VIRGINIA — Young golfers from all across the state of Minnesota all made their way to the Virginia Golf Course Wednesday morning for the 20th annual John Urick Memorial Junior Golf Tournament.
In honor of John Urick, the former head golf pro at the Virginia Gold Course, kids aged from 5-19 hit the links to beat out the rest of the field and take home their share of prizes. Around 75 kids competed this year in a tournament dedicated to the memory of youth golf’s biggest advocates.
Making the 20th year even more special than prior years, all four of John Urick’s sons (Tom, Jim, Joe and Jack) were in attendance this year. Alongside them were many more members of the Urick family, including seven great-grandchildren of John Urick.
Local golfers made up a large portion of the field and in the most noteworthy news of the day, Eveleth-Gilbert golfer Mollie Albrecht continued her streak of victories on the girls side, winning the girls 15-18 group for the fifth year in a row with a 75 on the par-71 course. Albrecht finished off her day with a win in the putting contest after three putt offs. As top putter, Albrecht was awarded with a new range finder.
In other girls 15-18 results, Albrechts’ teammate Taya Kwiatkowski finished second on the day with a 678. Coley Olson of Cook finished third. Julia Sabetti of Lakeville and Trinity Sundbom of Pike Lake rounded out the top five.
In the boys’ 17 to graduating senior group, North Woods golfer Blake Scofield took top honors after shooting a 79 on the day. Scofield finished tied for first after 18 holes with teammate Tate Olson, but Scofield took the victory in a one-hole playoff. Kolton Plesha of Virginia finished third in the group and was the winner of it’s putting contest. Jacob Urick, the oldest of the seven Urick great-grandchildren, placed fourth in the group.
Fellow Grizzly and teammate to Scofield and Olson, Sam Frazee came out on top of the boys 15-16 group after shooting a 73, the low score for the tournament. Keenan Dahl finished second at 81, while Drew Kuschel was third. Marco Pazzelli finished fourth, while Virginia’s Kavan Plesha won the group’s putting contest, along with the range finder that came as it’s prize.
In the boys 13-14 group, Cloquet’s Carson Patton took home medalist honors with a 74. Also from Cloquet, Mason Anderson finished second with a 75. Another North Woods golfer finished inside the top three with Davis Kleppe shooting a 79 for third place. Kleppe also was tops in the putting contest. Andrew Peterson, great-grandson of John Urick finished fourth with an 81.
On the girls side of the age bracket, Haley Jorgenson finished on top on the course while also winning the putting contest, finishing ahead of Iyana Flett who finished in second.
Sixteen golfers battled it out in the boys 11-12 group. Starting with this bracket, golfers competed over nine holes, as opposed to the full 18. Grand Rapids’ Rece Kuschel finished on top of the competition after shooting a 44. Three players finished tied for second with a score of 47 with Travis Bird, Christian Walke and Dominic Fairbanks taking the runner-up prize.
Alex Burkhardt took home a new putter after winning the groups putting contest. Burkhardt was the only putter on the day that holed all three putts.
The 10 and under group turned out to be the largest group in the tournament. Players in this group play from the front tee with a few special rules to ease them into the game. Following play through nine holes, Ethan Sundval of Hibbing took home top honors with his score of 49. Parker Gilbert finished second, while first time entrant Jackson Bartovich finished third. Brody Amundson finished fourth and was the winner in the putting contest.
On the girls side, Maddie Fingeroos, daughter of the VGMC head golf pro, won the putting contest and the new putter that went along with it.
All age group medalists were awarded with a gift certificate to the Virginia Pro Shop, as well as a round of golf at either the Wilderness at Fortune Bay or Giants Ridge.
The Virginia Men’s Golf Club would like to thank all those involved with the tournament this year for putting on a spectacular day of competition. In total, the single day event paid out a total of over $7,000 in gift certificates, golf prizes, rounds of golf, lunch and T-shirts. The VGMC would like to credit the outstanding sponsorship from community business and organizations that helped make the event possible.