Ennis earns second PING Junior Masters title of the season;
Chantharath and Chang each receive their first win
Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club hosted Arizona’s top 50 boys and 32 girls, April 1-2, at the fourth PING Junior Masters Series tournament of the 2023 JGAA season – Bryce Molder Invitational – sponsored by No Mow Grass and Greens and Trident Capital Partners. After a fourth-place performance at the Thunderbird Invitational on March 11-12, Litchfield Park’s Wheaton Ennis, 17, came in first place at the Bryce Molder Invitational with a 36-hole total 9-under par 135 (65-70). . Ennis continues to shine this season after claiming his second PING Junior Master’s title since going back-to-back at the Warren Schutte Invitational out at Wigwam Golf Club. He finished five strokes clear of Tucson’s Carlos Astiazaran who carded a first-round 66 to trail only one shot behind Ennis heading into the final round. In a valiant effort, Astiazaran couldn’t catch up and wound up finishing second with a 36-hole score of 66-74= 140. Camden Braidech out of Scottsdale continues to carry his trend of finishing in 3rd place at PING Junior Masters events, the fourth time he’s accomplished it this season with a 3-under-par result to cap off the tournament.
Ennis went three-under-par on the final stretch of holes to help seal the deal, which included an eagle on the par-5 17th. He led the field in total birdies with 13.
In the Girls division, 15-year-old Bridget Chantharath out of Irvine, California and Scottsdale’s Claire Chang tied atop the leaderboard with each of them posting identical and steady 75-76—151 performances. Due to darkness, they each took home the hardware and shared top honors in the Girls division with 7-over-par over two rounds. Chantharath made her debut of the season and is starting off on the right foot. She stayed the course and posted 14 pars in the final round to maintain position in the heat of competition. With this win as well as her T6 finish on February 26 at the Phoenix Metro Jr. Championship, Chang carries some momentum into the next JGAA tournament which is the ] Tucson Conquistadores Spring Classic to be held at Tucson’s El Rio Golf Course April 15-16 weekend. This season, she has notched two top-10s, including a runner-up performance at the New Year Classic. Kaitlyn Helm of Litchfield Park, the winner of the Desert Mashie, and Lena Durette out of Scottsdale tied for third place after finishing the tournament 9-over-par (75-78-153).
The PING Junior Masters Series consists of five tournaments held at some of the most prestigious courses in Arizona. Debuting in 2015, the PING Junior Masters Series is a series of invitation-only tournaments tailored to Arizona junior golfers with the desire and ability to compete locally against their top-ranked peers.
The field for the events is limited to junior golfers who are invited to compete based on their national ranking by Junior Golf Scoreboard. Boys must be in the top 3,500 and girls in the top 1,500.
“We love to see the impact these tournaments have on our junior golfers as it creates a platform for these talented young players to advance to the next level,” said Scott McNevin, Executive Director of the JGAA. “Having the opportunity to see vast development in our players throughout the series and get their name out there on the big stage such as national chartered events are invaluable to our JGAA members.”