Final Results from the Summer Series at Hershey

Potten and Kang take first titles in playoff

 

HERSHEY, Pa. – The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) headed back to the northeast and combined two of their top venues for the Summer Series at Hershey.  The first round was played on the championship design Hershey Country Club – East Course.  The final round moved the players to the Hershey Links Golf Club boosting high fescue grass creating a challenge on every hole.
In the Boys 15-19 Division, Zachary Potten of Wharton, N.J., battled back after a rough start in first round to take the hardware home in a playoff.  He started off his Event with a first-round 85, which put him five strokes back of the leader Matt Garza of Cheltenham, Pa.  After the first round there were five players within five strokes of the leader which would make for an exciting finish when the table turned to Hershey Links Golf Club.
“I knew if I stayed patient and put a good round together I would have a chance,” said Potten when asked how he felt after being down five strokes after the first round.
Perfect weather for the second straight day in Hershey made for an exciting finish and Potten did nothing but satisfy all watching.  He was paired with Ezekiel Zhao of Annapolis, Md., and neither competitor knew until after scoring that they had finished tied atop the leaderboard.  Potten made one birdie in the entire event and it happened to be at the most important. On the last hole of regulation, Potten drained a 30-foot putt for birdie that ultimately forced extra holes.
When the committee decided that the playoff would start on hole No. 10, Potten cringed as he had four-putted this green earlier in the day.  However, he split the fairway with his drive leaving only 130 yards to the flagstick.  He watched as Zhao left his second a little left and fell into the rough.  Potten elected to play to the middle of the large green.  From there he two-putted for his par which was good enough to walk away with his first IJGT title.
Rounding out the top three was Garza, playing in his first IJGT event who finished the event with a 164.
The Girls Division was also very competitive but Raphaella Kang of Bayside, N.Y., managed to outlast the field of fierce competitors.  Kang had five runner-up finishes in the 2012-2013 Season with the IJGT and was more than deserving of her first victory.  She played consistent all weekend as she fired an 80 in both of her rounds.
Leading after the first round left Kang a little uncomfortable.
“I was very nervous,” remarked Kang.
She seemed to handle her nerves well by starting her round with two impressive pars on the tough starting holes at Hershey Links.  She fell into a small slump on the front but bounced right back on the back nine making four straight pars.  Kang’s round was highlighted by an eagle on the back nine.
“It was on hole No. 16, where I hit a 7-iron and holed it for an eagle,” said an excited Kang.
This really put the pressure on her fellow competitors as she was battling Carley Hopton of Madison, N.J., who was putting together a great round herself.  Hopton managed to put together a round of 6-over-par 77 to push the event to a playoff.
Kang went into the playoff with the attitude that she was not going to lose, and she split the fairway almost perfectly on her drive.  She had a chance to win it on the first hole but lipped out on a challenging putt which pushed the match to the challenging par-3 11th hole.  Here she stuck it to about 15 feet and secured her victory by holing the putt.
Rounding out the top three was Audrey Clawson of Sarver, Pa., finishing the event with a total of 162 after firing an event-low 6-over-par 77 in the final round.
Clawson and Hopton both earned the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award in the Girls Division for their score of 6-over-par 77 on Saturday. In the Boys Division, Potten took home the honor after his 6-over-par 78 in the final round.
Garza and Kang earned the KENTWOOL Socks Lo-Pro Award, which goes to the player that shoots the lowest first-round score in every IJGT Event, after their impressive opening rounds on the East Course at Hershey Country Club.
The IJGT will be heading to Weston Golf & Country Club in Toronto, Canada next week to take on Team Canada in the North America Cup. 14 of the top players from the IJGT have been selected to compete in this prestigious team competition.
To sign up for future events or for more information on the IJGT, call (843) 785-2444 or visit www.IJGT.com.
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, Quagmire Golf, KENTWOOL, CHAMP Spikes, Clazic Belts, AB Golf Designs, The First Tee, Sundog Eyewear morodZ, PURE Grips, and International Junior Golf Academy.
To obtain more information about the IJGT, please visit www.IJGT.com  or call (800) 792-9143.
HERSHEY, Pa. – Final round results of the IJGT Summer Series at Hershey conducted by the International Junior Golf Tour completed June 22, 2013. Hershey Country Club East Course: Boys 15-19 Division: Blue Tees – 6800 yards, Par 71 (73.9/136). Girls Division: Gold Tees – 5921 yards, Par 71 (75.1/131).  Hershey Links: Boys 15-19 Division: Blue Tees – 6722 yards, Par 72 (72.3/133) Girls Division: Gold Tees – 5762 yards, Par 71 (74.6/134)
Weather:        Saturday: Sunny with temperatures in the low 80’s with 5-10 mph winds
                       Sunday: Sunny with temperatures in the high 80’s with 5-10 mph winds
International Junior Golf Tour
IJGT Summer Series at Hershey
Hershey, Pa.
June 21-22, 2013
Round 1: Hershey Country Club – East Course
Round 2: Hershey Links Golf Club
Boys 15-19 Division – (Blue Tees) Hershey CC East Course: 6,800 Yards, Par 71
Boys 15-19 Division – (Blue Tees) Hershey Links GC: 6,722 Yards, Par 72
1. Zachary Potten, Wharton, NJ *85-78–163**
2. Ezekiel Zhao, Annapolis, MD *82-81–163
3. Matt Garza, Cheltenham, PA *80-84–164
4. Mike Bliss, Newtown, PA *81-84–165
5. Hunter Lee, Great Neck, NY *85-88–173
6. William McEvoy, Saint James, NY *91-88–179
Girls Division – (Gold Tees) Hershey CC East Course: 5,921 Yards, Par 71
Girls Division – (Gold Tees) Hershey Links GC: 5,762 Yards, Par 71
1. Raphaella Kang, Bayside, NY *80-80–160**
2. Carley Hopton, Madison, NJ *83-77–160
3. Audrey Clawson, Sarver, PA *85-77–162
4. Lacey Bensing, Ephrata, PA *81-82–163
5. Macky Fouse, Aliquippa, PA *84-90–174
** Won in Playoff