Matthew Soucinek estimates he’s won around 40 golf tournaments in his young career on the links.
So, has winning gotten old yet for Soucinek?
“No,” Soucinek said with a laugh. “Of course not.”
The junior golfer picked up his fourth straight tournament win Tuesday at the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour’s Mid Season Invitational at Sea Island Golf Club’s Plantation course.
Soucinek, from Lake City, Fla., had his worst round of the week with a 2-over 74 on Tuesday but still walked away with a comfortable eight-shot win at 1 under for the tournament. His 74 was the second-best round in the 16- to 18-year-old boys division as Soucinek tallied one birdie, one bogey and one double bogey against 15 pars.
He made his big move in windy conditions Monday when he vaulted into the lead with a 3-under 69 in the second round. That followed an even-par 72 to start the tournament.
“My ball striking was really well,” Soucinek said. “My wedges, anything from 100 yards and in, I was dialed in. I hit almost every single fairway, so I can’t take anything away from that.”
The notorious winds that can hinder low numbers on Plantation and its neighboring course Seaside did provide a tough task for the participants.
“Finishing up on the last few holes, the wind really picks up as the tide is coming in,” Soucinek said. “For the first and last day, I was able to start in the morning. The second day (starting in the afternoon) was tough, but I was lucky. I was able to shoot 69 and get what I could get.”
Jaden Weisman finished in solo second at 7-over for the tournament. St. Simons Island’s Worth Pickens tied for third with Preston Smith and JD Del Priore at 11 over.
Five more winners were also crowned Tuesday across different age groups. Sarah Edwards held on to her two-shot lead to win the 14-18 girls division over Lauren Davenport. In the Under 13 girls division, McKenzie Mages won by a shot over Amanda Phillips.
One shot was also the difference in the 14-15 boys division with Charles Warren holding off Payne Elkins for the win. Carson Higginbotham won the Under 10 boys division by two shots over Jackson Harris, and there was a tie in the 11-13 boys group between Chapman Barnett and Reed Lotter.
The divisions that played in the afternoon — 14-18 girls, Under 13 girls and 11-13 boys — were shortened to nine holes because of weather.
Tournament director Chad Peters said the HJGT has enjoyed getting a chance to come to a venue that also hosts a PGA Tour event. Plantation, along with Seaside, are home to the RSM Classic every November.
“It’s been really enjoyable,” Peters said. “The course has been as good as it gets. The kids have been so excited to play on a course where a PGA Tour event is played at. Sea Island’s been great. Everyone at The Lodge has been great to me and my staff.”
Due to construction on new facilities around the course, Peters said the 10th hole played 165 yards shorter than usual. That meant adding some length in other areas across the course.
“Throughout the course, we set it up fair but challenging,” Peters said.
Just getting a chance to play on a course with PGA Tour standing wasn’t lost on Soucinek.
“It’s amazing to come to a venue like this at Sea Island (and win),” Soucinek said. “Being able to shoot the scores I shot on a PGA Tour venue — I loved it.”