McDowell takes first in a playoff victory
Ogawa secures his third victory of the season
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) headed north to the Columbia Country Club to host the Palmetto Open on March 22-23, 2014. Both rounds were played in perfect golf weather with temperatures in the 70s, light breezes and abundant sunshine. Forecasted rain held out and allowed the juniors to compete in dry conditions for IJGT Merit Points and national rankings. The field featured juniors between the ages of 12 and 19 years old.
Going into round two, Tennoshin Ogawa of Ichinomiya-shi, Japan, led by two strokes after tallying three birdies and finishing with a 1-under-par score of 71. Kicking off round two with two birdies, Ogawa attempted to pull away but second place finisher Luigi D’Amico of Forli, Italy, was not far behind. D’Amico carded four birdies in his own second-round effort to put him even with Ogawa in round two. It was Ogawa’s consistency though that allowed him to prevail. Tallying six total birdies and making par on 23 holes led Ogawa to a 71-74 – 145 overall score for a first-place finish in the 36-hole tournament. The first-place finish became his third victory of the 2013-2014 season and sixth top-ten finish in eight IJGT events played.
“I was not nervous [after round one] and felt confident since my irons ended up working well for me,” said Ogawa.
Second place in the Boys 15-19 Division went to D’Amico who improved from fourth place after round one to finish with a 74-74 – 148 overall score.
The Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award, the award that goes to the player in each division with the lowest score in the final round of the tournament, went to Karan Arjun of Bangalore, India, who carded a 1-under-par-71 in round two.
In the Girls Division, Nikita Arjun of Bangalore, India, came from behind to secure first place. Going into round two three strokes behind, Arjun took to the course and shaved an impressive four strokes off of her first round to pass round-one leader, Maggie Ashmore of Kingston, Ga. Though she struggled in round one with seven bogeys, Arjun added two birdies and only two bogeys in round two to ensure her place in first. Coming off of a second-place finish at Kiawah Island in February, the victory at Columbia Country Club is her first of the season and becomes her eighth top-five finish for 2013-2014. Arjun, the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award winner, finished the tournament with a score of 78-74 – 152 overall.
Ashmore finished with a score of 75-78 – 153 overall to take second place. Rounding out the Girls Division was Milleina Ohara of Meguro-Ku, Japan, who finished with a score of 82-77 – 159 overall.
“Putting was the most difficult [for me] because the greens were really fast so it was really hard to read,” commented Arjun.
In a competitive Boys 14 & Under Division, Chandler McDowell of Alberta, Canada, and Chase Ingram of Bluffton, S.C., both trailed by three strokes after round one but consistency in round two allowed McDowell to cut four strokes off his round-one score to tie for first with an overall score of 158, sending it into a playoff. McDowell benefitted from his long game to come up big to finish with par on the playoff hole for the win.
Following the playoff, McDowell took first with a score of 81-77 – 158 while Ingram rounded out the Boys 14 & Under Division in third with an overall score if 161.
When asked about his approach to his first playoff scenario, McDowell said, “I hit my drive just behind the bunker and when I saw that id hit it into the bunker I just hit it in the middle of the green for an easy two putt.”
The IJGT’s next event will be The College Classic at Duke University in Durham, N.C., on April 5-6, 2014. To sign up for this Event, click here.
About the IJGT
The IJGT provides exceptional junior golfers with the opportunity to develop and showcase their competitive skills while setting high standards to preserve the traditions and integrity of the game. As a tour that operates primarily throughout the academic year, the IJGT hosts approximately 60 tournaments annually. In addition, the IJGT hosts three international events. Each event provides multi-day competition for junior golfers of all skill levels ages 9-19. Players representing 45 states and 43 countries around the world regularly compete in events at venues such as TPC Sawgrass, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Kiawah Island Resort, and Harbour Town Golf Links. Official partners of the IJGT include Bridgestone Golf, Dynamic Brands, Clazic Belts, Oakley, Sun Mountain, The First Tee, Golfweek, morodZ, PURE Grips, and the International Junior Golf Academy.
To obtain more information about the IJGT, please visit www.IJGT.com or call (843) 785-2444.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Final round results of the IJGT Palmetto Open conducted by the International Junior Golf Tour completed March 23, 2014. Boys 15-19 Division: Blue Tees – 6,957 yards, Par 72 (74.0/136). Boys 14 & Under Division: White Tees – 6,281 yards, Par 72 (70.5/132). Girls Division: Black Tees – 5,996 yards, Par 72 (71.5/122).
Weather: Sunny with temperatures in the Mid 70s, winds 3-5 mph
Cloudy with temperatures in the Low 60s, winds 10-15 mph
International Junior Golf Tour
Palmetto Open at Columbia Country Club
March 22-23, 2014
Course: Ridgewood/Tall Pines