Walker Valley’s Bishop second at HJGT event
by Special to the Banner
Mar 19, 2013 | 1013 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WALKER VALLEY junior Katie Bishop earned second place honors at a Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event in Kodak over the weekend.
WALKER VALLEY junior Katie Bishop earned second place honors at a Hurricane Junior Golf Tour event in Kodak over the weekend.
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KODAK — The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour made its first ever visit to the state of Tennessee over the weekend, one of the tour’s newest host states, and Walker Valley junior Katie Bishop earned the runner-up trophy in the Girls’ 15-18 division.

The Lady Mustang standout fired a two-day 173 total on the River Islands Golf Club on the Kodak course, giving her second place by a stroke over Allie Woodward, out of Unicoi County. Clarksville’s Samantha Gotcher won the division with a 167 tally.

The event was the second of the year for Bishop on the HJGT as she had a seventh place finish at the Hilton Head National Junior Classic in January. She had fired an 85-84 — 169 at the Hilton Head National Golf Club course on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

The girl’s 15-18 age division exhibited a great situation of overcoming adversity. It is not uncommon for individuals to falter under the pressure of being in the lead pairing on the final day, but on this particular weekend each of the three girls in the lead group on Sunday went home with a trophy.

A recent commit to Middle Tennessee State University, Gotcher prevailed on the final day, dominating the par 5s with a 5.40 average. She shot a division-leading 15 pars playing smart and safe golf throughout the tournament.

Bishop placed second in the event, shooting rounds of 88 and 85. With a 3.70 average on par 3s and a 4.62 average on par 4s, Bishop played consistent golf. Woodward struggled on the back 9 on day two after nearly matching her day one score on the front.

Based out of Jacksonville, Fla., the HJGT was founded in Florida. Operating primarily out of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, this season the tour sought to expand services to junior golfers in North Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio.

As the No. 1 ranked course in East Tennessee, River Islands has recently converted its greens from bent grass to Bermuda which posed a difficulty for the juniors. The weather fluctuated between the 60s and 70s throughout the weekend. The tournament was ranked by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard and scouts from the National Scouting Report were present for increased exposure.

The winner in each division received an automatic invitation to the 2013 Tour Championship. Across each age division points were distributed to the top 10 finishers and these points will amass toward year-end honors which include state teams, ALL HJGT teams, and the Hurricane Cup.

The boy’s 15-18 age division concluded in a tie for first between Jordan Gumberg of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Zach Haynes of Smyrna. The tie led to a two-hole playoff, where Gumberg managed to subdue his opponent on the green with a nice putt to seal the victory.

The most exciting spectator division of the weekend was the boys’ 11-14 age division. Luke Scealf of Knoxville shot a 160 to oust his competition by two strokes. After shooting a 79 Saturday Scealf was on pace to shoot a 77 but double bogeyed holes 17 and 18.

Scealf’s scorecard unveiled an eagle, four birdies and a handful of pars. Second place was sealed by Dougan Annan of Avondale Estates, Ga. Annan struggled to get comfortable with the greens out the gate and had a tough time posting desirable scores. He bounced back day two to solidify second with an impressive round of 79. In third place was Micah Knisley of Jefferson City. Knisley played consistent par golf, soaring way past his competition with 22 total pars.