The Rocky Mountain Junior Golf Tour Ryder Cup Qualifier at Palm Valley Tournament Recap

Palm Valley Golf Club was the site of the 1st of 12 Rocky Mountain Junior Golf Tour Ryder Cup Qualifiers and the fifth stop the tour has made in Goodyear AZ in as many years.

Palm Valley is a great course with some challenging holes including the #7 par 3 which is known as one of the most difficult par 3’s in the Valley and the challenging #18.

The college coaches in attendance witnessed some terrific golf as Boys 15-19 player Grant Rogers from Boulder CO posted an impressive 71 Round 1 with a double on #7 and 3 bogeys his 4 birdies and an eagle on #5 was enough to put him in the lead going into Round 2. Eric Barna from Oro Valley AZ has come on strong and is creeping his way near the winners circle recently. He had carded a 72 Saturday but ended up tied for 4th. Jackson Whisenhunt from Phoenix played solid golf and was quite consistent with a 73/72 to join Eric in the 4th position.

Chris Meyers and Colt Gage both from the Tucson area matched one another’s score both days with a 74/70. Chris was able to power through the front nine Sunday and score a remarkable 32 with 4 birdies. Colt met that challenge and scored a 31 on the back nine with 5 birdies. Colt won the scorecard playoff to secure 2nd and Chris 3rd.

Tournament Director Tracy Cologne got a chance to speak with the players at the end of the day. She reminded them that there is only one winner at the end of 36 holes each tournament. “On any given day the top 5-10 players could all win. Be happy with your personal victories such as a personal low score, hitting more fairways and greens in regulations, no three putts etc… Whatever it is that takes you through the next tournament with a little more confidence and pride in improvement will aid you in being in the Winners Circle more regularly”.

Nicole Spence of Albuquerque is one of those players who is showing consistently lower scores and progressing as a young player in the Girls 15-19 division. She won with a two day total of 159. She is joined by Alex Darwin of Albuquerque (2nd) and Samantha Weber (3rd).

Caroline Jordaan (CO) is off to another great start in 2014 winning her first event for the U14 Girls. Her sister is second and newcomer Kyle Pearson (CO) won for the Boys 13-14’s. His brother is second.

Rocky Mountain Junior Golf Tour's next tournament event will be the NAJA Qualifier at Arrowhead in Peoria, AZ.