By Mark Lewis
Six area golfers had strong showings at this week’s Coca-Cola Junior Classic Championship at Boyne Highlands in Harbor Springs.
Mona Shores golfer Reed Hrynewich was the area’s top finisher, shooting a final-round 72 to finish seventh overall, tied with Oxford’s Kyle Gaines, Matt Kern of Springboro, OH, and DeWitt’s Tyler Polulak.
Gaines was leading the field heading into the final round.
Hrynewich finished with a three-round total of 217, shooting scores of 70 and 75, respectively, across the first two rounds.
Hrynewich’s teammate, Andrew VanAelst, shot a three-round total of 220 to finish 20th overall. VanAelst, who shot a 75 in the final round, tied Northbrook, IL’s Nick Hardy for 20th place. VanAelst shot an opening-round 72, and followed up Wednesday with a 73.
Hrynewich and VanAelst were tied for 12th overall heading into Thursday’s third-and-final round.
Raymond Knoll of Naperville, IL finished as the top tourney golfer for the boys, rebounding from an opening-round 76 to shoot back-to-back 68s and take the title with a total score of 212, one stroke better than runner up Sean Stone of Evansville, IN.
In the girls division, North Muskegon’s Aya Johnson was top finisher, shooting an outstanding final-round 73 to finish 13th overall. Johnson, who shot scores of 85 and 78, respectively, in the opening two rounds, entered the final round tied at 20th with another area standout, Muskegon’s Morgan Smith. Smith, who remained at 20th, shot rounds of 89, 74 and 77 to finish with a total score of 240.
Hailey Hrynewich, who entered the final round tied for 12th, finished 18th overall, wrapping up her tourney appearance with an 81.
Muskegon’s Kelsey McKinley finished 27th, saving her best for last after shooting a 79 in Thursday’s final round.
There was excitement atop the girls’ division, as Abbey Carlson of Lake Mary, FL defeated Overland, KN’s Jordan Chael in a sudden-death playoff despite Chael’s final-round score of 66.
Both girls shot scores of 218 across the three-round event.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands was a 54-hole stroke play competition played on the par-72, Boyne Highlands Reso The event featured 108 boys and 36 girls, ages 12-18, from 18 states and Canada. The Boys Division played the course at 6,823 yards while the Girls Division played the course at 5,977 yards.