SYRACUSE Rain held off long enough Monday afternoon for high school girls golfers from 16 different area high schools to join Symetra Tour professionals for the seventh annual Pro-Junior Challenge at Drumlins Country Club.
And Jamesville-DeWitt fared best among the local sides, claiming solo second place behind reigning Section III champion Auburn, who won the event for the first time.
This has turned into the annual kickoff of festivities for the Symetra Tour's Credit Union Classic, which is being played at Drumilns' East Course for the fifth consecutive year.
As before, four players from a high school team paired with a professional for a scramble tournament, played over Drumlins East's back nine. They started out in warm, hazy sunshine. Clouds rolled in, and while distant rumbles of thunder were heard near the end, the golfers managed to dodge the rain and finish without any delays.
Fayetteville-Manlius, a three-time champion, had two different teams in the field, while CBA had one and loaned some of its golfers to a mixed team with Skaneateles. East Syracuse-Minoa also took part.
But J-D topped all of them. Victoria Roney and Molly Hair, who played in the state championship tournament in early June at SUNY-Delhi, paired up with Red Rams teammates Jung-Hye Kim and Alana Jones, playing with Symetra Tour rookie Emilie Burger, a University of Georgia graduate.
After a par on its opening hole (no. 18), the J-D team birdied four consecutive holes (10, 11, 12 and 13), and then parred in for a 31, four under par, and put them in the runner-up spot.
Auburn proved a bit better, though. Teaming with Vanessa Brackett, the Maroons, led by Section III individual champion Larissa Carter and state qualifier Kaitlin Hlywa, made an eagle on the par-five 13th and five other birdies for a seven-under-par 28 to win by three shots.
ESM's team, paired with Garrett Phillips, had a 33 to tie for sixth place, while F-M's sides, including pros Mallory Blackwelder and Carly Werwie, posted 34 and 35, and CBA, led by professional Joanna Coe, also posted a 34. Jackie Stoelting and the combined CBA/Skaneateles landed on 34, too.
Carter will return and play with the professionals when the Credit Union Classic tees off Friday morning at 7:30. The tournament runs through Saturday afternoon.