Niebrugge, Wunderlich lead Golfweek Junior
GAYLORD, Mich. – Jordan Niebrugge’s goal this weekend was to play well enough in Golfweek’s Junior Series event at Treetops to earn a spot in the Golfweek Junior Invitational later this fall. The sophomore from Mequon, Wisc., is off to a good start.
An opening round 2-under 68 on the par-70 Treetops Resort Tradition Course gave Niebrugge a share of the lead with Alex Wunderlich, of Ann Arbor, Mich.
“There are a lot of places you can take advantage of out here and I pretty much did that, and there are a lot of birdie opportunities and I made some putts,” Niebrugge said. “Sixty-eight is a good score – I will take it.”
In July, Niebrugge advanced to match play at the U.S. Junior Amateur at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. He lost in the Round of 64 to Max McKay, but the experience still proved beneficial.
Golfweek Junior Series: Treetops
“It gave me a lot of confidence playing with all of the top kids in the world,” said Niebrugge, who is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 281 in the Golfweek/Titleist Junior Rankings. “I had a great experience meeting Don Trump and all of the kids there.”
Wunderlich, who is playing in his first tournament after withdrawing from an AJGA event a couple of weeks ago due to a back injury, used a stretch of five birdies in six holes to share the 18-hole lead. Starting on the 10th hole, Wunderlich made birdies on Nos. 16, 18, 1, 2 and 3.
“I played all right and hit the ball decent – not as well as I wanted to - and dropped a couple of real long putts and made most of my short ones,” said the junior who attends Ann Arbor Huron High School.
The leaders are followed closely by David Demarois of Brighton, Mich., and Patrick Colburn of Traverse City, Mich., who each carded a 1-under 69.
In the girls division, Kimberly Dinh of Midland, Mich., and Chelsea Pezzola of Bradenton, Fla., each posted a 4-over 74 to share the lead.
Pezzola, who attends St. Stephen’s Prep, is taking full advantage of her trip north.
“I came up here to take a look at the University of Michigan and it was a great weekend with three days off of school,” said Pezzola, who says she has been under a lot of stress dealing with college applications.
The top three players and ties in the boys division and the winner of the girls division will advance to the Golfweek Junior Invitational at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 7-8.