HUDSON -- The 2017 Hudson Junior Invitational felt like a case of "deja vu, all over again."

For the second straight year, Mia Kness won the girls championship at the Junior.

Also for the second straight year, Will Kurtz' dream of becoming the first Hudson boy to win the tournament fell agonizingly short.

Kness claimed her second title by finishing with round of 70 June 29 at The Country Club of Hudson. Kness rallied after slow first round, as she finished with a one-under-par score of 215 (76-69-70) over the three-day tournament.

In the boys field, Kurtz had a two-stroke lead with five holes to go, only to see Chardon native Charlie Toman rally take the title.

Toman shot an even-par round of 72 June 29 to win. He finished four-under-par for the tournament at 212 (71-69-72). Kurtz shot a two-over-par 74 in the final round, finishing one stroke behind Toman for the tournament at 213 (69-70-74).

A native of Venetia, Penn., Kness becomes the first repeat champion at the Junior since Allie White in 2006 and 2007.

Because of the weather concerns, the final round of the Junior took place under a shotgun start. Thus, the final girls quartet teed off from the 10th hole.

While there was no rain during the final round, Kness and others noted wind was a major factor June 29.

"During the back nine, the wind was really picking up," Kness said. "It was a lot of clubbing up and down, depending on the wind. It was a lot more difficult today."

Kness was in a battle with Hinckley native Madison Butler for the lead, as Kness noted they both played well on the front nine holes.

Kness made her move by getting birdies on holes No. 1 and 2 to start her back nine, while Butler bogeyed the par-3 third hole.

From then on, Kness was in control, as Butler finished second with a two-over par score of 218 (71-73-74).

"I've loved coming to this tournament," Kness said. "The members were great to give up their course for a week and the course is in phenomenal shape. I wish I could come back next year, but I can't."

Kness will play golf at Seton Hall University in New Jersey this fall.

Solon's Jennifer Wang finished third in the girls field with a six-over-par 222 (74-74-74).

Rounding out the top four finishers was Kent native Kory Nielsen, who finished with seven over par 223 (74-73-76) in her final Hudson Junior. Nielsen will join her sisters on the Kent State University golf team this fall.

"I'm happy with what I did on the front nine," Nielsen said. "You can't only make one birdie and expect to win. It is one of my favorite golf course to play on. I'm going to miss it."

Hudson native Jenn David tied for 25th in the girls field with a 240 (78-81-81).

In the boys tournament, Toman called his victory "probably my best win." A rising senior at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin High School in Chardon, Toman finished second at the 2015 Hudson Junior and has committed to play at Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Toman started the day three strokes off the lead and didn't look like he'd be in contention early.

"After I hit the ball out of bound on the 10th, I knew I had to start making birdies."

Toman did just last that as he birdied the 13th hole.

The key hole was the 14th hole, where Toman hit the shot of the tournament. After putting his tee shot into the rough, Toman couldn't see the green for his second shot. However, his chip shot cleared the hill and landed on bowl in the green, where it rolled to within a few feet of the hole.

Toman admitted he was "kind of" going for that shot.

"I thought if I could hit it in that bowl it was roll back," Toman said. "Luckily, it worked out."

Toman's tap-in birdie, combined with a three-putt bogey by Kurtz, tied the two at four under par.

Toman then scored par on the remaining five holes, while Kurtz hit a bogey on the 17th hole after putting his second shot in the bunker. That turned out to be the difference in the tournament.

Kurtz was seen working on the putting green after the tournament.

"I just played bad down the stretch, to be honest," Kurtz said. "I didn't make any putt or any good shots on the back nine. The whole back nine was a scramble for me."

After last year's Junior, which he lost in a sudden-death playoff, Kurtz said nothing but first place would satisfy him. He said he wasn't content with his second straight second place.

"It doesn't feel great," Kurtz said. "I hadn't been playing well coming into this tournament. It felt good to shoot a couple rounds under par."

The final round was equally tough for Powell native Kyle Mitchell. For the second straight year, Mitchell took the lead into the final round, only to shoot round of 78 on the final day. Mitchell finished third this year with a one-under-par score of 215 (66-71-78).


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