2023 JTNC Holiday Series III Championship
January 4, 2024 / by Kurtis Bettencourt
Junior Golf Tour of Northern California Crowns Winners at Spring Series I Championship at Stockton Golf and Country Club and Reserve at Spanos Park
The 2023-2024 Junior Tour of Northern California (JTNC) crowned champions during the Holiday Series III Championship held on the Monterey peninsula at both Del Monte and Bayonet Golf Courses, respectively.
Clark van Gaalen shot 3-under par 141 and Asterisk Talley shot even par 144 to win their respective divisions at the Holiday III Championship played, both courses played to a par-72.
van Gaalen notched his first win of the 2023-24 season thanks to consistent play both rounds. In Wednesday’s opener, van Gaalen would post a 4-under 68 at Del Monte GC that included five birdies and just one bogey. A day later and at what is arguably a more difficult venue, Clark carded a 73 with an impressive five birdies and six bogeys. Van Gaalen is now ranked fifth on the 2023-24 Boys Player of the Year standings at 675 points.
Ayden Fynaut, now ranked second on the 2023-24 Boys Player of the Year standings, finished second at 144 with repeat rounds of 72-72. Over the course of the two-day tournament, Fynaut showed flashes of brilliance as he carded 10 birdies throughout the 36 holes.
Ishdeep Sodhi and Christian Choi finished in a tie for third at 147, with Sodhi triumphing in the card-off with his final round of 75 beating out Choi’s final round of 76. Subsequently, Choi was awarded fourth place.
In the Girls’ Championship, Talley secured her 26th win on the Junior Tour as she carded seven birdies on her way to victory. Talley posted rounds of 72-72, winning the Girls’ Championship flight by six shots over runner-up Diya Kumar. Asterisk currently sits three wins behind the all-time Girls JTNC wins leader Kiara Romero who holds the record with 29 wins! It’s inevitable that Talley will catch up to and ultimately conquer Romero’s record, with the young phenom still having a few more season left on the Junior Tour.
Second place was awarded to Diya Kumar who had opened with a 3-over 75 at Bayonet GC, going on to repeat that score a day later at Del Monte GC ending with 6-over par 150. Kumar built gave herself breathing room as she beat out third place by three shots.
Third place ended in a tie between Lexi Lowe and Samantha Chiou as the pair were tied at 153, the card-off went in favor of Lowe as it came down to the final nine holes of the competition where Lowe carded a 38 versus Chiou’s 39. Samantha Chiou took fourth place with rounds of 77-76, and Anita Lumpongpoung ended the tournament at 154 to take fifth place.
In the Boys’ First Flight, Chenxi Wang shot a final round 80 to come in at 157 and defeat runner-up Jacob Reed by one shot. Chenxi earns his first win of the 2023-24 JTNC season as he carded two birdies, with a 37 on his final nine holes sealing his champion’s medal.
Jacob Reed took second place with rounds of 74-84, finishing at 158. A familiar pattern rears its head as another third-place card-off was needed. Nick Okada, Carter Hayden, and Karsten Hansen were all tied at 164; Nick Okada was the eventual winner with a second round 83 solidifying his spot on the podium.
In the Girls’ First Flight, Monica Wu shot a final round 82 and defeated runner-up Hailey Li by one shot. Monica wins her first tournament of the 2023-24 season with rounds of 79-82, ending with a total of 162.
Second place went to Hailey Li, of Los Gatos, with identical rounds of 81-81 putting her at 162. Third place went to Vivien Li at 23-over par for a total of 167. Megan Ikemiya took fourth place with a total of 171.