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The Race for Reston

Washington DC Junior Golf Classic

 

Reston, Virginia, May 6th, 2024 — Buckeye Junior Golf Tour was at Reston National Golf Course for the 4th year in a row this past weekend. A wonderful park designed course. Reston National weaves through some beautiful terrain of the suburb of Reston. Designated as a certified sanctuary from the Audubon Society the course is a great example of a wonderfully designed nature course right in the heart of a major suburb of Washington DC.  Let’s dive in to see who the force was with in BJGT’s Washington DC Junior Golf Classic.

 

Round 1 – Saturday, May 4th — Heavy rains came through the night before the tournament. This made the course play a lot harder than usual as there was not much roll to be offered on good shots. 7 Tournaments into the 2024 Season and I think we have had maybe 1 Round of good weather.

 

May the 4th be with you on Hole-10 out at Reston. Every year we play at Reston National this Hole gets featured as the toughest. Sitting at the 1st-handicap this should not come as a surprise. The hole does play extremely downhill but sitting at 459-Yards for a Par-4 the distance is a lot to deal with. The hole is also extremely tight and features Out of Bounds on the right and left. It seems like every most of the Boys 15-19 are able to clear the large hill in the middle of the hole but once their ball clears that on the blind downhill slope finding your ball can be extremely difficult. Over the years we have seen many amazing drives hit and bounce off to right into the Out of Bounds. A cruel gesture after you think you just crushed a drive right down the middle. As you approach the green watch out for the 2 large bunkers that are guarding the green on the front left and right side. Club choice can be a major problem on the approach as you continue to go downhill you want to club down to have the right accuracy but you really do not want to land in these traps. However, going to far could mean another Out of Bounds Stroke and Distance penalty. So much to watch out for on this hole! Not a single Par was offered up by Hole-10 in Round 1 from the Boys 15-19. The easiest hole for the Boys 15-19 was the Par-5, 10th-handicap, 5th-Hole. The hole sits at 505-yards. The hole’s defense is the major dog-leg that you have to contend with. A 260+ yard drive is needed to be able to match the dog-leg and have a shot into the green for a good score. Watch out for the front left and right-side bunkers again as you make your approach. Colin Gribble from Lusby, Maryland always crushes the ball off the tee so this hole did not scare him in the slightest. He led the Division with his Birdie. Local Reston resident Alexander McClain knows Reston National well and he was able to use his course knowledge to lead after Round 1 with his 75. Alexander was followed closely behind by Sean Nguyen from Fairfax, Virginia.

 

In no surprise Hole-10 gets featured again here as the hardest hole for the Boys 10-14. However, this time the Boys 10-14 were able to grab a Par on the hole from the legend himself Logan Stoney from Hillsborough, New Jersey. Hole-7 one of the harder holes on the course sitting at the 5th-handicap ended up being the easiest hole of Round 1 for the Boys 10-14. This hole does not offer up much in yardage sitting at only 290-Yards from the Buckeye-White Tees but it does have defenses in other ways. The hole features a major dog-leg, possibly the biggest on the course to contend. Don’t try to cut the hole off to much as there is a pond that goes down the entire left side along with a bunker off the fairway on that side. Really only a 120-Yard drive is needed to take on the dog-leg though and cut off a ton of yardage on the hole. Many of the players in the Division did just that. Logan Stoney gets featured again here along with Vyom Shukla from Berwyn, Pennsylvania who both were able to lead the Division with their well-earned Birdies. After Round 1 it was Bodie Winfield from Middletown, Maryland in the lead with his fantastic 75. Bodie was followed closely behind by the man already featured twice in this paragraph, Logan Stoney.

 

Anddddddd, wouldn’t you have guessed it Hole-10 was also playing the toughest for the Girls 14-19. This hole was just eating everyone up in Round 1. A Bogey from Brooke Lagera from Falls Church, Virginia was enough to lead the Division. The Girls finished Round 1 off in awesome fashion, playing Hole-18 the best in Round 1. Sitting at exactly 300-Yards this Par-4 holds the 14th-handicap on the course. The hole once again dog-legs adding some extra distance to the hole. However, a drive just over 130+ is needed to contend with the dog-leg to make sure you have a shot at the green on your 2nd-shot. Watch out on your drive as there are 2 bunkers that are hidden by the trees off to the right, so don’t put too much power on your shot. The green is relatively large but does feature 3 bunkers. The bunkers sit at the front left and right and center back of the green making you have some accuracy on your approach. Brooke Lagera was able to end a fantastic Round 1 with a Par along with BJGT newcomer Rachel Zhu from Washington, DC. Rachel played an amazing Round 1 to lead the Division. Brooke Lagera sat just a stroke behind Rachel after the Round. Round 2 was shaping up to be a great battle between these Ladies!

 

Round 2 – Sunday, May 5th– Some more rain came through on Saturday Night further saturating the course for Sunday’s Round 2.

 

Wow Hole-10 does not get featured as the hardest hole on the course for the Boys 15-19 in Round 2. Instead, it was the 2nd-hardest hole on the back and 3rd-hardest overall, Hole-13. Sitting at 427-Yards this is a long Par-4 to contend with. Another slight dog-leg comes into play here. There is a fairway bunker off on the left side for those wishing to challenge the dog-leg and there have been a ton of balls that have ended up in it over the years. The bunker sits between 220-250 yards off the tee right in the sweet spot of driving distance for our Boys 15-19. The green is kind of a funky shape with it starting off small and opening up to a much larger green as it curls to the right. The green is once again guarded by two front bunkers. Only 30% of the field were able to pick up Pars on the hole in Round 2. The Boys 15-19 must have taken some notes from the Girls playing Hole-18 in Round 1 as they were able to play this hole the best in Round 2. Birdies from Alexander McClain and Brian Slaughter from Warrenton, Virginia helped to lead the Division and lower the hole average. Alexander McClain used his extensive course knowledge out at Reston to come in as our Champion. Alexander has been playing BJGT almost since the beginning of our Tour this marking the 5th year he has played. He earned his 3rd BJGT Champion Trophy Flag with his Win this weekend. Alexander not only used his course knowledge for the Win but he was also able to take the chances that Reston offered up leading the Division with 4 Par Breakers. Once again, we have a Par-4 Leader winning a tournament as Alexander absolutely owned those Holes out at Reston leading the Division by 5-strokes. Alexander’s back-to-back Birdies to end the tournament, on holes 17-18 in Round 2, sealed the deal for him as he gets a win on home turf. We wish Alexander all the best of luck as he continues his career at D-1 St. Francis University in the Fall!Sean Nguyen continued his strong Round 1 with a great Round 2 to come in as our Runner-Up. This is Sean’s 2nd trophy flag in 5 BJGT tournaments. Sean had a very clean scorecard both days taking the most Pars in the Division at 23. Sean had a Bogey-Free-Streak of 8-Holes that he carried on from Round 1 to Round 2 from Hole-14 in Round 1 to Hole-3 in Round 2. Congratulations to Sean on a fantastic tournament!

 

In a real turn of events Hole-7 was actually playing the toughest for the Boys 10-14 in Round 2. After playing it the best in Round 1 this hole came back to claim some of its lost shots from Round 1. Bodie Winfield was the only player that was able to pick up a Par on the hole in Round 2. The Boys took Hole-5 under-par in and played it the best in Round-2. This was even more incredible because this hole is the 1-handicap out at Reston. Not Hole-10??? Sitting at 419-Yards this Par-5 does have a lot of problem areas on it. The hole has a huge dog-leg on it adding some major yardage. A 180-Yard+ drive is needed to make the dog-leg and have a chance at approaching the green on your second shot. The hole is also tree-lined on both sides making you be accurate off the tee. This is probably the smallest green on the course playing at a depth of around 25 paces. The hole, like almost all others at Reston, also features two front guarding bunkers on either side of the green. A trio of Birdies were earned on the hole as our Boys 10-14 were able to slay this beast. Bodie Winfield was just absolutely unstoppable throughout the tournament. He Shot a Round 2, 76, to come in as our Champion. Bodie is always good but this was probably the most consistent and long hitting we have seen from him throughout the 2024 Season. Once again, we see our Par-4 Leader take home the Champion flag in a Division as Bodie led on those holes by 5-strokes. Bodie’s 5-Hole Bogey-Free-Streak on Hole 14-18 in Round 2 sealed the victory him. Bodie earns his 2nd Career BJGT Victory and Player of the Week honors and we could not be happier for him! Logan Stoney sat at his rightful spot near the top of the leaderboard as he came in as our Runner-Up. Logan was extremely consistent per usual leading the Division with 23 Pars. Logan also had amazing accuracy going an awesome +1 on the Par-3’s, in the process taking 7 Pars and 1 Bogey on those 8-Holes. Logan did make a strong push at Bodie, forcing him to play his best, as he went on a Bogey-Free-Streak of 7-Holes from Hole-18 in Round 1 to Hole-6 in Round 2. Logan earned himself his 3rd, Runner-Up Trophy Flag in a row, to combine with 2 Wins in the 2024 Season. He has a firm grip on the Player of the Year for Boys 10-14 as this is being written. Congratulations on another fantastic tournament Logan!

 

Hole-13 was playing extremely tough in Round 2 as the Girls 14-19 also found it to be the toughest hole of the Round. A Par from Rachel Zhu was able to lead the Division and helped to lower the hole average. The Girls absolutely owned Hole-18 throughout the tournament they once again found it to be playing the easiest in Round 2. 100% of the Field picked up Pars on this hole, taking it to an Even average! Rachel Zhu was extremely impressive all weekend and came in as our Champion. I think this is the first time all season that we have had all 3 Round 1 Leaders complete wire-to-wire performances and come in as our Champions. It looks like Most Pars was a major contributor for the Champion Flag out at Reston as Rachel Zhu was the leader in that category. Dominating the Par-4’s was also a key stat and Rachel was able to lead the Division on those holes as well. Rachel was able to get into a groove in Round 2 going on a Bogey-Free-Streak of 3-Holes from Holes 6-8 making it very hard to make a comeback on her. Congratulations to Rachel on earning herself her first ever BJGT Champion Flag! Brooke Lagera came in as our Runner-Up. If you ever get a chance to watch the Lagera Sisters play some golf we highly encourage it as Sister Meg is just as great. Brooke might be young but she can really launch a ball of the Tee, she was the Co-Leader on the Par-5’s. Brooke had an extremely impressive end to Round 1 to make sure to push Rachel as much as she could, she went on a Bogey-Free-Streak from Holes 15-18 to close out Round 1. Congratulations to Brooke on earning herself her first career BJGT Runner-Up Trophy Flag, with many more trophy flags I am sure to come in the future.

 

Thank you to everyone for joining us at Reston National this weekend. Next up we have our tournaments at Oakmont Green which always has a very large competitive field and South Hills which offers up almost the same thing. Then we have our Tour Championship at Penn State-Blue.

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