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Verduzco breaks through at MSU

Will Verduzco blasts a drive during his victory at Forest Akers.

LANSING, Mich. – Will Verduzco posted back-to-back rounds of even-par 72 in pulling out a 2-shot victory in the Boys 16-19 division at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers West Course.

Verduzco trailed Dhruv Kumar by two shots entering the final round then carded birdies at 3 and 5 to move in front. He was able to keep the field at bay with 10 pars, one birdie and two bogeys over the final 13 holes.

The victory marked Verduzco’s first on the GJT in seven appearances.

Evan McDermott shot 73-73—146 to claim sole possession of second place while Alex Mauro grabbed third place at 76-71—147.

Four players rounded out the top five, all sharing fourth-place honors: Evan Johnson (77-71—148), Justin Sui (76-72—148), Kumar (70-78—148) and Grant Tucker (74-74—148).

Pietila tops field in Girls 15-19

Annie Pietila

Annie Pietila earned her first GJT victory by firing rounds of 77-74—151 at Forest Akers.

Pietila trailed Audrey Becker by two shots after the first round and fell back by as much as four strokes early in Sunday’s round. A birdie at the fifth pulled her within three and she would catch Becker at the 12th.

Pietila’s birdie at the 13th engineered a 2-shot swing in her favor and she would never look back.

Becker finished at 75-79—154 to finish second while Lauren Timpf rounded out the top three with rounds of 78-78—156.

Pinili nabs fourth GJT win

Lorenzo Pinili

Lorenzo Pinili earned his second straight GJT victory and fourth of his career after going wire-to-wire in the Boys 14-15 division at Forest Akers.

Pinili fired rounds of 76-72—148 in beating Leuan Jones by three shots.

Leading Jones by two shots to start the final round, Pinili carded two bogeys over the first five holes as Jones drew even. At that point, Pinili took over with back-to-back birdies then added another at the 14th for safe measure.

Jones finished alone in second at 78-73—151 while Neil Zhu (80-75—155) and Ryan O’Rourke (78-77—155) tied for third place.

VanderMolen victorious in GJT debut

Max VanderMolen

Max VanderMolen fired rounds of 75-73—148 to claim a 6-shot victory in his first GJT appearance in the Boys 13-and-under division at Forest Akers.

VanderMolen held a 2-shot lead after the first round then played the first seven holes of Sunday’s final round in bogey-free 2-under-par to increase his lead to seven at that point.

Brian Tillman shot 77-77—154 to finish alone in second place while Griffin Barke rounded out the top three at 80-77—157.

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