Buckeye’s Are Back at Kent State
College Prep Series @ Kent State
Ravenna, OH, June 27th, 2022 —Buckeye Junior Golf Tour was back at Kent State this weekend for the second year in a row playing the Golden Flashes home course of Windmill Lakes Golf Club. Kent State is one of the premier golf colleges in the Midwest. They have won 24 MAC Championships and 24 NCAA Championship Round Golf appearances from their Men’s Golf Program. Current PGA players Corey Conners and McKenzie Hughes are alumni. Their Women’s Team has claimed 23 MAC Championships and 8 NCAA Championship Round Golf appearances. Some really impressive accolades from a smaller Division 1 School. Windmill Lakes is a premier college golf course. A very American style course will wind you through water and woods testing all aspects of your game. Let’s dig in to see who was crowned the Winners at Windmill below!
Round 1 – Saturday, June 25th — A beautiful day for golf as the rain held off and we were treated to a bright and sunny day for some fantastic rounds.
The hardest hole on the course for the Boys was the 7th-hole out at Windmill. This is just a medium handicap of 9 and is one of the shorter Par-4’s on the course. However, the hole boasts a variety of trouble if you cannot keep the ball straight as there are woods and water on the right side and out of bounds on the left side. Staying straight off the tee and not overpowering your approach shot will usually end in a good score on the hole. Caden Martin from Cranberry. Pennsylvania was able to pick up at least a stroke on the rest of the field by being the only player to Par the hole in Round 1. The Boys did take advantage of the 14th-handicap, 11th-hole out at Windmill Lakes playing it the best in Round 1. The hole sits at just 355-yards. It really does not have much defense as the large pond on the left is easy enough to carry for almost all our Boys 15-19 and the small dog-leg actually helps you by not allowing your ball to travel to much into the rough of the right side of the hole. 2 Large bunkers sit on either side of the green, which is a very common theme out at Windmill but our Boys were spot on with their approaches. A Birdie from Caden Bender from West Middlesex, Pennsylvania helped him gain at least a stroke on the rest of the field. Dimitrios Townsend coming all the way from Bethesda, Maryland led the Division in Round 1. Dimitrios was followed closely behind by Caden Martin.
The coach from D-1 Niagara University came out to watch our stellar group of Girls this weekend and we are so proud of them for representing our tour in fantastic fashion. The Girls started off Round 1 a little slow. They found Hole-1 to be playing the toughest. To be fair Hole-1 is the 7th-toughest hole on the golf course. The key for this hole from the Buckeye-White Tees was to play at least a 210-yard drive so that you could have a shot into the green from the dog-leg. However, going short on that drive is going to land you in a fairway bunker that is positioned perfectly to just swallow up short tee shots. Once again, 2 large greenside bunkers guard the hole. Natalie Kostalnick from Strongsville, OH gained at least a stroke on the rest of the competition by Parring the hole. Hole-6 was playing the easiest for the Girls in Round 1. Sitting at the 11th-handicap it was a surprise to see this hole playing as the easiest. Windmill Lakes will reward players who are straight off the tee box and Hole-6 is one of those holes. The Girls on our Tour are some of the most accurate off the tee box so that is probably why this hole was playing so easy for them in Round 1. 80% of the Girls field was able to pick up a Par on the hole. Natalie Kostalnick shot an amazing Round 1, 70 to be at the top of the Leaderboard. Natalie was back in great form trying to defend her title after winning the Champion Flag last year at this tournament. She tied 3 BJGT Girls 15-19 Scoring Records with her amazing Round 1. Her 34 on the Back-9 tied the 9-hole Scoring Record it also tied the 9-Hole Relative-to-Par Record, with a -1. She also tied our Girls 15-19, 18-Hole Scoring Record with her 72. Great Round 1 Natalie! Natalie was followed closely behind by BJGT legend Elaina Seeley from Circleville, OH. Elaina is the BJGT Career Scoring Record Holder for our Girls 10-13 Division. This was shaping up to be a great final pairing to watch for Round 2.
Round 2 – Sunday, June 12th – Another beautiful day for golf!
The Boys must have been watching the Girls in Round 1 as they too found Hole-1 to be playing the toughest in Round 2. Pars from Caden Martin and Nick Baum from Roaring Spring, PA led the Division. The easiest hole for the Boys in Round 2 was the 2nd-easiest hole on the golf course the Par-3, 8th-Hole. Sitting at just 174-Yards the only trouble on this hole is the water. But the water ends at the 140-yard mark and most of our players are good enough to land within 10-yards so clearing the water by 30 was no issue at all. Birdies by the 2 Caden’s in Martin and Bender led the group. In the end Dimitrios Townsend was just to on point in all facets of his game to be caught. Dimitrios was extremely consistent in the tournament having the Most Pars, 20. He was also phenomenal off the tee leading the Division on Par-4’s and Par-5’s. Two stats that are needed if you are going to win a tournament on a college level golf course. Dimitrios also led the Division on the Front and Back-9’s, hard to lose a tournament with those statistics. Congratulations on your first Champion flag of the 2022 Season Dimitrios! Caden Martin was our Runner-Up. Caden had his short-game working at the tournament leading the tournament on Par-3’s. Caden’s most impressive state though had to be his 6-hole Bogey Free Streak in Round 2 on Holes 7-12. That is such an underrated stat for a player. When you are a junior golfer to have the mental fortitude knowing that you are close to lead and not bogey is extremely impressive, well done Caden!
Wow, Hole-1 gets featured again, as the Girls were struggling the most with this Hole in Round 2 as well. To be fair this hole is extremely intimidating and if anyone plays this course, they will understand why it might be featured as one of the hardest holes so many times in a row. Natalie Kostalnick continued her strong performance by being the only player in the Division to Par this hole in Round 2. The Girls got right back to it though on Hole-2, by playing that hole the best. Hole-2 is an easy Par-3 over water. Accuracy is the name of the game here as this large green can be take advantage of it if you nail it. Watch out for the two greenside bunkers (how many times have I said that about this course) as depending on the flag location it can make the hole play much harder. A trio of Pars from Natalie Kostalnick, Elaina Seeley and Isabella Gales led the Division on the hole. Natalie Kostalnick would defend her crown when it was all said and done taking home the Champion flag. Her record setting weekend was extremely fun to watch throughout the tournament. Natalie led her division in most major categories but the most impressive of her stats had to be her stellar play on the much harder Front-9 out at Windmill Lakes. That 9 features further yardage and overall tougher holes so it was an awesome stat category to lead. Congratulations on an extremely well-played tournament record setting weekend Natalie! Elaina Seeley came in as our Division Runner-Up. Elaina had fantastic consistency going for her throughout the event, tying the Division lead with 16 Pars. Elaina per usual had the long ball and drive going as well getting nothing higher than a Bogey on the Par-5’s. Elaina follows up her win at the Pittsburgh Junior Golf Open with a Runner-Up Finish here at Windmill Lakes to continue a stellar 2022 Season for her. Congratulations to Elaina on a great tournament!
We want to thank everyone who came out to the tournament this weekend. *Alert* Reminder that our Tour Championship registration deadline is just 1 week away and will offer an AJGA PBE Star to the Champion of the Boys 15-19 Division and Girls 14-19 Division. We hope that you will join us at some upcoming tournaments! Once again, we have changed all of our remaining Match Play tournaments for the 2022 Season into Stroke Play Events. We heard a lot of people mention they would come out to the tournaments if they were Stroke Play and we want to support our players in their decisions.