While much of the East Coast is preparing for Hurricane Sandy, the Chicago area (home to the Cog Hill Golf Course) was wet, windy and cold. Toboggans were one of the preferred styles for the brisk morning start. The British Open weather didn’t seem to bother Brandon Baumgarten whose hometown of Granite Bay, CA, had 79 degrees for the high. Brandon, a third season FCWT player, is looking for his first FCWT junior golf tournament win. Last season, Brandon finished tied for 4th at this tournament. On Sunday, he will start the final round with a one stroke advantage over five players tied for second. Philip Johnson of Colgate, WI (2014), Eddie Wajda III of Brookfield, WI (2014), Jake Curwin of Faribault, MN (2013), Jack Junge of Winnetka, IL (2013), and Dylan Patscot of Wales, WI (2014) all opened the FCWT Junior Golf Tournament at Cog Hill with a round of 78. Curwin finished second last weekend at Purdue, so keep an eye on him. Junge, 15, is playing his first tournament of the season, but finished tied for 9th last season in this tournament. Patscot is playing in his 4th FCWT season; he finished T18 at Purdue.
Cog Hill # 4 Dubsdread is a challenging course under normal conditions. Saturday’s weather definitely bumped up the challenge as this field can attest. The good news for the Boys 16-19 division is that the Top 20 players are all within five shots of the leader. A lot can happen for Sunday’s final round which is scheduled for a 10am shotgun.
Kuenster seeks to defend Girls title
Celia Kuenster of Mendota Heights, MN (2014) is looking to defend her title at Cog Hill. She will enter the final round with a 13 stroke lead over the rest of the field. Shelby Unger of Canada (2014) and Sophia Hill of Faribault, MN (2015) will start the final round tied for 2nd. Sophia’s classmate Nicole Pelling is in 4th place. Last weekend, Sydney Brickey, who like Hill and Pelling attends the Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, won at Purdue.
Thomas Longbella looks for second title of the season in the Boys 13-15 division
Thomas Longbella of Chippewa Falls, WI (2016) is playing in his third FCWT tournament of the season. He opened with a win at Notre Dame. Last weekend, Thomas finished 6th at Purdue. This weekend he is looking to add a second FCWT title to his golf resume. His opening round of 79 has him one stroke ahead of Conner Koberg of Cedar Rapids, IA (2015). Koberg finished tied for 5th at this tournament last season. Jack Kennedy of Bettendorf, IA (2015) , who finished 7th at Notre Dame, is tied for 3rd place with Sam Foust of Edina, MN (2015). Foust tweeted on Friday that he was a bit bored with the 7 hour ride to the tournament. However, he seems to have arrived ready to play. Shane Hoben, another Shattuck-St. Mary’s student, is tied for 5th with Mickey Brick of Frankfurt (2015). Both junior golfers played the FCWT tournament at Purdue last weekend. They will start five strokes back of the leader on Sunday.
Battle for Boys 11-13 division title
Will Grevlos of Sioux Falls, SD (2018) and Jake Kuwitsky of McKinney, TX (2018) have a great competition going in the Boys 11-13 division. Grevlos, 12, who played at Purdue last weekend, and Kuwitsky, also 12, who played at Notre Dame in September meet for the first time. These young men represent the faces of the future of the FCWT. Great to see them within one stroke of each other heading into Sunday’s final round. Grevlos and Kuwitsky both had 3 birdies on Saturday. Grevlos had 9 pars to Kuwitsky’s 8. Local favorite Jack Crawshaw of Wilmette (2019) will start in 3rd place on Sunday.