Choi clinches first victory at Half Moon Bay
Gong wins Girls Division title
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. – The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) conducted the Pacific Coast Open at Half Moon Bay Golf Links which featured talented junior golfers ages 9-19 representing four states competing for national recognition and IJGT Merit Points.
The Old Course at Half Moon Bay played very difficult over the weekend due to high winds and imperfect greens. Club selection was challenging for the junior golfers with the elevation changes on the Arnold Palmer – Francis Duane design. With all that being said, many junior golfers braved the conditions and delivered outstanding performances.
In the Boys 15-19 Division, an IJGT newcomer, William Choi of Dublin, Calif., earned the victory after two great rounds on the weekend. Choi started off the tournament well posting a 4-over-par 76 to take a one-stroke lead going into the final round. His round of 4-over-par 76 was the lowest round of the tournament regardless of division.
The final round did not start as Choi envisioned as he hit his opening tee shot out of bounds. After making a double-bogey on the first hole, he quickly calmed down and made three birdies on the front nine to make the turn with a 38. From there, the tournament was Choi’s to lose and he finished strong playing his last five holes in 1-over-par to close with a score of 80. The tournament total of 156 was good enough for a two-stroke victory, which was his first on the IJGT.
The Old Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links had out of bounds on every hole which made accuracy off the tee very important to success.
“My strategy was keeping the ball down the middle on this course…take advantage of the short par-4s and play safe on the par-5s,” commented Choi.
Finishing in a tie for second place were J.T. Bloomer of Boise, Idaho, and Ethan Gray of Winnemucca, Nev., with scores of 158. Bloomer’s final-round score of 5-over-par 77 earned him the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award, which goes to the player that shoots the lowest score in the final round of every IJGT tournament.
Samantha Gong of San Francisco, Calif., was victorious in the Girls Division after firing rounds of 82 and 80. Her tournament did not start as she had planned as she struggled on her first nine holes. She regrouped and displayed a strong mental game on the back nine, where she went on to shoot an even-par 36. Her performance gave her a six-stroke lead going into the final round.
It was important for Gong to play solid on the final day and avoid any large numbers on her scorecard. The front nine went well as she recorded six pars and three bogeys for a score of 39. From there it was smooth sailing as Gong added two birdies on the back nine to clinch her first IJGT victory.
“My goal was to get as many pars and birdies as possible,” said Gong.
Kylie Fong of Elk Grove, Calif., finished in second place after carding a tournament total of 167. Her final-round score of 6-over-par 78 was the lowest score in the Girls Division and also earned Fong the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award. Gurman Kaur of Elk Grove, Calif., rounded out the top three with a score of 173.
The Boys 14 & Under Division saw a familiar face atop the leaderboard as Grant Leppek of Rocklin, Calif., won his second IJGT title in the Fall 2013 Season. This one did not come easy for Leppek after an inconsistent round of 85 to start the tournament. He did not let it affect his approach on the final round, which ultimately lead to his victory.
The final-round comeback put together by Leppek included eight pars and two birdies en route to an 80. His tournament total of 165 gave him a two-stroke victory.
All weekend the competitors had nothing but great compliments for the closing two holes on the Old Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links, which have great views of the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s a great way to end and probably the best finishing hole I have ever played. It ‘s just a great hole to end on,” commented Leppek.
The IJGT West Coast tour will be back in action Dec. 7-8, 2013 at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., for the West Coast Major Championship. Players will compete on the Legends Course for national rankings and double IJGT Merit Points. To sign up for this Event, or others, visit IJGT.com or call (843) 785-2444.
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, Pinehurst, Bethpage State Park and Harbour Town Golf Links. Official partners of the IJGT include Bridgestone Golf, Quagmire Golf, CHAMP Spikes, AB Golf Designs, Clazic Belts, morodZ, Sundog Eyewear, PURE Grips, The First Tee, Golfweek and International Junior Golf Academy.
To obtain more information about the IJGT, please visit www.IJGT.com or call (843) 785-2444.
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. – Final round results of the IJGT Pacific Coast Open conducted by the International Junior Golf Tour completed Nov. 17, 2013. Boys 15-19 Division: Black Tees – 6,819 yards, Par 72 (74.5/133). Boys 14 & Under Division: White Tees – 6,225 yards, Par 72 (71.6/129) Girls Division: Gold Tees – 5,923 yards, Par 72 (75.2/132).
Weather: Saturday: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the Mid 50s, winds 15-20 mph
Sunday: Sunny with temperatures in the High 50s, winds 10-15 mph
Pacific Coast Open at Half Moon Bay
Half Moon Bay Golf Links – Old Course
Half Moon Bay, Calif.
November 16-17, 2013
Boys 15-19 Division – (Black Tees) 6,819 yards, Par 72
1. William Choi, Dublin, CA *76-80–156
2. Ethan Gray, Winnemucca, NV *77-81–158
2. J.T. Bloomer, Boise, ID *81-77–158
4. Dylan Vanderveer, El Dorado Hills, CA *81-81–162
5. Austin Fischer, Orinda, CA *80-83–163
6. Mitchell Diraimondo, Lafayette CA, *87-81–168
7. Will Lagomarsino, Orinda, CA *87-85–172
8. Karl Beidle, Reno, NV *90-88–178
9. Connor Alexander, Castle Rock, CO *102-88–190
10. Brandon Folke, Sherman Oaks, CA *96-95–191
11. Jake Leppek, Rocklin, CA *98-100–198
12. Michael Mendelsohn, San Francisco CA, *129-113–242
DID NOT FINISH
Trevor Hernstadt, Woddside, CA *JWD
Hayden Rodriguez, San Francisco, CA *94-JWD
Boys 14 & Under Division – (White Tees) 6,225 yards, Par 72
1. Grant Leppek, Rocklin, CA *85-80–165
2. Moibhi Tyndall, Mountain View, CA *84-83–167
3. Ian Scarborough, Half Moon Bay, CA *83-85–168
4. Mikee Ordona, Upland, CA *91-78–169
4. Cole Skach, Reno, NV *91-78–169
6. Michael Tan, Carmichael, CA *92-82–174
Girls Division – (Gold Tees) 5,923 yards, Par 72
1. Samantha Gong, San Francisco, CA *82-80–162
2. Kylie Fong, Elk Grove, CA *89-78–167
3. Gurman Kaur, Elk Grove, CA *88-85–173