It couldn’t have been very pleasant conditions, but that didn’t stop the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour from teeing off its 2017 campaign Saturday at The Vineyards in Egg Harbor City, N.J.
But it didn’t seem to bother the Junior Tour’s 2016 Player of the Year in the boys 13-to-15 age group, Nikita Romanov of Wilmington, Del. Romanov has moved up to the 16-to-18 division and all he did Saturday was make five birdies and an eagle on the par-4 17th hole to fire a 3-under-par 69 over the 6,308-yard, par-72 Vineyards layout to get his year off to a spectacular start.
Many of the Junior Tour players will give their cold-weather golf gear another workout when they’re back at the Jersey Shore, which didn’t get the snow the rest of the region did earlier this week, Sunday to complete a Junior Golf Series weekend at Sea Island Golf Club in neighboring Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
Matthew Law of Yardley earned runnerup honors in the 16-to-18 division with a 4-over 76, a pretty good score considering the conditions, but seven shots behind Romanov. Maxwell Rubin of Marlton, N.J. was another shot back in third with a 77.
Michael Festa of Ambler and Simon Asadoorian of Richboro finished tied for fourth, each carding a 78. Hung Dao of Elkins Park and Caleb Rossi of Cedar Rock, N.J. shared sixth place with 79s. Two more players – Andrew Koh of Dresher and Alex Ryden of Moorestown, N.J. – finished tied for eighth at 82.
Rounding out the top 10 were three players tied for 10th at 84. They were William Tone of Moorestown, N.J., Troy Kelleher of Clarks Summit and Harrison Graham of Wenonah, N.J.
Justin Dougherty of Wyndmoor had three birdies to shoot a 6-over 78 and take top honors in the 13-to-15 division. Elijah Ruppert of Fleetwood and William Brown of Clarks Summit finished in a tie for second, each carding an 82.
Jacob Sokalsky of Garnet Valley took fourth with an 87 with Jack Cooley of Chadds Ford a shot behind in fifth with an 88. Thomas Harper of Downingtown was sixth with a 93, Clay Breidenstine of Hummelstown took seventh with a 95, Sean Maguire of Wayne placed eighth with a 103, Ryan Kennedy of Wayne was ninth with a 107 and Quinn Bookbinder of Wayne was 10th with a 116.
Shae Cabaddu of Downingtown captured the title in the girls 16-to-18 age group with a 95. Fellow Downingtown resident Sarah Fernandes was the runnerup with a 101.
Elizabeth Beek of Blue Bell, the reigning 13-to-15 Player of the Year, picked up right where she left off last year as she made nine pars in a round of 84 to take the 13-to-15 division. Kayla Gutierrez of Little Egg Harbor was the runnerup with a 91.
Among the nine-holers, Adrian Jordan of Lawrenceville, N.J. took top honors with a 1-over 37 that included a birdie on the par-4 sixth hole. Nicholas Gross of Downingtown was the runnerup with a 41 while Matthew Normand of Lamberton, N.J. was another shot back of Gross in third with a 42.
Angelina Tolentino of Mount Laurel, N.J. finished fourth with a 47 and Hunter Probst of Bear Creek and Luca Gherardi of Hammonton, N.J. shared fifth place, each carding a 48.
Daniel Shin of Horsham was seventh with a 49, Nathan Guenther of Merchantville, N.J. took eighth with a 52, Joseph Fargnoli of Laurel Springs, N.J. was ninth with a 53 and Sydney Yermish of Wynnewood rounded out the top 10, posting a 54 to finish 10th.