68 players were ready to go on an unusually cool June morning at Pipestone Golf Club. A spot at the SOPGA Jr. Tour Championship was on the line as players geared up for a grueling two days of golf.

Day one of the Pipestone Jr. Classic yielded great scores in the boys 16-19 division. Leading the way was Quentin Stall. Stall came out of the gates hot with a birdie on his opening hole. He continued his play over the next 17 holes and opened with an impressive one-over-par 73. Andy Steed is yet to find a leaderboard that he can’t climb. A steady round was capped with a birdie on the par 3 17th hole to get him in the clubhouse at three-over-par, good for second place. Colin Cleary ended his round with an exclamation mark, birdieing his final hole to get him in the last pairing heading into the final round. Zach Hartley, Grant Tabar, Braden Powers, and Braylon Haney were all lurking within five shots of the lead, knowing that anything could happen on the final round. 

The girls 16-19 division was sure to bring around some fireworks for the week. Abby Haywood started her #MarchToMuirfield off on a strong note. Haywood fired an opening round four-over-par 76 thanks to two birdies on her front nine. Behind Haywood was a packed leaderboard. Saylor Wharff, Alana Miller, Kyrstin Schilens, and Emily Pettigrew were all within striking distance of Haywood heading into the final round. 

The boys 13-15 were bunched up at the top after Monday’s opening round. Eight players were within ten shots of the lead following play in the first round. Those eight players were chasing down the leader Rohan Reddy. Reddy used a strong back nine to grab the lead after a seven-over-par 79. Owen White was lying in wait heading into the final round as a result of an eight-over-par 80. Elijah Rand, making his first start ever with the SOPGA Jr. Tour, was tied with Michael Cartone as play concluded on the first round. 

Plenty of familiar faces were greeted by some new ones atop the girls 13-15 leaderboard. Leading the way following the first round was Nikitha Suresh. Suresh has had an incredible season to date and shows no signs of slowing down after an opening round twelve-over-par 84. Ava Snow, playing in her first ever Player’s Series event, came out of the gates firing. Snow finished the day with a fifteen-over-par 87, good for second place as play closed. Sitting in third place after the first round was Kinsley Brown. Brown battled back after a challenging opening nine to salvage third place heading into the final round. 

The final round of the Pipestone Jr. Classic brought about the threat of weather, and plenty of birdies. The boys 16-19 division was a battle until the bitter end. By the time the last group had made the turn, four players were tied for the lead. Grant Tabar posted the round of the tournament during the final round. Three birdies on his opening vaulted Tabar into a tie for first thanks to a final round two-under-par 70. Finding himself in yet another tie for the lead was Andy Steed. Coming into this event Steed had won three consecutive starts on the SOPGA Jr. Tour. In true Andy Steed fashion, he edged out Tabar by one stroke on the scorecard playoff to move his win streak to four tournaments! Rounding out the top three was Quentin Stall. Stall’s solid play all week earned him the bronze medal. 

Things heated up in the girls 16-19 division during Tuesday’s final round. With a spot at Muirfield Village squarely in the players sights, it would be a battle until the very end. Saylor Wharff made the turn knowing she needed a strong finish to claim the top spot. Keeping her focus, she would go on to play her back nine in even-par 36 to finish the day at four-over-par 76. This marks Wharff’s first win on the SOPGA Jr. Tour, cementing her spot in the field for the SOPGA Jr. Tour Championship. Abby Haywood finished the event alone in second place thanks to a final round fifteen-over-par 87. Rounding out the top three was Alana Miller. Miller played consistently all week and was able to lock up her second consecutive top-three finish. 

The skies may have been full of clouds for the final round of the Pipestone Jr. Classic, but that would not stop Owen White from shining. White came into the round trailing by one stroke. Knowing he needed a strong showing to apply some pressure, he birdied his second hole and never looked back. White posted a five-over-par 77 to claim the gold for the boys 13-15 division. Rohan Reddy had yet another strong performance during this week’s Pipestone Jr. Classic. Reddy shot an eleven-over-par 83 to earn second place. There was a two way tie for third place between Elijah Rand and Micheal Cartone. Both players posted the same score in both round for the week! 

The leaderboard in the girls 13-15 had some shuffling during Tuesday’s final round. One thing that did not change was the play of Nikitha Suresh. Suresh showed up with a three stroke lead and was determined to widen that gap. Thanks to a final round nine-over-par 81, she was able to claim her fourth consecutive victory in the girls 13-15 division. Making improvements during the final round was Cadence Monroe-McCoy. Monroe-McCoy has played fantastic all season and was able to sixth top-three finish at the Pipestone Jr. Classic. There was a two-way tie for third place as play drew to a close. Ava Snow and Kinsley Brown would each claim a piece of the bronze medal. In total nine players improved on the final day with the biggest improvement coming from Liberty Harris. Harris improved by a total of 13 stroke during the final round!

Thank you to Jay Caligiuri and the staff at Pipestone Golf Club for hosting the SOPGA Jr. Tour!

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