NORTH PALM BEACH (June 26, 2020) – Justin Ross re-affirmed his status as one of Florida’s best junior golfers Friday when he cruised to a seven-shot victory in the Nicklaus Junior Championship at Nicklaus’ longtime home, Lost Tree Club.
Ross, the reigning Florida Boys Junior Amateur champion, overcame an early double bogey to shoot 4-under 68 and finish at 10-under 133. The Boca Raton resident entered with a three-shot lead after shooting 65 Thursday at North Palm Beach Country Club.
“I made a lot of putts, and my iron play was really good,” said Ross, 17, a senior-to-be at St. Andrews. “I was hitting it 18-20 feet on almost every hole.”
Jordan Fischer, a 14-year-old from North Fort Myers, shot consecutive 69s to win the girls’ title by six shots over Gloria Nip of Port St. Lucie. Despite being four years younger than some of her competition, Fischer made just one bogey and six birdies the last two days.
“I don’t think about if you’re older, I just try to play my game and not worry about what the others are doing,” Fischer said. “I hit a lot of greens. This (win) ranks up there.”
This was the first tournament Ross has played in since the coronavirus pandemic shut down golf in March. Ross said he didn’t play for 2 ½ months and started practicing three weeks ago.
Ross gets a chance to defend his state title July 7-9 at Streamsong. It wasn’t lost on him Friday that he won a tournament named after the Golden Bear at a course where Jack Nicklaus has lived for more than a half century.
“It means a lot because he’s arguably the best player to play the game,” Ross said.
Reed Greyserman of Boca Raton shot 71 and finished second at 3-under 140. Tyler Mistretta (71-141) of North Palm Beach was third. Nip, who has a win and a runner-up finish in the National Drive Chip & Putt at Augusta National, had a 1-under 71 to finish alone in second at 144. Kayla Holden of Coral Springs matched Fischer’s 69 as the day’s low round and was third.
Greyserman won the Boys 13-15 title. In the Boys 11-12, Reid Korody (74-149) of Jupiter, Jessy Huebner (74-149) of Port St. Lucie and Cruz Pierce (78-149) of Boca Raton shared first place.
The Nicklaus Junior Championship is run by the South Florida PGA in conjunction with the Palm Beach County Golf Association.