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Holes in Ones, Celebrity Sightings, and More at the 2019 Nicklaus Junior Championship
Author: Ellen Breighner
Jack and Barbra Nicklaus created the Nicklaus Junior Championship 35 years ago in an effort to highlight great junior golfers in South Florida. Prior to the tournament Jack Nicklaus said “Barbara and I love junior golf, and for decades we have tried to support numerous programs focused on introducing the game to young girls and boys, and nurturing their love of the game and of competition. We are honored that this event bears our name, and we are delighted that two clubs very special to us—The Bear’s Club and Lost Tree—are hosting the Nicklaus Junior this year. I think the golfers will enjoy both golf courses. They should have fun, and I hope they all play great!”
Past Champions include: PGA Champion, Brooks Kopeka and 2 time PGA Tour winner, Daniel Berger. Who knows where these Juniors will end up in the future!
The event began on Thursday with the 168 players in field. They were split amongst Lost Tree Club and The Bear’s Club, two of south Florida finest golf courses. Griffin Steutel of Miami lead the Overall Boys 13-18 division after round one firing a -4, 68 at The Bear’s Club. Maisie Filler of Palm Beach Gardens was the round one leader in the Overall Girls 13-18 division after going -5 at The Bears Club. Day two brought some unwanted weather to The Bear’s Club resulting in two weather delays, however it did not affect the leaders who played their second rounds at the Lost Tree Club.
Both were victorious with Steutel shooting a 76 during the second and final round. Finishing just two shots behind Steutel was Cameron Owens of Wellington (74, 72).
Filler fired a final round score +2, 74 at Lost Tree Club to claim victory by 10 shots, over Agatha Alesson of Weston (75, 76).
While receiving their awards, the boys divisional champions were congratulated by PGA Tour Professional Daniel Berger, who just happened to be getting in some practice at The Bear’s Club. It made for a pretty neat end to a phenomenal event for the Champions!
In the Boys 11-12 age division Matthew Golovanov of Boca Raton finished the event -1 (71, 72) to capture the trophy. Layla Pedrique of Palm Beach Gardens won the girls 11-12 division shooting a 80, 77 at The Bear’s Club and Lost Tree respectively. These wins were firsts for the two of them who both aced holes during the event! Matthew had his first hole-in-one ever on number 12 at The Bear’s Club and Layla had hers at Lost Tree on hole number 8.
The 2019 Nicklaus Junior Championship also served as the debut of the SFPGA College Division, created to provide collegiate players and South Florida PGA Junior Tour alum with an opportunity to continue to play the game competitively.
This division feature 4 collegiate male golfers and nine women. Zac Bunder of Port St. Lucie won the Men’s division with scores of 74, 79. Scores of 74, 77 were just enough for Junior Tour Alum, Taylor Morgan of Coconut Creek to take home the Women’s division title.
This event was held in conjunction with the Palm Beach County Golf Association.
To view complete results, click here.