While the weather and course conditions were both perfect, Hilton Head National proved to be a tough test for the elite field of junior golfers.
In the Boys 15-19 Division, the final round is set up to be a special day with two golfers tied for the lead, and two others tied for second just one stroke back. GeunTae Kim (SuSeong-DaeGu, South Korea) and Tennoshin Ogawa (Ichinomiya-shi, Japan) lead the field after 18 holes with matching 1-under-par 70 scores. Right on their tails are Shota Ozaki of Tokyo, Japan, and Luigi D’Amico of Forli, Italy, who posted first-round scores of even-par 71. Maurizuo Debono of Basiguo, Italy, shot a 1-over-par 72, and sits in fifth place.
GeunTae Kim and Tennoshin Ogawa by the numbers:
33 – Kim’s score on the back nine at Hilton Head National, which was good for 2-under par on those nine holes.
28 – Combined pars made by Kim and Ogawa in the first round. Ogawa tallied 15 of them, while Kim added 13.
6 – Wins by Ogawa last season in the Boys 14 & Under Division on the IJGT.
5- Combined birdies made by the duo. Kim racked up three, while Ogawa had two.
2 – Wins by Kim last season on the IJGT.
Yet again, Jana Wuensch of Herrenberg, Germany, is running away with the Girls Division after posting a first round score of 2-under-par 69. This would be her third win in as many weeks on the IJGT. Wuensch holds a six-stroke lead over Brià Sanders of Cordova, Tenn.
Jana Wuensch by the numbers:
69 – Wuensch’s score for the round, which was the lowest score by any golfer in any of three divisions.
14 – The number of pars holed by Wuensch in the first round.
2 – The number of birdies in the first three holes for Wuensch. She jumped out to a hot start, and was able to play even-par golf the rest of the way.
2 – Consecutive wins by Wuensch on the IJGT. Another strong round in the final round would give Wuensch her third win in a row.
In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Ben El Cohn of Bluffton, S.C., leads the way after a 5-over-par 76 in the first round. He leads last week’s winner, Takafumi Shimoji of Okinawa, Japan, by two strokes. Luis Sanchez of Xalapa, Mexico, posted a 9-over-par 80, and is four strokes back of the leader in third place.
Ben El Cohn by the numbers:
35 – Cohn’s score on the front nine, good for 1-under-par.
8 – Pars by Cohn in his first 18 holes. Finding consistency will be key in Sunday’s final round.
3 – Birdies on the day for Cohn.
1 – Eagle by Cohn in the first round. He holed out from 80-yards away on his first hole, the par-4 10th.