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Lena Durette And Wheaton Ennis Win Thunderbird Invitational

By March 11, 2024March 13th, 2024No Comments


The Thunderbird Invitational came to a close yesterday, after two days of intense competition at Papago Golf Club. The first-round action of the Thunderbird Invitational sponsored by The Thunderbirds began March 9 with Wheaton Ennis of Litchfield Park catching fire on the front nine after a four-under 32, en route to a 68. However, Ethan Butters of Chandler, Henry Dall of Scottsdale and Tyler Anderson of Phoenix had themselves an equally impressive first round with scores in the high 60s to remain within striking distance. Ennis started out the final round a bit shaky with two bogeys in the first four holes but managed to pull away from the bunch after a noteworthy Eagle 3 on the par-5 10th hole. Owen Bolles of Chandler and Henry Dall of Scottsdale stayed in contention throughout the final round but couldn’t quite catch up to Ennis. The momentum was in his favor after sinking the eagle putt and he finished the back nine at two-under par to wrap up the tournament at six-under par (68-70-138). The future Texas A&M Aggie is putting together a solid start to the 2024 season, with a runner up at the Warren Schutte Invitational and now his first title of the year. Owen Bolles of Chandler and Henry Dall of Scottsdale ended up tied for second place at four-under par. Ajay Morris of Avondale, Ethan Butters of Chandler and Tyler Anderson of Phoenix all tied for fourth place at three-under par.

In the Girls Championship division, Lena Durette of Scottsdale, who competed in the PURE Insurance at Pebble Beach last year, showed dominate consistency throughout the weekend. Durette got off on the wrong foot to start the opening round after collecting four bogeys leading to a three-over 39. It was a tale of two nines though, as she carded an eagle on the par-5 10th hole and two birdies which led to a three-under 33 on the back nine. After day one, there were seven players within five shots back of the top spot. The emergence of Lena Durette out of Scottsdale came out in full force as she recorded the only final-round score in red figures with five birdies on the way to a one-under 71. The Scottsdale resident stayed persistent and consistent throughout the event after carding back-to-back rounds in the low 70s (72-71) to win by a massive five strokes. The victory marks her first in the JGAA Girls Championship division and first overall win since 2019. Jayden Jevnick out of Cave Creek took solo second after finishing at four-over par with rounds of 74-74. Alexis Vakasiuola of San Tan Valley and Kaitlyn Helm of Litchfield Park tied for third place at five-over par.

“We couldn’t be happier with how the Thunderbird Invitational turned out this year,” said Scott McNevin, Executive Director of JGAA. “Congratulations to our winners and thank you to The Thunderbirds and Papago Golf Club for hosting an incredible tournament!”