What a great summer of junior golf we had this year at the KCGA. So many great kids and some great talent showed up week in and week out for the past three months and we could not be more grateful for all the kids who choose to play on the KC Junior Tour.
Finishing off a great season, 100 kids played in the KCJT Championship at Lake Quivira CC August 2nd. All five division squared for a chance to win the KCJT Champion and Runner-up trophy, as well as our 2018 Player of the Year award. All summer long throughout the junior season, points are accumulated for each player based on how many events they play and how well they place in each event. The player with the most points in each division wins the big honor.
The 16+ Boys division went off first at 7:30 AM and had almost 40 players trying to win one of the three awards. Coming in to the championship, the Player of the Year looked to be between Michael Garcia and Griffin Brassell. As we know in golf, the unexpected can always happen. Daniel Duffin sat in third in Player of the Year rankings as he teed off in the second to last pairing in the 16+ Boys division. He would go on to shoot a 73 (+2), which would win him KCJT Runner-Up and secure him enough points in the POY race to jump in front of both Garcia and Brassell in a surprise Player of the Year win.
After the round, Duffin credited staying in the fairway and actually leaving his driver at home as to what helped him win runner-up and POY. It was a great scene after the round as everyone looked on nervously to see how things would shake out.
Zach Molzer, would shoot a great round of even par 71 to claim the KCJT Champion trophy. Molzer had four bogeys and four birdies on his round to beat out the field by two and get to hoist his KCJT Champion trophy at Lake Quivira.
Jack Dwyer and Michael Bessenbacher tied for third place with a round of 75 (+4). Michael Garcia won solo fifth with a 78 and Brooks Baldwin and Griffin Brassell tied for sixth with rounds of 79.
Next was the Girls 16+ division, which had 20 girls battling it out. Player of the Year had narrowed itself down to Maggie King and Vera Bohning, both great talents that had performed consistently well throughout almost all our KCJT events this summer. It would be Vera Bohning that would come out on top after edging out Maggie King by five strokes with an 83. Bohning face was filled with excitement as she realized her tied for third place finish in the championship would be enough to win her POY.
She says that after winning her first KCJT event at St. Andrew’s GC earlier in the summer is when she realized she had a real shot to take him POY. Her hard work certainly paid off and it was great to see such a happy, grateful reaction from Bohning.
Our 16+ Girls KCJT Champion was Abby Howard after turning in a round of 79. Coming off a disappointing performance in the Prairie Invitational, Howard was looking to bounce back and in a big way. Howard’s three birdies would help propel her to the top of the leaderboard, edging out Sarah Lawson by one stroke. Lawson secured her KCJT Runner-Up with a great round of 80 and four birdies on her round.
Vera Bohning, Martha Saferstein and Brianne Arello tied for third place with an 83. Leah McFee won solo sixth place with an 85. Jaclyn Koziol would take home seventh place with an 87.
Another tight race for both Player of the Year and KCJT Champion was in the Boys 13-15 division. Player of the Year had come down to Patrick Neal and Benjamin Bessette and the two squared off in the final pairing of their division to determine the winner. It would be Benjamin Bessette to win not only Player of the Year honors, but also KCJT Champion with a great round of 78. Bessette and Neal have battled it out all summer and it was an honor to watch both compete.
Bessette would narrowly beat out both Christian Rischer and Jack Cobb, who would tie for KCJT Runner-Up with rounds of 79. Drake Krumme took home fourth place with an 80. In a three way tie for fith, Dominic Matteoni, Jeret Handley and Nate Saporito would all shoot rounds of 83.
In a division where Player of the Year was a little more up for grabs, the Girls 13-15 division brought a lot of excitement to the leaderboard. Lia Johnson would hold up the KCJT Champion trophy after shooting 81 on her round. Her two birdies on the day helped claim medalist honors over Elizabeth Grant, our KCJT Runner-Up with an 82.
Our 13-15 Player of the Year was between Tess Roman and the Gentry sisters: Madeline and Savannah. Roman was unable to attend the KCJT Championship which gave both Gentry sisters an opportunity to take home the award. Savannah Gentry’s face light up like a christmas tree after realizing she won our 2018 Player of the Year. Savannah would edge out Madeline by one stroke in the stroke play Championship to secure enough points to also win Player of the Year.
Savannah, in her favorite Stanford golf shirt, held her Player of the Year trophy with pride as her sister congratulated her. Her excitement as well as Johnson and Grant is why we love doing what we do here at the KCGA.
Our last division of the day was our Prep division. In our Prep division, players are aged between 10-12 and only compete in a nine-hole round format. Over the summer we have had a great turnout of around eight or nine boys compete against each other. Drew Krystyn would take home the KCJT Champion trophy after shooting an impressive nine-hole round of 40 on the difficult Lake Quivira front nine. Wylie Curtis would take home KCJT Runner-Up after carding a nine-hole score of 44.
Our 2018 Prep Player of the Year is Jacob Fratzel. Fratzel was unable to attend the KCJT Championship due to conflicting obligations, but after winning four of the seven KCJT events he played in Fratzel secured Player of the Year without playing. Fratzel was a consistent force to be reckoned with in the Prep division and has a great future ahead of him in golf.
It was a great day out at Lake Quivira CC as we were able to celebrate all of our juniors for a great season. Thank you to everyone who choose the KCJT to be a part of this summer. Junior golf is so important to both the KCGA and the game of golf and we hope the junior program continues to grow next year.
Also a big thank you to our awesome volunteers who without we couldn’t do what we do. For all the rules officiating and course set-up, thank you for all your time and effort.
For pictures of our champions and interviews of the Boys 16+ and Girls 16+ POY, see our Facebook and Twitter page.
For full tournament results, see here.
For final Player of the Year standings, see here.