September 22, 2015
Junior Tour of Northern California Has Been a Force at First Tee Open
Don’t be surprised if a player from the Junior Tour of Northern California is in the mix come this weekend’s Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach and Poppy Hills.
The last few years, the JTNC has been a force at the First Tee Open.
At the 2011 tournament, then-JTNC member Casie Cathrea won the Pro-Junior portion of the First Tee Open playing with Ben Crenshaw. Two years later at the 2013 First Tee Open, then-JTNC member Michelle Xie of Palo Alto won the Pro-Junior with professional partner Kirk Triplett.
At last year’s First Tee Open, meanwhile, JTNC member Joshua McCarthy and pro partner Peter Senior looked to have the Pro-Junior title sewn up.
That is, until The First Tee of Tucson member Christopher Meyers pulled off one of the greatest shots on the historic 18th hole at Pebble Beach—a double-eagle from 203 yards out—to give him and pro partner Lee Janzen the victory.
Prior to Meyers’ miracle, McCarthy was already in the clubhouse with a day-low 64 that had pushed him and Senior to a total of 20-under 195. The tandem of fellow JTNC member Katie Horsford and pro Steve Elkington were also in at 195, but McCarthy would’ve won the tiebreaker due to having the lower round.
As for Meyers and Janzen, if they had come in at 195, they’d also have lost the tiebreaker, giving McCarthy and the JTNC back-to-back Pro-Junior titles.
With Meyers’ shot, the matter was settled. He and Janzen won the title with a total of 193.
“I was just stunned,” Meyers said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
While the JTNC’s bid for two wins in a row came up short, the Tour still had a fantastic showing. Nine out of the 13 JTNC members who played in the Pro-Junior made the cut.
This weekend, another 13 JTNC members—in this case, call them the Lucky 13— will have a shot at winning at Pebble Beach.
Considering how things have gone recently, one of the 13 will be in the title hunt on Sunday:
- Daniel Connolly (exemption, San Francisco)
- Jack Avrit (The First Tee of Central Coast, Arroyo Grande)
- Noor Ahmed (The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Folsom)
- Austin Fox (The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Folsom)
- David Laskin (The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Elk Grove)
- Drake Mendenhall (The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Granite Bay)
- Nicole Schroeder (The First Tee of Greater Sacramento, Rocklin)
- Clare Brady (The First Tee of Silicon Valley, Campbell)
- Bibilani Liu (The First Tee of Silicon Valley, Cupertino)
- Ronnie McDowell Jr. (The First Tee of Silicon Valley, San Jose)
- Ryan Ramboyong (The First Tee of Silicon Valley, San Jose)
- Tiffany Cha (The First Tee of the Tri-Valley, San Ramon)
- Ardin Lo (The First Tee of the Tri-Valley, Pleasanton)