Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions – Tour Preview

Bridgestone TOC feat image

The IJGT’s biggest, most exciting event of the season, the Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions, will be held on May 23-25, 2015, at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. Juniors will compete for IJGT Merit Points, national rankings, AJGA stars and bragging rights during the three-day, 54-hole event.

Additionally, the Tournament of Champions offers exemptions into a variety of first-class events. The Boys 15-19 Division champion will be invited to the Players Amateur, the Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational, the International Junior Masters, the North American Junior Amateur and the South Carolina Junior Golf Association Beth Daniel Junior Azalea. The runner-up in the Boys 15-19 Division will also receive an exemption to the Beth Daniel Junior Azalea.

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The top-scoring individual in the Girls Division will be invited to the North American Junior Amateur, the South Atlantic Women’s Amateur Championship and the Beth Daniel Junior Azalea. The runner-up in the Girls Division will also receive an exemption to the Beth Daniel Junior Azalea.

The event will begin with a welcome reception for the players and their families. On Sunday evening, the IJGT will announce the All-IJGT Team and Player of the Year for each division during the Night of Champions. Following the final round on Monday, there will be a special TOC Awards Ceremony. Everyone who registers for the Tournament of Champions will also receive a ticket to Universal Studios, ensuring they can have fun both at the park and on the course!

During the tournament, juniors will have the opportunity to play the North & East Nines and the New Course. Unlike other Orlando courses, the North and East Nines test accuracy as opposed to strength and distance. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the North (and South) Nines were opened in 1984 and the East Nine was opened two years later in 1986.

Also designed by Nicklaus, the New Course features challenging bunkers and steep slopes. The course pays homage to the famed Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. The links-style course features double greens, a winding creek and stone bridges. The New Course doesn’t use many bodies of water or clusters of trees to challenge golfers, but it does include 150 pot bunkers, some as deep as 12 feet!

Naturally, the Tournament of Champions features the winners from many IJGT tournament throughout the season. Below is a list of champions from the past season who are competing in this year’s event.

Boys 15-19 Division

Conor Byrne of Dublin, Ireland — IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National and IJGT Island Open at Palmetto Hall

Matt Cheng of Taipei, Taiwan — Junior World Qualifier at Golden Bear

Santiago Diaz of Merida, Mexico — Savannah Junior at The Landings and Carolina Classic at Colleton River

Shiso Go of Kanagawa, Japan — IJGT College Series at NC State, Major Championship at Dormie Club and the IJGA Invitational. Go was just named the IJGT Player of the Year in the Boys 15-19 Division. He tied for 11th in last year’s Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions.

Ritwik Jain of New Delhi, India — IJGT Oldfield Junior. Jain finished 10th in last year’s Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions.

Michael Jones of Potomac, Md. — IJGA Junior Open at Hershey Country Club

Douglas Kulikowski of Pittsford, N.Y. — College Series at Penn State University

Tennoshin Ogawa of Ichinomiya-shi, Japan — IJGT Junior at Colleton River and IJGT Lowcountry Open at Oldfield. He tied for 14th in last year’s Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions.

Benjamin Morris of Reisterstown, Md. — Pennsylvania Open at Nemacolin

Paul Terminello of White Plains, N.Y. — IJGT Junior Open at Pelham Bay

Dominic Wagner of Alexandria, Va. — IJGT Battle at Laurel Hill Golf Club

Trey Wren of Suffolk, Va. —  Lowcountry Junior at Wexford Plantation. He tied for 25th in last year’s Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions. He will be playing college golf at Temple University next year.

Ryoto Furuya of Alpharetta, Ga., won the Boys 15-19 Division of last year’s Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions

Girls Division

Kate Evanko of West Chester, Pa. — IJGT Philly Open at Radley Run Country Club

Ankita Kedlaya of Bangalore, India — IJGT Junior at Colleton River, Georgia Junior at Savannah Harbor and IJGT Oldfield Junior

Holly McCann of Raleigh, N.C. — IJGT Island Open at Palmetto Hall

Sera Tadokoro of Osaka, Japan — IJGT Island Open at Palmetto Hall, Savannah Junior at The Landings and the IJGA Invitational. She finished 10th in last year’s Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions.

Madison Braman of Loudonville, N.Y. — The Upstate Challenge at Brook Lea Country Club and IJGT Junior Open at Pelham Bay

Boys 14 & Under Division

TJ Buck of Penfield, N.Y. — The Architects Cup Presented by the IJGA and St. John Golf & Fitness Open at Mendon Golf Club

Jake Calamaro of Newtown Square, Pa. — Pennsylvania Open at Nemacolin

Tristan Galant of Cape Town, South Africa — BGGA Orlando Open at Lake Buena Vista

Evan Greenplate of Hilton Head Island, S.C. — College Series at Penn State University and IJGT Junior at Palmetto Dunes

Bronson Myers of Columbia, S.C. — Junior World Qualifier at Golden Bear

Mikee Ordona of Upland, Calif. — Arizona Open at Wigwam. This will be his fifth consecutive Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions; he finished 16th in last year’s event.

Chase Phillips of Hilton Head Island, S.C. — IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National

Luke Sample of New York, N.Y. — IJGT Jersey Open at Buena Vista Country Club and Metropolitan Junior at Forsgate Country Club

During the tournament, follow the IJGT on Twitter @IJGT for live updates. You can find tee times and view the leaderboard here on the IJGT website or by downloading the IJGT app on your phone or tablet.