Hodgson Rallies to Win 102nd W.Y. Dear Junior Championship

Hodgson Rallies to Win 102nd W.Y. Dear Junior Championship

MONROE TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Ryder Hodgson came out on top, defeating Derek Gutierrez in 21 holes to win the 102nd W.Y. Dear Junior Championship at Forsgate Country Club.  


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“Derek played well,” Hodgson reflected. “It was a tough match, but I just tried to stay focused the whole time and stay calm and with myself.” 

New to the competitive realm of golf, Hodgson took down some of the top players in the Garden State over three days.  


“This feels good,” said Gutierrez. “I'm just thankful I could play in this event and looking forward to working hard and keep getting better.” 

Trailing for a majority of the finale, Hodgson remained within close distance of Gutierrez. At the turn, Gutierrez, an incoming freshman at Rutgers University, led 3-up.  

Amongst heavy rain, Hodgson slowly chipped away at his deficit. Then 2-down with two to play, Hodgson stormed back by winning 17 and 18. Hole 17, the infamous Biarritz par-3 was no test for Hodgson. He hit his tee shot hole-high and proceeded to drain a 30-foot putt for birdie and win the hole. 

“I felt pretty confident in myself the whole time,” Hodgson explained. “I was just trying to two-putt on the 17th hole, but it went in.” 

On the 18th hole, Hodgson turned in a par, while Gutierrez recorded a bogey, which would tie the match and force extra holes. After playing holes 1 and 2, thunder and lightning required a weather delay. After the suspension, the two returned to the golf course to close out the duel. Three playoff holes in, a par for Hodgson would be the deciding factor, winning the 102nd edition of the storied championship.  

“I had a bunch of mental notes going throughout the day and I hit the ball well of the tee too and had some good putts drop," said Hodgson.

Heading into his senior year at Bergen Catholic High School, Hodgson has his sights set on something bigger. 

“My goals are pretty high. I want to play in college but mostly get good grades in school and play well for our team.” 

In the morning semifinal, Hodgson defeated Barnes Blake, 5&4.  

Final Results               
Ryder Hodgson, Montclair Golf Club d. Derek Gutierrez, Plainfield West Golf Course, 21 holes 

Semifinal Results 
Ryder Hodgson, Montclair Golf Club d. Barnes Blake, Baltusrol Golf Club, 5&4 
Derek Gutierrez, Plainfield West Golf Course. d. Jacob DeJesus, NJSGA E-Club, 5&4 

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