Many IJGA juniors made their way to Walt Disney World Resort on October 11-12, 2014, to participate in the IJGT Florida Junior. The event, held at the Palm Course, offered IJGT merit points and national rankings in addition to a special invitation to the North American Junior Amateur Championship (NAJAC) to be held in Litchfield Park, Ariz., just outside of Phoenix, on December 30, 2014 – January 3, 2015. The top two male juniors from the Boys 15-19 Division and the top two female juniors from the Girls Division qualified for the event.
IJGA students showed well at the event, accounting for the top-five finishers in all three divisions. Further, all four available qualifying spots for the NAJAC went to IJGA students.
In the Boys 15-19 Division, Xue Wen Luo of Haikou, China, finished first with a two-day total of 145. The highlight of Luo’s tournament came in his come-from-behind performance in round two. Trailing by three at the end of round one, Luo returned in the second and final round to use a staggering seven birdies to help his 3-under-par 69 effort. Finishing just behind Luo with a tournament total 146 was Trey Wren of Suffolk, Va. Both Luo and Wren qualified for the NAJAC in their respective first and second place finishes.
In the Girls Division, Bunyaporn Zeng of Bangkok, Thailand, nabbed her first IJGT victory of the season with her scores of 74 and 75 combining for a total of 149. Zeng set a game plan centered around her putting which freed her from a string of bogeys to finish her second round with par or better, including an eagle on the difficult par-5 No. 14. Ankita Kedlaya of Bangalore, India, finished in second, becoming her third consecutive top-10 finish this season. Zeng and Kedlaya will join Luo and Wren as qualifiers for the NAJAC.
IJGA students also finishing in the top-five of each division include:
Boys 15-19 Division
3. Maurizio De Bono (151)
T4. Matt Cheng (152)
T4. Cameron Clair (152)
Boys 14 & Under Division
2. Mariano Leyva (158)
3. Thomas Pfoestl (161)
4. Ayushmaan Jaiswal (173)
5. Dazhuang Li (204)
3. Sera Tadokoro (154)
4. Cristina Liebana Lafita (164)
5. Yuki Nakayama (167)
Hungry for more competition, many IJGA juniors will hit the road this weekend, October 18-19, 2014, for the IJGT’s Georgia Open at Savannah Quarters. The field features more than 75 juniors with IJGA players to watch in each division.
Tennoshin Ogawa of Ichinomiya-shi, Japan, will look to extend his winning streak with a trophy from the Georgia Open. Ogawa began his 2014 fall season with back-to-back victories at the IJGT Junior at Colleton River and the IJGT Lowcountry Open at Oldfield GC. Shiso Go of Kanagawa, Japan, will also look to add another win to his resume at the Georgia Open. Go is coming off of a third place finish in the IJGT Lowcountry Open at Oldfield GC and carries a second place ranking in the 2014-15 IJGT Tour Rankings.
IJGA student Mariano Leyva of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be one to watch in the Boys 14 & Under Division. With three consecutive top-three finishes at IJGT events, including a second place finish at the Florida Junior, Leyva will be in pursuit of first place hardware.
In addition to Bunyaporn Zeng returning to the Girls Division, IJGA students Clementina Rodriguez of Caracas, Venezuela, and Mind Puangcharoen of Chonburi, Thailand, will be on the hunt for a win. The Georgia Open will be Rodriguez’s second event of the season and the third for Puangcharoen. Puangcharoen currently ranks 12th in the IJGT Tour Rankings.
Congratulations to all IJGA participants on your performances!