J.T. Barker wins 16th annual Lehigh Valley Sportsfest Junior Golf Classic
July 21, 2016
ALLENTOWN — J.T. Barker of Bethlehem added another victory Friday to his junior golf career.
Now, the 19-year-old Northampton County Area Community College student wants to grab his first win against adult competition.
Barker emerged from a tight final round four-way battle on the back nine Friday to win the 16th annual Lehigh Valley Sportsfest Junior Golf Classic at Allentown Golf Course.
A 2015 Bethlehem Catholic graduate, Barker shot a 36-hole score of even-par 72-72–144 to win the 16-19 boys division title by three strokes over Emmaus rising senior Eric Cichocki, who shot 73-74–147. Barker also won the event in 2014.
Recent Liberty graduate Jacob Siegfried was third at 73-75–148. Former Freedom golfer Zach Juhasz was fourth at 78-71–149.
First round leader Tom Lakata, a rising junior at Central Catholic, finished fifth at 70-80–150.
Barker hopes to ride the momentum from Friday’s victory into success in upcoming adult tournaments such as the Saucon Valley Country Club men’s club championship, Eastern Pennsylvania Amateur, and Allentown City Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
“I’ve got to get a win,” said Barker, who qualified for the 2014 PIAA state tournament while a senior at Becahi. “I’ve been win-less for too long on the adult schedule. I just got to keep giving it one hundred percent. I have to prepare for the events.”
Barker is taking classes at NCACC during the next year in hopes of transferring to a college in Florida.
“I’m looking to transfer to some place like UCF,” Barker said. “If I don’t play, at least I’ll be in a good place for golf.”
Siegfried rode a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine Friday to take the lead at even par, one stroke ahead of Barker and Lakata.
Through 12 holes, Barker, Siegfried, and Lakata were tied for the lead at 2-over-par; two strokes ahead of Cichocki.
Barker parred the 13th and 14th holes to hold a one stroke lead over Cichocki, who birdied the par-4 14th hole. Siegfried and Lakata dropped out of title contention after they double bogeyed the 14th and 15th holes respectively.
With birdies on the par-4 15th and par-5 18th holes sandwiched around a pair of pars, Barker pulled away down the stretch for the victory.
“The second half of the summer I’m turning it around,” Barker said. “It’s always good to get a win, no matter what it is.”
Emmaus rising senior Samantha Fritzinger birdied the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes Friday to pull away for a four-stroke victory over 13 year-old Bailey Davis of White Plains, Maryland.
Fritzinger, who recently verbally committed to attend Wingate University, shot 3-over-par 73-74-147. Davis shot 77-74-151.
In the 14-15 years-old division, Joseph Altemose of Hanover Township shot 9-over-par 74-79–153 to win by 11 strokes over Mitch Machulsky of Lower Macungie Township (84-80–164).
In the 12-13 years-old division, Jordan Barker of Bethlehem shot 4-over-par 72-76–148 to win his second consecutive title. Tanner Little of Copper Hill Country Club (82-77–159) and Nicholas Gross of Downingtown (81-78–159) tied for second place.
16th annual Lehigh Valley Sportsfest Junior Golf Classic
Allentown Golf Course (par 72)
Final 36-hole scores:
1. J.T. Barker 72-72-144 (even-par);
2. Eric Cichocki 73-74-147;
3. Jacob Siegfried 73-75-148;
4. Zachary Juhasz 78-71-149;
5. Thomas Lakata 70-80-150;
6. Collin Seip 76-76-152;
7-T. Victor Tavares 80-74-154, Erik Ridley 78-76-154, Andrew Milisits 73-81-154;
10-T. Christian Haldeman 81-75-156, Kevin Caverly 71-85-156;
12. Matthew Pulcini 80-79-159;
13. Alec Cwienkala 79-81-160;
14. Tyler Coyle 80-82-162;
15-T. Colin McQueen 83-80-163, Andrew Benner 78-85-163;
17. Evan Fahs 78-86-164;
18. Kyle Green 86-79-165;
19. Thomas Coakley 84-82-166;
20. Trevor Buss 90-79-169;
21. Sean Costello 86-85-171;
22. Jax Buist 86-88-174;
23. Matthew Owens 85-96-181;
24. Tristan Keopraseut 94-89-183;
25. Ryan Touzeau 91-94-185;
26. Jake Caverly 93-94-187.
1. Joseph Altemose 74-79-153 (9-over-par);
2. Mitch Machulsky 84-80-164;
3. Ian Arnold 85-80-165;
4. Erik Stevens 85-83-168;
5-T. Andrew Kovalchik 87-91-178, Christopher Panny 87-91-178;
7. Dylan Keopraseut 94-88-182; 8. Carter Lowell 102-106-208.
1. Jordan Barker 72-76-148 (4-over-par);
2-T. Tanner Little 82-77-159, Nicholas Gross 81-78-159;
4-T. Matthew Zerfass 86-83-169, Owen Fahs 86-83-169;
6. Colin Wong 87-84-171;
7. Armaan Pandher 112-111-223.
1. Samantha Fritzinger 73-74-147;
2. Bailey Davis 77-74-151;
3. Belle Keopraseut 80-87-167;
4. Evelyn Wong 85-87-172;
5. Sophia Israel 94-96-190;
6. Sydney Posh 102-94-196;
7. Emilie Wright 103-104-207.
9-11 years-old (18 holes)
1. Tyler Hager 43-42-85;
2. John Keba 46-49-95.
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