Four Earn Victories Through Raindrops
OCALA, Fla. – Axel Monssoh, Zachary Netz, Leonie Tavares and Iris Lee prevailed through raindrops and wet conditions to earn the Florida Junior Tour wins at Ocala Golf Club on Sunday. The first round was suspended due to wet weather causing unplayable conditions and the tournament was shortened to 27 holes. The four champions claimed their first victories of the year in their respective divisions.
Despite wet conditions causing the players to return early Sunday to finish the first round and continue to play the final round, red numbers lit up the leaderboard. Jeremy Castellanos, Josiah Joseph, Darren Zhou and Monssoh tied at 3-under 69 to take the lead after round one. Following close behind were Noah Manly and Bento Assis with scores of 70 and 71, respectively.
A four-way tie for first made for an exciting finish in the final round. Zhou, of Bradenton, started the final round strong with a birdie on the first hole. Not letting the lead out of sight the 2021 Futures champion, Monssoh, fired birdies on the second and fifth holes to take the solo lead. Zhou followed a bogey on the second hole with birdies on the fourth and eighth holes to finish with a 2-under 34 and 5-under 103 total.
Monssoh, of Miami, finished with a birdie on the eighth hole to post a round two 3-under 33 and secure the win by one stroke over Zhou. Bento Assis moved up the leaderboard to finish in third with a 2-under 34 in the final round and 3-under 105 total. Joseph and Manly tied for fourth, four strokes from the lead. Monssoh added a second FJT victory to his resume with a 6-under 102 victory.
Netz, of Rockledge, captured the first round lead by five strokes after carding an even-par score of 72. The nine-hole final round saw Tobias Gordic-Ronderos climb up the leaderboard after finishing five-strokes back, tied for second, in the first round. Rio Buakhum, of Lake Mary, tied Gordic-Ronderos after round one with a 5-over 77.
The Bradenton native, Gordic-Ronderos, carded a final-round 37 to move only one-stroke behind Netz and claim second place for the tournament at 6-over 114. Baukhum tied JT Stricklin, of New Smyrna Beach, for third at 10 over. Despite the pressure from Gordic-Ronderos, Netz held onto first place finishing with a 5-over 113 total and capturing his first FJT win.
Tavares captured a win after finishing with a red number at the top. An even-par first round gave Tavares, of Davenport, the lead by three-strokes over Lilliana Ford. Vying to win her second FJT, Ford carded three birdies in round two to finish with a 1-under 35. Tavares tied Ford’s second round score of 35 and secured a first place victory at 1-under 107. Three-strokes separated Tavares at the top for her second FJT win at Ocala Golf Club.
The first round completed with one stroke separating Lee, of Orlando, and Alyna Yensabai, of Lake Worth, at the top. Lee finished in first at 2-over 74 and Yensabai in second at 3-over 75. In only her second FJT played, Lee did not waiver from the lead in round two. Carding a birdie on the first and fourth holes, Lee finished with an even-par second round and first place win. Yensabai posted a 38 in round two to claim second place at 5-over 113. This would mark Lee’s first FJT win by three-strokes at 2-over 110.