Poppy Ridge GC
June 20-21, 2012
LIVERMORE – The Junior Tour of Northern California sponsored by Capital Insurance Group (CIG) kicked off its summer series at Poppy Ridge GC in Livermore on Wednesday and Thursday. It was the first tournament of the series with five more to follow in the coming weeks before the Junior Tour Championship at Mayacama GC on August 13-14. The event saw some erratic weather and also saw some familiar faces carry over their play from the spring series as well as some new ones make their debut.
In the Boys Championship Flight, Justin Pagila squeezed out a one-shot victory over Eddy Lai (second place) and Amay Poria (third place). Pagila fired a fantastic first round of 69, and although he struggled with the elements during his second round with a 77, his 146, 2-over par total was good enough for that one-stroke victory. Lai found himself one shot back after the first round with his own 2-under par round of 70. He posted a great round of 77 on the second day, but finished one stroke back at 147, 3-over par. Poria fired terrific rounds of 73 and 75 to come in third place at 148. The low final round score belonged to Jacob Solomon, who under difficult conditions managed to fire a 73.
Casie Cathrea of Livermore won the Girls Championship Flight, and is quickly making the race for Girls Player of Year a close one between her and Carly Childs. Cathrea fired rounds of 71 and 73 for a 144 total to capture her fourth victory on the Junior Tour this year. She’s eyeing her third consecutive girls player of the year award, which will be no easy task as Childs continues to play well and rack up points of her own too. The Alameda resident’s very strong rounds of 73 and 75 were good enough for second place, four shots back at a 148 total. Third place went to Isabella Bosetti with a 149 total. Bosetti fired a fantastic final round of 73, matching Cathrea for low round of the day.
In the Boys First Flight, Grant Leppek came out on top. Leppek’s seven birdies for the two rounds enabled him to cruise to a five-shot victory with rounds of 75 and 74. Second place went to Amitesh Kataria. His total of 154 (78-76), actually left him tied with Jack Hill, who shot rounds of 75 and 79. However, through a scorecard playoff, Kataria captured second place, while Hill finished in third place.
In the Girls First Flight, Yealimi Noh captured yet another victory. Her 163 total (83-80) was good enough for a five-stroke victory over second place finisher Bibilani Liu (84-84), and third place finisher Kenness Cheung (80-89). Cheung actually was awarded third place due to a scorecard playoff with Emily Rotter, who also finished with a 169 total.
With the wins by Pagila and Cathrea, the two players each qualified for a respective spot at the 37th Junior PGA Championship at Sycamore Hills GC in Fort Wayne, Indiana. However, Cathrea was already exempt for the event, so the qualifying spot went to second place finisher Childs. The Junior PGA Championship is a marquee event, which hosts approximately 150 junior players from across the country. Past participants include several current PGA and LPGA Tour regulars including Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie.
The Junior Tour of Northern California will continue its summer series next Wednesday and Thursday, June 27-28 at San Juan Oaks GC in Hollister. For more information about the Junior Tour of Northern California, please visit www.jtnc.org.