It’s been a busy summer on the golf course for Melbourne’s Florida Junior Tour player, Calvin Sierota.
And it’s about to get even busier.
The Viera High junior, who for the second year in a row was recipient of FLORIDA TODAY’s Boys’ High School Golfer of the Year award, qualified last week to compete in the 69th annual U.S. Golf Association’s Junior Amateur Championships. The tournament will be held July 18-23 in Ootewah, Tennessee, near Chattanooga.
Sierota’s two-day co-medal winning round of 141 (74, 67) at Lake Mary’s Timacuan Golf Club on June 27-28 sealed his berth to the prestigious event.
“It was very close; I knew I needed to post a great second day round to qualify,” he said.
His score of 67 (5-under-par) ended up being the lowest of the tournament.
“I was fortunate to make some key birdies on the par fives. My goal was to just place in the top four, so I was excited to have come out on top.”
Sierota has been on a recent winning streak this past spring during Florida Junior Tour contests; winning at Timacuan in May with a best season performance (67,71) and on his home turf Duran in April.
“Sometimes I don’t play well in these qualifiers so I’m really happy to have secured this opportunity,” he said. “Having Duran’s Academy of Golf instructor Justin Blazer, my coach caddying for me here meant a lot. He has been so supportive and I can’t say enough about him. I began working with him about a year and a half ago and he’s been a tremendous help, especially for my short game and moral support.”
The Junior Amateur Championships, now nearly seven decades old, featured 495 players at the inaugural event in 1948.
Since, it has become the largest annual junior tournament in the nation, drawing more than 3,000 entrants in 2015.
Winners in previous events include Jordan Spieth (2009 and 2011) and Tiger Woods (a three-time winner from 1991-93).
Prior to his arrival in two weeks to the Junior Amateur event, Sierota will make stops to the north and west of the state for plenty of practice — in the form of additional tournament play. This week he will play in the Boy’s State Junior Amateur Championships (16-18 division) in St. Augustine, hoping to make the final cut (top 50) this Friday. Next week he will be in Ocala for the area’s Florida State Golf Association U.S. Amateur qualifier July 14-16.
Sierota, who verbally committed last December to play for FSU after graduation in 2018, said he is looking forward to helping Viera High win the Cape Coast Conference for its third year and hopes to better his teams’ 12th-place finish last season at state.
“For now, I’m just looking to have fun and do my best individually in the upcoming weeks; it’s all about playing as much as I can and enjoying this experience, even though I’m happier when I’m winning.”