After much delay the weather finally cooperated at the FCWT Junior Golf Sandpiper Invitational 2017 presented by FootJoy. One of the biggest storms in Southern California in at least the last 20 years wreaked havoc, not only for the FCWT, but for the PGA Tour event a couple of hours south.
After 6-8 inches of rain on Friday, the rain lingered on Saturday morning rendering the golf course not “tournament ready.” Late in the morning on Saturday the weather began to clear and many of the junior golfers in this field headed out for a practice round, which they were unable to complete on Friday.
Saturday at the FCWT Junior Golf Sandpiper Invitational 2017
While the course was extremely wet, players made the best of it in hopes that conditions would continue to improve. Sunny skies and an afternoon wind on Saturday helped to dry out the golf course and tee times for a one round shootout on Sunday were posted late Sunday afternoon.
Tournament Play gets underway on Sunday at the FCWT Junior Golf Sandpiper Invitational 2017
Sunday morning was a little chilly, but dry. Junior golfers were excited to be heading out to play the Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta, CA, just north of Santa Barbara. At 8:00 am play began with a double tee start. Sunny skies allowed the temperatures to warm and players began shedding their layers.
Many families were able to walk the course and enjoy the round. The winds were lighter on Sunday than they were on Saturday afternoon. The breeziest part of the course which runs adjacent to the Pacific Ocean had winds between 9 and 20 mph most of the day.
The Girls teed off at 8:00 am on #10. Megan Chou of Los Altos, CA (2020) finished 1st with a round of 86. In November, Megan won at Coyote Creek. She also finished in 2nd place at Teal Bend, Bayonet and Silverado.
Boys 12-14 Division at FCWT Junior Golf Sandpiper Invitational 2017
The Boys 12-14 division began teeing off number 10 at 8:10. Fourteen-year-old Justin Hopkins of Danville, CA (2021) fired a round of two-under-par 71. Hopkins, who a couple of weeks ago at Half Moon Bay, finished five strokes ahead of second place. He led this division in birdies with 4 and co-led in pars with 12.
Fourteen-year-old Ben Soicher of Mill Valley, CA (2021) finished in 2nd place. Soicher won last month at Bayonet. He also finished in 2nd place at Half Moon Bay and Silverado.
Three junior golfers finished tied for third. Jacob Tarkany of Scottsdale, AZ (2021), who won at La Costa, posted a 77 that included a birdie on number 7. Hunter Thomson of Calgary, AB, Canada (2021) made a birdie on #13 for his round of 77. Thirteen-year-old Wyatt McGovern of Hillsborough, CA (2021) earned his fourth Top 3 finish on Sunday.
Jackson Lake Wins Boys 15-19 in a Playoff
The junior golfers at the FCWT Junior Golf Sandpiper Invitational 2017 overcame some significant obstacles just to participate in the event. Several players were not able to reach the golf course because of cancelled flights, road closures, and more. Those that arrived safely waited patiently, hoping the storm would let up and allow competitors to play. Thankfully on Sunday it did. The Boys 15-19 division, like the other junior golfers at this event, headed out to the course on Sunday morning.
Early in the day, the weather was very cooperative. By the end of the round a new storm system was blowing in from the Pacific.
Nine junior golfers posted rounds of even par of better on Sunday. George McNeely of Carmel, CA (2019) posted an even par round highlighted by 4 birdies. Charles Osborne of Reno, NV (2018) carded 3 birdies on his way to an even par round. Senior Grant Johnson made an eagle on the par 4 7th hole to card a 73 even par.
Benjamin Frazzini of Medina, MN (2017) carded 4 birdies en route to a one-under-par 72.
Alex Yost, a junior from Hartland, WI, who spent the weekend with family in the area, carded 4 birdies on Sunday. Ryan Grauman of Alamo, CA (2018) carded 4 birdies and an eagle on the par 5 15th hole to finish at one under par. Berk Harvey, a senior from San Jose, CA, carded 5 birdies to finish at 72. These four junior golfers finished tied for 3rd place.
Junior Brendan Hopkins of Danville, CA, was the second junior golfer in the clubhouse at 2-under-par 71. The first was his younger brother Justin who won the Boys 12-14 division with a 2-under-par-71. Brendan, who teed off at 8:50 am held the lead in the Boys 15-19 division for about an hour. Then Jackson Lake, who teed off at 9:40 am submitted his near perfect scorecard. Lake, a sophomore from Clovis, CA, carded 3 birdies and one bogey for his round. Hopkins and Lake headed for a playoff. Trey Davis led this division in birdies with 6. Ryan Grauman, Grant Johnson and Reece Sanders each carded an eagle. Grant Johnson led in pars with 15.
FCWT Junior Golf Sandpiper Invitational 2017: The Playoff
The two junior golfers played the 10th hole, this time in a light rain. Both made par on the 10th hole during their round. Jackson again made a 4, but Hopkins missed his putt and Lake earned the title. Well played by both young men!