May 21, 2023

Four Earn Hardware at Harbor Hills

LADY LAKE, Fla. –  Bento Assis sizzled on Sunday with a final round 6-under par 66 to earn his second title of the year in the Boys (11-12) division. Tobias Gordic-Ronderos earned his first title in the Boys (9-10) division with a clutch birdie putt on the first playoff hole. In the Girls (11-12) division, Victoria Feng also picked up her first victory with consistent play at Harbor Hills. Iris Lee continued her domination in the Girls (9-10) division while earning her third victory of the year with two under par rounds.

Boys (11-12)

Jeremy Castellanos began his round on Saturday with hopes of improving his third place finish at the FJT Lake City Open (9-12). The 2029 grad would put his best foot forward in the first round making five birdies en route to a 2-under par, 70. Close on his heels is Shane Frasure only one shot back at 1-under par. Frasure would have a shaky start playing his first nine holes at 3-over par. However, it would be a tale of two nines as Frasure would make four birdies to close out his 1-under par round. At the conclusion of play on day one, Bento Assis would finish two shots back of the lead after an opening round of even par, 72. Already having one win this year, Assis would be looking for his second victory. The most memorable shot of day one however, would come from Gerard Basteiro on hole #13. Basteiro would make his first hole-in-one in competition on the 130 yard par 3.

With brilliant sunshine on Sunday morning, players were determined to go shoot low scores. After opening his final round with a bogey on his first hole, Bento Assis would make five birdies and an eagle from there on in to shoot a final round 6-under par 66. With scores of 72-66 - 138, the Brazil native would pick up his second vistory of the year. Finishing the day right where he started in second place was Shane Frasure with consistent play of 71-71- 142. Rounding out the top three was the first round leader Jeremy Castellanos. With three bogies on his opening nine holes, Castellanos found himself too far back to challenge Assis o nthe back nine. 

Boys (9-10)

Playing in his first Florida Junior Tour event, Coby Jenkins announced his arrival in style. Jenkins would make three birdies in round one en route to a 2-over par 74. Close on his heels at two shots back, would be the powerhouse of Benny Ossi and Victor Monssoh. Ossi, already claiming two victories this year, would be looking for his third, while Monssoh would still be in search of his first. This would set up an exciting finish in the final round.

At the start of play in the final round, the title was up for grabs and would finish in dramatic fashion. At the turn on the final day, Jenkins would still find himself in the lead by one shot, but his competitors were closing in. However, a rollercoaster 3-over par second nine, would see the WInter Garden native fall into fourth position when the final putt dropped. Victor Monssoh played steady golf over the weekend, finishing with birdies on his final two holes and ultimately in third place. 

At the conclusion of the 36th hole, Tobias Gordic-Ronderos and Benny Ossi would see themselves in a deadlock at the top and needing a sudden death playoff to decide a winner. On the first playoff hole, both Gordic-Ronderos and Ossi would have good looks at birdie. Gordic-Ronderos, putting first from 15 feet would calmly step up and drain his putt to put the pressure on his opponent. Ossi's must make birdie putt from 12 feet would narrowly miss the cup resulting in a victory for Gordic-Ronderos.

Girls (11-12)

Alexandra Snyder came to Harbor Hills in search of a three-peat. Having picked up victories at Lake CIty and Palm Harbor, Snyder was no doubt the favorite for the title. The 2028 grad would come out of the gates  strong, playing her first nine holes at 2-under par. Snyder would make two bogies on the back nine to finish her first round at even par.  The leaderboard was tight going into the final round with Victoria Feng sitting one shot back at 1-over par and Bryn Krosse two shots back at 2-over par.

With the leaderboard being tighly packed on Sunday morning, there were stll many players that could make a run for the title. Snyder would not relinquish her lead easily as she would still hold a two-shot lead with nine holes to play over Victoria Feng and Xiyao Zhang. However, Feng's suberb play with birdies on her final two holes would give her a well deserved victory with scores of 73-73-146. Zhang would finish in second place after a 1-under par closing nine to finish one shot back of Feng. Snyder would finish in a tie for third place with Bryn Krosse at 7-over par. 

Girls (9-10)

Iris Lee would also be looking to pick up her third victory of the year after claiming titles at Ocala Golf Club and Palm Harbor earlier on in the year. Lee's opening round of 1-under par 71 would put her in a position to do just that. The Orlando native would take a six shot lead into the final round over her nearest competitior Michelle Lu.

Final round play would see much of the same stellar play from Lee. She would extend her lead to nine shots at the end of day's play after a suberb 2-under par 70, making four birdies along the way. The 2031 grad would pick up her third win this year. Michelle Lu of Orlando would finish the event in second place with rounds of 77-73 - 150. Rounding out the podium was Harper Zhai at 10-over par.


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