The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) will be in Bluffton, S.C. on Dec. 7-8 for the Bluffton Junior at Hampton Hall. Hampton Hall Club’s Pete Dye Signature Course last hosted an IJGT Event Nov. 10-11, 2012, with the Major Championship at Hampton Hall Club being contested there. The two-day tournament will consist of top junior golfers from around the world competing for national rankings and IJGT Merit Points over the course of 36 holes.
Dye’s course at Hampton Hall features a brilliantly open design, but requires more precision than would seem. Water hazards come into play on 15 of the courses holes, while a number of strategically placed bunkers make precision needed on every shot. . With yardage stretching anywhere from 5,329 yards to 7,503 yards and swirling winds, this links-style course embodies the original soul of golf.
In the Boys 15-19 Division, Shogo Ito of Tokyo, Japan, Jake Kessel of Woodcliff Lake, N.J., and Sam Meuret of Brunswick, NE, highlight a number of players who look to tackle Dye’s course. Ito earned his first victory in the Boys 15-19 Division, and third career IJGT victory, earlier this year with a strong performance at the Florida Junior at Black Diamond. Ito carded 10 birdies over the two-day event, capturing a five stroke victory. Kessel will be looking to earn his first career victory. He came close earlier this year, finishing in a tie for second at the Aiken Junior Open at Woodside Plantation. Meuret, in his second year with the IJGT, has been a top-10 mainstay, finishing there in 11 of his 15 career events on tour.
In the Girls Division, Kelly Whaley of Farmington, CT, looks to continue her recent run of success on the IJGT. In her last five events, dating back to the 2012-13 season, Whaley has three victories and hasn’t finished lower than in a tie for second. She was most recently victorious at the Major Championship at Palmetto Dunes after firing scores of 73-70-143 at the George Fazio Course. Samantha Huang of Shenzhen, China, will be one of Whaley’s biggest challengers. Huang has been victorious at the IJGT Island Open at Palmetto Hall and the Sanctuary Shootout this year and looks to add a third victory to her impressive rookie season with the IJGT.
In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Takafumi Shimoji of Okinawa, Japan, headlines the field. Shimoji has been stellar this season, winning three tournaments and finishing second in his other two events. The highlight of his season was a dominating performance in his first event, the Lowcountry Open at Oldfield GC, where he shot scores of 67-71-138 to finish the tournament at 6-under-par and earn a 9 stroke victory. His score of 138 was the low of any player in the field. Brandon McBride of Bluffton, SC, looks to prevent Shimoji of his fourth victory while earning his first of the season. McBride has finished in the top-3 in three events this season and has placed no lower than sixth in any event.
To register for the Bluffton Junior at Hampton Hall, click here.