With rain overnight and downpours prior to the scheduled 9:30 a.m. start, the Winternational Junior Series Committee decided to cancel Sunday’s second round. With the rain expected to continue most of the day course conditions would be far from ideal.

Saturday’s first round however, went on as scheduled under seasonal conditions at the Centennial No. 8 course of Pinehurst.

And Mara Hirtle of Pinehurst picked up where she left off in the previous tournament.

She claimed her second victory in as many events in the girls’ division providing a strong start to her 2019-20 season.

Hirtle opened with three bogeys in four holes but bounced back and played the next 11 holes at one-under-par to finish with a 77. The Pinecrest High School senior is committed to attend the Naval Academy in fall 2020.

Both Heather Appleson of Wake Forest and Ella Perna of Durham finished in a tie for second place after posting a pair of 81s.

Katelyn Kenthack of Southern Pines finished in sixth place.

In the junior/senior boys’ division, Rohan Saxena of Ashburn, Va., narrowly edged out Billy Jansto of Cary.

Tied through nine holes, Saxena played his last five holes at two-over-par to top Jansto by one stroke. A pair of high school juniors rounded out the top three. Both Jackson Maynor  of Concord and Jonathan Rich of Rockingham posted a round of 83, just two shots back of Saxena.

Tanner Huff of Pinehurst finished in sixth place.

Nick Goellner of Apex led the way for the freshman/sophomore boys’ division.

The high school freshman’s round was book-ended with birdies on holes one and two then 17 and 18 to finish the day at even par 72.

Six shots back in second place was sophomore Ben Bailey of Huntersville. His 39-39—78 was the only other sub-80 round in both boys’ divisions. Rounding out third place was Cornelius native Will Dalton.

William Melvin of Pinehurst finished in a tie for eighth.

The Winternational Junior Series will hold its third event on Dec. 14-15, which will take place on the famed Pinehurst No. 2 and the classic No. 1 courses.

Visit www.juniorgolfpinehurst.com or contact Peter deYoung, Inc. at (910) 295-5661 to register or for more information.

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