What a day to play one of the best, and toughest golf courses in Florida. Glorious temperatures, clear blue skies and not even a cloud in sight! If that seems like a strange way to start a results round-up for a golf tournament then please let me explain.
Red Tail GC in Sorrento has become a regular venue on our rota during 2020. Always challenging and always tough to post a low score however our biggest issues up until today were never about scoring, they were about finishing 18 holes of competition golf without thunderous rain storms, delays in play and the need to shelter for long periods on our previous visits. On one occasion we even had to call the competition after only 9 holes it was so bad!
No such issues this time as the weather gods (who golf) gave us the most perfect of days to take on a golf course that’s just getting better and better.
First, as always, we want to give our usual Highlander Tour welcome to new players making their debut with us today. Welcome to Nathan Fennewald (North Marion HS) and the Castellanos brothers Joshua and Jeremy(Windermere, FL.). We hope you enjoyed the experience and we look forward to seeing you back with us again soon.
As always we begin our results round-up with our Claret Jug Flight.
The Claret Jug Flight:
On this occasion only 3 of our Claret Jug players were available to contest this one. Regardless of how many players our comments to all of our junior competitors are the same. Whatever you think you are NOT playing head to head against competitors out there, you are competing against the golf course and “old man par” as we like to call him!
Regardless of how many play in it each week our Claret Jug flight is jam packed full of talented young players all capable of playing great golf. That means to win the flight with the lowest score there is a very high demand to shoot a low score as close to par or below if possible.
Our 1st and 2nd at Red Tail GC were Nick Zarillo (Lake Mary,FL) 39-35-74 and Jonathan Ring(Rhineland Cutlery) 40-39-79. On so many occasions this year these players have occupied the top spot on our leaderboards. They both have tremendous ability and a passion for giving everything they have each time they step onto the tee. When you couple this with their exceptionally high standards of etiquette and fair play you will understand why we feel fortunate to have them play on our tour. Well done to you both players for your efforts and congratulations to Nick Zarillo for doing what you do best…keeping it consistent right to the end, you are without doubt the finest we know when it comes to closing a strong round of competition golf!
The Old Tom Morris Flight:
This flight medal was all about one individual player at Red Tail GC. who carried on from his debut winning medal performance last week to shoot an identical score once again of 38-42-80 Drew Miller (Seminole) took the Old Tom flight medal once again with a strong display on a very tough golf course.
It’s hard to say if this young man has any serious flaws in his game as we don’t get to see every ball struck but what we do know is he displays a great temperament and strong confidence in his ability and he has a short game to be very proud of… the back 9 of Red Tail GC is considerably tougher and not every putt dropped or we would surely have seen Drew post a few less than he did. Regardless though Drew deservedly took another HJT winners medal to make it played 2, won 2!
Congratulations Drew on another fine performance. We suspect the best is yet to come and we can’t wait to see your development in our competitions continue!
The Young Tommy Morris Flight:
This flight is reserved for our 13-15 year old junior players and every one of them are at differing stages of their development. Many of these young golfers are playing to their own scoring and performance targets and we love to see them setting realistic goals in this way. We have so many great kids playing in this flight and age group and we are enjoying immensely the fact that we can see their personal confidence is improving each time they compete.
In scoring terms one young player in particular stood out from beginning to end in this one. If there is a young man who displays better qualities of behavior, etiquette and temperament we have yet to meet him! Jason Kaiser Jr.(Circle Christian School) loves to play and it shows in his game. He’s respectful, relaxed and always talkative with whoever we pair him up with. Jason reminded us once again on Saturday just how strong his game is and what a fine young talent he is developing into.
On Saturday his golf coach came to watch him play and what a good decision that turned out to be! Jason showed us some fine golf and posted a winning 38-41-79 to deservedly take the flight medal. Congratulations Jason on this medal win and thank you for always displaying the finest of qualities, you are a credit to our game and we are delighted to be a part of your golf journey.
The Bobby Jones Flight:
The most fun you can have during one of our tournaments is often watching these young players. On Saturday our Bobby Jones flight was populated by 10-12 year old’s each playing from the appropriate tees for their age group.
These are our youngest 18 hole competitors and its fun because you get a glimpse of what the future of our game might look like. Many of these young players, we are delighted to say, started playing from a very young age and that’s something we feel is of great importance in the long road ahead they have playing our great game.
We never like to spend too much time talking and over-analysing scores in this flight as we don’t want any of these young players to think at this stage that chasing low scores is their only goal in our sport. It is of more vital importance at their age that they learn to really enjoy playing first as they are the kids who will go through more natural changes to their swing, their stature and their attitude to playing over the next few years than any of our other junior players.
Now, none of that is intended to take away from the fact that some of these juniors are already displaying great ability which belies their young years. Our Bobby Jones flight was a great example of this at Red Tail as two of our young golfers entertained us with some consistent golf and great strength of character.
Luke Gossett (Sorrento,Fl) lives nearby and he played Red Tail GC like it was his home course! A best in field front 9 of even par 36 was followed on the tougher back nine with an equally impressive 38 to card a 36-38-74 total. Luke didn’t have it all his own way either as our debut youngster Jeremy Castellanos also battled strongly throughout the day eventually carding a 38-39-77 to finish only 3 strokes back.
Great golf and great sportsmanship towards each other is often displayed for all to see by these players regardless of their own scores and it was there to see again at this medal presentation. Thank you to all of the players in this flight for giving your best and not giving up at any stage…golf is hard to master regardless of age but keep working hard, enjoy the challenge of competing and as your confidence grows everything else will develop at its own pace.
Congratulations to Luke Gossett from everyone at Highlander Junior Tour… it was an impressive win on a tough golf course. You did great!
And so that wraps up our 37th Highlander event this year! It was another great day of junior golf.
We are back next week in The Villages where we have already sold out our tee times at Lopez Legacy. We are the first Independent Junior Tour to secure space to play in The Villages and we hope to make it a regular venue on our 2021 rota.
On December 19th and 20th we finish off our season with a very special 2-day 36 hole competition where the lowest scorer will receive our exclusive Claret Jug Trophy and the title of our Highlander Tour Champion Golfer of the Year 2020. We expect this one to be popular and we will be advising HJT member players about that one by email over the next few days .
Last word from us is to say Thank You everyone for your support of our events over the last year. We love what we do and we now consider many of our golfers and families as friends. We want to make 2021 even bigger and better for everyone who comes to play with us and we cannot do it without your support. We appreciate it a great deal.