First Tee Exemption Player Wins JAGA Championship
Jake Nelson wins spot in the November Tour Championship
One putt separated first and second place at the Junior Amateur Golf Association Jacksonville City Junior Championship for the boys 15-18 division held at Deerwood Country Club June 17-18, according to a press release following the tournament.
First Tee member Jake Nelson won the boys 15-18 division, gaining him a place in the Tour Championship in November. Nelson earned his spot as the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour allowed three exemptions for First Tee players.
Nelson had a one-shot lead over Chase Berlin through 14 holes on the second day, but was level with Berlin after a par at the 16th by Nelson was beaten by a birdie.
More drama ensued as the 17th hole saw Nelson go up yet again after Berlin made his par putt and Nelson birdied.
All the action led to the 18th where Berlin made things very interesting by sinking his lengthy birdie putt. Berlin would end on an even par with a total score of 144.
However, after a brilliant second shot from Nelson that put him only three feet from the hole, a victory was nearly certain. Nelson tapped in his birdie to secure the win and a spot in not only the Tour Championship, but a Florida Junior Tour event as well.
Kathleen Duperval won the girls 15-18 division; she shot 3-over-par for the tournament, winning by four strokes.
Duperval went into the second day down by two strokes but battled back against Nagisa Miura of Bradenton, Fla. Miura shot a 78 on the second day as her seven birdie total of the tournament was not enough to help her overall score of 7-over-par.
Ponte Vedra native George Eubank Jr. won the boys 11-14 division with an even par score of 144.
An impressive first day gave Eubank Jr. a score of 68. However, the second day was a hard finish for the young golfer with a 76.
Cody Carroll, another local golfer, was tied with Eubank Jr. at 68 after the first day. He struggled the second day with an 81, putting him 9-over-par for the day.
The HJGT continues with tournaments throughout the year all over the Southeast with Jacksonville hosting the First Coast Junior Open July 22-23 at Jacksonville Golf & Country Club.