Landon Weber of Fort Myers became the first four-time winner of the 22nd Nolan Henke-Patty Berg Junior Masters at Cypress Lake Country Club on Friday. Cape Coral's Brittany Shin just missed repeating as girls' champion.
Weber entered the final day with a four-stroke lead over Martin Jensen in the 16-18 boys' division, but a double-bogey on the fifth hole along with Jensen's birdie at the same hole brought the two much closer. By the end of the first nine, they were tied.
They entered the last nine and both held the lead only to fall back into a tie. They were knotted at 5-over for the tournament with two holes to play. On the par-3 eighth (they played the back nine first), each took two shots to get onto the green. Each had a four-foot putt for par. Weber sank his, but Jensen missed. That left Weber with a one-shot lead with one hole remaining.
Landon Weber hits a wedge from the sand during the final round of the 22nd Nolan Henke Patty Berg Junior Masters tournament Friday at Cypress Lake Country Club. Weber won the 16-18 boys group by one stroke. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
On their final hole, Weber's drive landed in the rough between two trees. He chose to shoot for the green, and poked it between the trees and onto the right side of the green. Jensen hit a much nicer drive right down the middle of the fairway, but pushed his second shot to the right side of the green as well. Both missed putts, and were left with short tap ins. Jensen holed his leaving Weber with a two-footer to win the tournament. He hesitated over the ball for a moment, then dropped it in to win by one stroke.
"This was a lot more nerve-wracking than I would like. The last putt was the hardest one I've ever shot," Weber said.
Final scores were Weber (72-73-76-221), Jensen (72-77-73-222) second, and Cole Conner (73-78-78-229) third.
Shin was three shots back of Sydney Shrader at the start of the final round.
"Brittany came back hard and put the pressure on me," said Shrader.
Playing the final hole, Shrader still held a one-shot lead. Shin sank a 12-foot putt to tie the match and send it to a playoff.
In the playoff, both girls had opportunities to win it on the first three extra holes. Both lipped the cup on the second and third greens. On the fourth hole, a par-4, Shrader hit a long drive and was left with about 87 yards to the pin. Her second shot bounced once and hit the pin. The ball almost dropped in for an eagle. Instead, she was left with an easy putt for a birdie. So it took 58 holes to decide Shrader (76-71-76-223) as the champion and Shin (73-77-73-223) second with Hallianne Hobson (77-78-79-234) third.
It was the first tournament win for Shrader.
"I'm excited and happy," she exclaimed. "All of the hard work paid off."
Blake Wheeler of Fort Myers played three days of consistent golf, and walked away with the boys' 13-15 division crown, winning by 11 strokes. He shot 72-75-72-219. Last year Wheeler averaged an 83 for the three rounds at the Henke-Berg tournament. This year he averaged 73. He attributes his improvement to a lot of practice and hard work.
"You may get more length in your hitting when you grow taller, but you have to be smart when you hit the ball because of ball placement on the course," he said.
Shane Reynolds (81-77-72-230) and Christian Taylor (79-73-78-230) tied for second in the boys' 13-15 division.
At Cypress Lake Country Club
Friday's Final Round Results
Boys' 16-18 Division Leaders
1. Landon Weber, Fort Myers, 72-73-76-221
2. Martin Jensen, Bronxville, N.Y., 72-77-73-222
3. Cole Connor, Fort Myers, 73-78-78-229
T-4. Eric Grimes, Naples, 77-78-76-231
T-4. Tate Smith, Port Charlotte, 78-75-78-231
Girls' 13-18 Division Leaders
1. x-Sydney Shrader, Naples, 76-71-76-223
2. Brittany Shin, Cape Coral, 73-77-73-223
3. Hallianne Hobson, Fort Myers, 77-78-79-234
4. Emily Black, Naples, 78-85-75-238
5. Anna-Marie Kuenzle, Naples, 82-81-80-243
Boys' 13-15 Division Leaders
1. Blake Wheeler, Fort Myers, 72-75-72-219
T-2. Shane Reynolds, Fort Myers, 81-77-72-230
T-2. Christian Taylor, Naples, 79-73-78-230
4. Peter George, Naples, 81-75-76-232
5. Mark Iwinski, Jr., Fort Myers, 75-75-84-234