14-year-old wins overall title in annual junior golf
GILROY – Junior golfer Jordan Miller entered the Annual Beatty Memorial Golf Class shooting to win his age division. But the 14-year-old Gilroy-native got an even bigger treat Wednesday when he was crowned the overall champion after he finished with a two-day total of 165.
“I thought I had a good shot at winning my age group, but I didn’t think I’d win the overall,” said Miller, who followed his first round tournament-low 80 at Eagle Ridge with a final round 85 at Gilroy Golf Course for a five-stroke victory over 15-older champion Thomas Hoshida and his 170 (86-84). “I was keeping track the whole time so I knew I was ahead by five.”
As the overall champion, Miller – a three-year participant who had never even won his age group before will now have his name permanently etched onto the coveted tournament trophy along with the past winners.
“At Eagle Ridge, I played pretty good. Here, I didn’t play my best. I played decent. I definitely wanted it,” said Miller, who had been working on his game a lot since this year’s two-course event. “I’ve been practicing every day. I play in a lot of (Junior Golf Association-NorCal Tournaments) so I’ve been practicing for those a lot.
“I was hitting my drives really good and I was chipping really good,” the 13-14 age division champion said. ”
Notching another tournament championship on his belt was 12-year-old sensation Gene Park – who followed this year’s junior city title with a 11-12 age group trophy after finishing with a two-day 79 (42-37).
“Each year it gets tougher. This was my lowest score in a tournament. My drive was working,” Park said. “Eagle Ridge was fun. The only thing I would change was I wouldn’t play from the red tees.
Park comes up every year from his hometown of Hollister to compete in the annual junior golf tournaments in the garlic capital.
“The greens are much faster here (at Gilroy GC) than my other home course at Ridgemark,” said Park, who will get a chance at the overall title next year when the stakes are even higher. “When I turn 13, that’s when there’s pressure.”
The Beatty Memorial Classic – which used to be a three-course competition before Gavilan Golf Course pulled out this summer – had the youngest age group play seven holes at Eagle Ridge and nine at Gavilan, while the 11-12 age division played nine holes at both course. The older two age groups both play 18 holes at each course and compete for the ultimate prize – a place in garlic golf history.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Zach Colton, 11, of Gilroy, who followed his day-one 52 with a day-two 44 for a second-place tally of 96. “Mid-40s (for nine holes), I consider good for me.”
Twin brother Ryan Colton, an annual competitor, was not far behind – shooting a 55 at Eagle Ridge and a 51 at Gilroy GC for a 106 total.
“I think (my game) was better last tournament,” said Colton, who also competed in the city junior tournament on the municipal links. “We just play a lot. The night before and the day before we go out hit couple of balls and then putt in our room.”
Eleven-year-old Patrick Shields – whose older brother Matt also participated – had a strong showing as well in his second year of playing in the Beatty Memorial.
“Yesterday I did really good. Today I didn’t play that good,” said Shields, a little league all-star for the last two years. “Usually, I have better scores. Today I just wasn’t on… I just go out there and have fun. I play other sports. This is a hobby.”
Morgan Hillian Ben Hartl, 9, racked up the 10-under age division title with a two-course total of 101 (44-57). Five-year-old prodigy Ryan Slater finished up with an astonishing two-day 120 (52-68).
In the 15-over age division, Hoshida won out with a two-day 170 (86-84) despite courageously playing 36 holes on an injured foot.
“I definitely like Eagle Ridge. It’s more of a challenge,” said Vinny DeLorenzo, son of Gilroy Golf Course Head Pro Don DeLorenzo. “It’s fun to come out here, too. It’s a fun course even though I didn’t play that well. I’ll be back next year, definitely.”
1st Rd. 2nd Rd. Final
Thomas Hoshida 86 84 – 170
Rob Reiniccius 100 105 – 205
Vinny DeLorenzo 98 99 – 197
Garrett Colton 111 104 – 215
Alex Jacobs 109 99 – 208
Matt Shields 113 105 – 218
Jordan Miller 80 85 – 165
Gene Park 42 37 – 79
Zack Colton 52 44 – 96
Ryan Colton 55 51 – 106
Patrick Shields 73 64 – 137
Ben Hartl 44 57 – 101
Ryan Slater 52 68 – 120