely lost this tournament in 2020 with a lip-out on a playoff hole. He wanted redemption this weekend. Brady actually tied the BJGT 9-Hole Relative to Par Scoring Record going -3 on the Front-9 at Briarwood in Round 2. He joins Aaron Sorkin III for that prestigious spot in the BJGT Record Books. Brady was consistent all weekend. He dominated the Par-4’s going +1 and leading his Division in the tournament. He also played the Front-9 to a Total Score of -1 throughout the tournament and leading his division by at least 2-strokes. Congratulations on another fantastic finish out at Briarwood Brady!

            The Boys 10-14 really struggled with the last hole of the tournament in Round 2. We will blame fatigue and ending the tournament on the hardest hole on the golf course. Hole-18 will lull you into a false sense of security. In reality the entire right side of the hole is dangerous. A large fairway bunker, a large greenside bunker and OB loom right. There’s also a large dog-leg that adds some yardage. Instead of focusing on the worst hole of Sunday for the younger boys, let’s jump to the easiest, Hole-5. It’s a short 436-yard Par-5 with little danger except for a large frontside bunker near the green. Power is the name of the game here. Crush your drive and you might have an easy approach shot into the green. 4 Players in the Division were able to pick up Birdies. Jump forward to the last hole and we have a playoff folks. Nolan Vogel from Towson, MD and Jesse Shue tied after 36 holes of great golf, staying close the entire tournament. Little did we know they wanted to play another 18 because this playoff ended up taking us into the longest playoff in BJGT history. These Boys could not be separated until their 41st hole, the 5th playoff hole. Jesse Shue unfortunately had his ball lodged in a tree on Hole-5 of the playoff. He took the only real option he had which was an unplayable lie, opening up the door for Nolan Vogel to take home the Win! This was Nolan’s first win on Tour and it was extremely well deserved. Nolan had some very consistent play going leading his Division in Pars with 23. Nolan absolutely dominated the Par-3’s going Even on them throughout the 36-Holes and leading his Division by 4 strokes. Nolan also took notes from Jeremy Bershak knowing that the key to the Win at Briarwood is playing the easier Back-9 extremely well. He did just that leading his Division by 3-strokes. Congratulations on an extremely exciting win Nolan! Jesse Shue takes home Runner-Up honors. Jesse is almost a Shue-In ???? to get a trophy flag in any tournament he plays in. After winning Player of the Year in 2020 for Boys 10-14 he is racking up the POY points early in 2021. Jesse is an extremely long hitter off the tee which showed when leading the Par-5’s in his Division (-2) and playing the much longer Front-9 the best throughout the tournament. Congratulations on another fantastic tournament Jesse and we will check on cutting that bush down on Hole-15 for next year.

                The Girls were having the most trouble with Hole-9 in Round 2. This is another hole that features a tough dog-leg that adds about 40 yards. A large fairway bunker sits on the left side but playing the hole to the right and trying to cut-off the yardage can make the hole extremely difficult as well. Another Bunker about 60 yards out of the from the green sits on the right side and you will have to clear that with your 2nd-shot if you decide to play the hole to the right. Lillian McNally, a local from York, PA who has played Briarwood quite a few times, knew the way to play this beast of a hole. Ending with a Par and taking at least 1 stroke on the rest of the field is the way to do it on this tough hole. The Girls started off on a roll playing Hole-1 the best in Round 2. Hole-1 has a slight dog-leg that adds a little extra yardage. Many of our girls were smart and played their tee shot over the trees. This is one of the only flat greens on the entire golf course. Lillian McNally once again showed her local knowledge being the only player to Birdie the hole. In the end however, it was Elle Overly pulling out another win on tour. Elle has a mix of consistency and power, a deadly combo if you can use them at the right times. Elle had the Most Pars in the Division with 13. Elle also played the easier Back-9 6 strokes better than her nearest competition. She also played the Par-4’s and Par-5’s the best. Congratulations on another Champion flag Elle! Cassidy Miksich from Tyrone, PA actually had the best score in the Division in Round 2 but earned Runner-Up honors. Cassidy is well known on tour and is always at the top of the Leaderboard. Cassidy played amazing on the much harder front-9 at Briarwood, playing those holes 6-strokes better than her nearest competition. Congratulations on another fantastic finish Cassidy!  

             Another fantastic tournament out at Briarwood Golf Club! We want to thank all of our players, parents, spectators and wonderful staff out at Briarwood including Kirk Manges, Mike Skelly, Ritchie, Dan and the snack bar staff. Our tour continues to grow and the field size at this tournament really showed. Congratulations to all of the Winners and Runner-Ups and we look forward to seeing you out at more tournaments in 2021!


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