Defending Champions Lead the Way After First Round of 6th Annual Sam Burns Junior Four-Ball Championship

February 24, 2024 | Maili Bartz

A look into the first round of the 6th Annual Sam Burns Junior Four-Ball Championship held at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, Louisiana on Saturday, February 25, 2024.  

Championship Links: Final Round Pairings and Tee Times | First Round Results |Photo Gallery

102 players competed in the first round of the Louisiana Junior Golf Tour’s 6th Annual Sam Burns Junior Four-Ball Championship. Tee times began this morning at 9:00 AM off the 1st and 10th tee. The course played to a par 72 at 6,700 yards for the Overall Boys Division and approximately 5,700 yards for the Overall Girls and Boys 11-13 Division.

Choudrant, Louisiana – The first round of the 6th Annual Sam Burns Junior Four-Ball Tournament concluded today, with defending champions of the Overall Boys 14-18 DivisionConnor Cassano and Jacob Blanton, once again asserting their dominance on the course. Hailing from Shreveport, LA, and West Point, MS, respectively, Cassano and Blanton exhibited remarkable consistency, already mirroring their championship-winning performance from the previous year with a bogey-free round. 

Finishing the round with a score of -7 and a combined total of 7 birdies, Cassano, committed to play golf at LSU, and Blanton, committed to play at the University of Mississippi, are setting a high standard for their competitors. Following closely behind are Kyle Traub and Niel Phillips, representing New Orleans, LA, and Metairie, LA, respectively, with a score of -4, supported by five birdies throughout their round. Occupying the third position are Austin Hofferkamp and Marek Fleming, representing Tomball, TX, and The Woodlands, TX, respectively, with a score of 3 under par.   Hofferkamp’s impressive eagle on hole 2 at Squire Creek Country Club added to their strong performance. 

In the younger 11-13 Boys DivisionAugustin Gros and Bryant Yelverton, representing Metairie, LA, and West Point, MS, respectively, emerged as frontrunners with a score of 4-under par. Their flawless performance on the back nine, without a single bogey, shows their exceptional skill and determination, firmly securing their lead for the round. Close behind, currently in a three-way tie for second place, are the following pairs: Luke An and Mason An, representing Houston, TX; Grey Ramsey and Mac Steltenpohl, representing Choudrant, LA, and Dothan, AL; and Madden Baughman and Owen Lejeune, representing Baton Rouge, LA, and Poplarville, MS, respectively, all with a score of 2-under par. Luke and Mason’s combined four birdies, coupled with only three bogeys, highlight their precision and strategic play. Notably, Mac Steltenpohl’s exceptional eagle on the par 5 hole 11 further elevates the competitive atmosphere. Additionally, Owen Lejeune and Crew showcased their skill with four birdies throughout their round, adding to the intensity of the competition. 

In the Girls 14-18 division, leading the field are Harper Hinckley and Eliza Yelverton, representing McComb, MS, and West Point, MS, respectively, who delivered a standout performance, finishing with an impressive score of 7-under par, 65. Hinckley’s masterful play included an eagle on hole 2 and six additional birdies, while Yelverton’s steady contributions added two birdies, solidifying their dominance on the leaderboard.  Notably, Harper and Eliza’s round today marked the lowest ever shot round in the girls division of the Sam Burns Four-Ball Championship to date. 

Close behind are last year’s defending champions, Maci Williams and Evelynn Artieta from Brusly, LA, and Denham Springs, LA, who concluded today’s round with a commendable score of 3-under par, 69. Williams showcased her precision with three birdies, complemented by Artieta’s two birdies, reaffirming their status as formidable contenders. Also tied for second place are the dynamic duo of Mattie Purgahn and Krysta Loftin from Lake Charles, LA, and Pearland, TX, respectively, matching Williams and Artieta’s score of 69 (-3). Purgahn’s adeptness was evident with two birdies, while Loftin’s exceptional play contributed four birdies, setting the stage for an exhilarating competition ahead. 

The pleasant weather in Choudrant, Louisiana provided an ideal setting for today’s tournament. The Louisiana Junior Golf Tour extends its appreciation to Squire Creek Country Club for hosting and acknowledges Sam Burns for his support in organizing this event. 

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Maili Bartz

Director of Marketing and Communications