The IJGA hosted the IJGA Invitational at Sea Pines in conjunction with the International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) on December 13-14, 2014, and academy students dominated the field. The junior golfers had the opportunity to play on both the Ocean Course and Harbour Town Golf Links during the two-day, 36-hole event.
The field was divided into three divisions: Boys 15-19, Boys 14 & Under and Girls. IJGA students swept all three divisions.
Competition was fierce in the Boys 15-19 Division as there was just a two-stroke difference between the first and third place scores.
Shiso Go of Kanagawa, Japan, shot a 3-under-par 69 in round one at the Ocean Course on his way to his victory in the Boys 15-19 Division. Go had an impressive 23-hole bogey-free streak starting with a birdie on the par-5 hole No. 4 at the Ocean Course in round one and continuing through hole No. 8 in round two at Harbour Town.
By winning the IJGA Invitational, Go received an exemption into both the Junior Heritage and the Hudson Junior Invitational, an honor awarded to the winner in both the Boys 15-19 Division and the Girls Division.
Hilton Head Island, S.C., native Nicholas Russell made himself comfortable with a 3-over score of 74 on the difficult Harbour Town course. Moving on to score even-par 72 in round two at the Ocean Course allowed him to secure second with a tournament total of 146.
Sera Tadokoro of Osaka, Japan, won her second consecutive IJGT tournament after winning the Savannah Junior at The Landings last weekend. She carded five birdies in her opening round on the Ocean Course for an even-par 72. Round two on Harbour Town for Tadokoro was all about consistency as she carded par on nine straight holes to open the day.
Like Go, Tadokoro received exemptions into the Junior Heritage and the Hudson Junior.
Bluffton, S.C., native Kayla Kozak earned IJGT Player of the Week honors for her solid play during the IJGA Invitational. Kozak tied for second in just her second tournament of the season with a tournament-total 153. Sharing second with Kozak was Mind Puangcharoen of Chonburi, Thailand. Puangcharoen’s opening round was her most impressive as she carded par or better on all but one hole for the entire round to finish with an even-par 72. This was Puangcharoen’s best finish so far this season.
Dong Jin Park won the Boys 14 & Under Division by a staggering 11 strokes. He started the tournament by making par on the first six holes on the Ocean Course before continuing on to add two birdies on the round. Park led the division by just a single stroke after round one, but his 2-over-par 73 at Harbour Town in round two earned a decisive victory.
Windermere, Fla., native Yujie Jin took home second in the Boys 14 & Under Division with a total score of 159. The highlight of his round came on the Ocean Course where he scored par or better on 15 of 18 holes.
Thomas Pfoestl of Schenna, Italy, finished third with a tournament-total 163. In his opening round, Pfoestl combined two pairs of back-to-back birdies to keep himself in the running for the lead.
For full results from the event, click here.
Congratulations to all the IJGA students who participated in the IJGA Invitational at Sea Pines!