Cavaiani & Baranczyk WIN WPGA Junior Championship

Baranczyk said all that rain made the courses play longer than usual, but although the greens presumably were receptive he didn’t feel he took full advantage.

“I played a lot more aggressive yesterday,” he said, “not really because I had the lead or anything, I’m just not near as comfortable on Brown Deer. That course doesn’t set-up great for me, so I just went for a lot of center of the green.”

Baranczyk admitted he caught the lucky end of the draw in terms of the weather during the waterlogged first round. The players with morning tee times got dumped on, while Baranczyk said he played though a steady but light rain for his entire round.

            Jack Blair of Wauwatosa finished second overall among boys, shooting scores of 71-71–142 to finish four strokes behind Baranczyk. Alex Yost of Hartland shot 70-73–143 and finished third.

            Cavaiani, a resident of Wales who turns 18 the last week in June, earned a repeat trip to the PGA National Junior thanks to her stellar round of 67 on Wednesday at Dretzka Park. She opened with a 74 on Tuesday and finished at 141. That was two strokes lower than Maria Seeman of Milton (69-74–143), who finished runner-up. Speedy Kent of Mequon finished third (74-70–144).

            Because of a three-hour rain delay at Brown Deer Park Tuesday, many girls had to return there Wednesday morning, Cavaiani included, to complete the first round. Cavaiani hit her first tee shot of the tournament Tuesday night after 6:30 p.m. and only had time for six holes. Wednesday, she played her final 12 at Brown Deer and then drove to Dretzka.

There, Cavaiani said she recognized the ripe opportunity for scoring in front of her, and her game started clicking.

“I knew with how soft it was that you could go low there, and I knew I had to make a lot of birdies if I wanted to win the tournament,” Cavaiani said. “So I just went into the round wanting to give myself as many opportunities as I could.”

The result was seven birdies, five on the front side, offset by two bogeys.

“I was really making putts on the front nine, which helped,” she added.

Cavaiani, who will play college golf this fall at Missouri State, has a reputation for going low. She’s the young woman who made history last fall when she shot 60 in her high school conference championship.

“Sometimes when you get it rolling and you get confident and you’re feeling hot with your putter, I guess you can go low,” she said. “And it’s really fun.”

Cavaiani said she also had tons of fun at the PGA National Junior last summer, where she made the cut. She said she was happy with her performance on the big stage.

“Last year I just had a blast, and so I made it a goal to go back for my last year (of junior golf),” Cavaiani said. “It’s just such a cool learning experience and you get to meet a lot of golfers who are going to play on the LPGA Tour. It’s just a blast.”

The WPGA Junior Foundation awards four berths in the national championship each year, two for boys and two for girls, and they are coveted spots. Jed Baranczyk and Cavaiani will join Lake Arrowhead Invitational medalists Jo Baranczyk and Matthew Raab of Hartland in representing Wisconsin.

            The PGA National Junior Championship will be held this summer at two Kentucky courses three weeks apart. The girls will compete at Kearney Hill Golf Links on July 9-12. The boys championship will be held at Valhalla GC, July 31- Aug. 3.

            The annual WPGA Junior Championship at Brown Deer Park GC and Dretzka Park GC, both Milwaukee County courses, also recognizes winners in the 13-15 age category for both genders.

Cameron Huss of Kenosha was medalist among boys ages 13-15, shooting 73-73–146. Jiseung Choi of Houghton, Mich., was second in the age group with scores of 77-73–146.

Jo Baranczyk won the girls 13-15 division (73-78–151), followed by Mallory Swartz of Franklin (84-76–160).

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