This past weekend (February 28 – March 1, 2015) 65 juniors competed at the IJGT Junior at Palmetto Dunes. In challenging conditions, IJGA students showed well with a forced four-hole playoff in the Boys 15-19 Division and girls bringing home top honors in the Girls Division as well.
After the first round, IJGA senior Ritwik Jain of New Dehli, India, led the Boys 15-19 Division with a score of 77. On the second day, Jason Stokes of St. Brelade, Jersey, and Yong Sherng Hui of Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, both played strong rounds to tie for the lead, forcing a playoff.
In Stokes’ second round performance; he took six strokes off his score from the first round, knocked in two birdies, and carded par-or-better on his first seven holes. Hui’s second round performance, an even-par 70, was the best in the field bringing him home the Clazic Belt Low Final Round Award. His round was highlighted by four birdies including back-to-back birdies on holes No. 6 & 7.
During the playoff both boys proved to be strong competitors, matching stroke for stroke on the first playoff hole and knocking in matching birdies on the par-5 hole No. 10. Next, they moved on to hole No. 18 where they both made par. They then returned to hole No. 10, this time both making par. It was back to hole No. 18 for a second time where Hui sealed his victory in the Boys 15-19 Division. Both boys remained friendly, a key lesson for all IJGA competitors, following the playoff sharing a quick handshake and hug on the green.
This win was Hui’s first of this season. Stokes previously won at the South Carolina Open at Kiawah Island on Feb. 14-15, 2015. Also playing well on the second day was third place finisher Chandler McDowell of Springbrook, Canada. McDowell shot 3-under on his back nine on day two on his way to his season best finish since his tie for third at the IJGT Junior at Colleton River in September of 2014.
In the girls Division, Chomchana “Cake” Phuchanbanchob, Chonburi, Thailand, took an early lead and never looked back. Following round one she led the Girls Division with a score of 3-over par 73 thanks to 11 pars and two birdies. The second round proved tougher for the senior but she nonetheless took home the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award with a score of 78.
In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Chase Phillips of Hilton Head Island, S.C., tied for third following a finish with pars on seven of his last nine holes.
Congratulations to all!