Local youth hit the links at Hurricane Junior golf tournament
Brittney Calhoun of Kissimmee blasts the ball out of the bunker on the 18th hole at Baytree during the recent Hurricane Junior golf tournament. Photo by Darrell Woehler
Normally when you hear the word hurricane, you think, “Oh, no,” but in this case, it was the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour that hit Baytree National Golf Links in Melbourne Feb. 27 and 28.
Brilliant sunlit skies greeted the 36 golfers, mostly from the Midwest and Florida, but at least one, Tom Stafford, journeyed from Beaconsfield, Quebec, Canada to participate in this premier event.
Broken down by male and female in various age groupings, most of these golfers had the training, experience and mental fortitude to handle a course the caliber of Baytree National.
Hurricane Junior Golf Tour is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., and Reese Moseley, director of rules and competitions, was on hand to provide overall supervision with help from starter Dennis Sherlock and assistant Aaron Pinkerton.
Moseley’s team helps to provide guidance before and after each player’s round of golf, but not during the actual competition. This is where the mental toughness of each individual player comes into play. But in this type of tournament, players themselves mentor each other.
On the practice green, Christopher Lee, known as Poppy, was seen giving putting advice to Christiana Marcellus as well as verbal encouragement. Both are from Loxahatchee. At this point in their budding careers, the Golden Rule — helping each other as you would have others help you — is a huge motivating factor as they grow physically as well as mentally.
Some of the various age group winners included Evan Bone from Louisville, Ky., with a two-day total of 161 in the Boys 14 to 15 category. In the Boys 16 to 18 age group, Callum Brown, of Stuart, shot a 151 and took home the first place trophy.
Making it a family affair, Orlando twins Caroline Hwang took first with a 150 and Victoria Hwang came in second with a 153 in the Girls 14 to 18 age group.
Golfers are always striving to make the ball disappear into the cup, but Brittney Calhoun of Kissimee, took magic to a whole new level while blasting from a greenside bunker nestled between the green and a lake on the 18th hole. With a mighty swing, the golf ball began floating out of the bunker just ahead of a wall of sand that completely blocked any view of Brittney, who tried to locate her ball as it bounced gracefully onto the green.
Just like the professionals they have seen on television, it’s not over till the scorecard for the round is verified by their partner and then signed, to make it official.