GGGA WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE RYAN REN, ELI LAI AND SANTIAGO ALVAREZ DEL CASTILLO
WINNERS AT THE PREMIER JUNIOR TOUR (PJT) GOLF TOURNAMENT AT WEST ORANGE COUNTRY CLUB
Winter Garden, FL – It was a tale of two completely different days as players competed March 19-20, 2016 in the PJT West Orange Junior Open. A steady rain fell for much of Saturday’s golf tournament round, making conditions very wet and extremely difficult on the players. However, on Sunday, the skies cleared up in Central Florida. Temperatures neared 80 degrees as the sunshine came out and the winds picked up. The classic tree-lined course at West Orange Country Club proved to be an excellent test for the players, with driving accuracy being of utmost importance in order to score well. Overall, it was a challenging weekend of golf, both due to the weather conditions and the layout of this Central Florida golf course.
As for the Gary Gilchrist Academy Students… in the Boy’s 13-15 Division, it was a Win, Place and Show outcome for three of the GGGA athletes, which came down to the narrowest of margins. Ryan Ren (2019) of Shenzen, China and Eli Lai (2020) of Shenzen, China both finished just one stroke apart at the end of 36 holes. Ren opened with an 89, while Lai opened with 92. On Sunday, Lai almost completed the comeback after posting an 83, however, Ren shot an 85 to stay one stroke ahead of Lai and claim the victory.
After his win, when his coach, Dave Shenosky asked Ren how the weekend went, Ren replied, “I really enjoyed participating in the PJT event at West Orange. It’s a great golf course but you need to play smart out there. This weekend was fantastic on the golf course. I tried my best to hit good shots, but I made some mistakes. Even though I made mistakes, I learned from each one. Trying my best is what allowed me to win as well as practicing with quality in pre-competition week.” This is his first victory of the season, and the 1200 points earned moves him to T5 on the Boy’s 13-15 Points List.
Runner up in the Boy’s 13 -15 Division went to Lai, who finished just one back despite a strong comeback effort on Sunday. Lai earned 1000 points for his second place finish. Eli spoke with his coach after the tournament and said, “it was a great learning experience and I was pleased with the improvement I made from the first to second day by hitting one shot at a time and not worried about the end results.”
Third place went to Santiago Alvarez del Castillo (2020) of Huixquilucon, Mexico. Alvarez del Castillo recorded rounds of 100/89/Final 189. He earned 800 points for his finish.