Wren captures crown at Virginia Beach National
Dingman’s steady play leads her to victory
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The International Junior Golf Tour’s (IJGT) Northeast Tour was in Virginia Beach, Va., on Nov. 2-3 for The Battle at Virginia Beach National. The two-day, 36-hole tournament was hosted by Virginia Beach National Golf Club, with players competing for national rankings and IJGT Merit Points. The field consisted of 21 players, ages 10-19, representing four states. The tournament was the last IJGT Event in the Northeast for the Fall Season.
Virginia Beach National opened in 1999 and has played host to a number of professional events. Known as one of the top golf courses in the Tidewater Area, the Web.com Tour held their Virginia Beach Open there every year from 2000-2006. The par-72 course was designed by Pete Dye, while being assisted by Curtis Strange. The course played at 6,851 yards for the Boys 15-19 Division, 6,143 for the Boys 14 & Under Division, and 5,809 for the Girls Division. The first round was competed in ideal golf weather, with temperatures in the mid 60s and a slight breeze, while the final round was defined by a consistent wind, with gusts reaching 30 miles per hour.
In the Boys 15-19 Division, Trey Wren Suffolk, Va., did not have the best of starts, but turned things around in a big way on his road to victory.
On his opening nine during the first round, Wren bogeyed four holes, shooting a 40. Wren ended the front side with two pars, and carried that momentum onto the back nine. He strung together six more pars, and then birdied No. 16, before finishing with two more pars to shoot a 1-under-par 35 on the back nine. His first-round score of 75 gave him a three-stroke lead over Nicholas Bruner of Virginia Beach, Va., and a five-stroke lead over Tyler Putnam, also of Virginia Beach, Va. Bruner started with a 37 on the front nine, including a birdie at No. 2, the top handicap hole on the course. But he could not duplicate Wren’s success on the back nine, as he shot a 41. Putnam finished with a score of 40 on both sides.
Wren started off the final round on fire. He put together the low nine-hole score of the tournament by shooting a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine. Wren bogeyed holes Nos. 3 and 4, but made up for it with five birdies. His birdies came at the second, fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth holes. With a commanding lead, Wren coasted on the back nine, highlighted by four pars to end his round. He finished with a back-nine score of 40 to shoot 73 for the day and 148 for the tournament, giving him a seven-stroke victory. Teddy Hoffman of Virginia Beach, Va., finished second with scores of 82-73-155. Hoffman’s final round included a birdie at the difficult par-3 seventh hole as part of a front-nine 38. Hoffman finished the tournament in style by shooting 1-under-par 35 on the back nine. His score of 73 tied him with Wren for the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award.
“Early on I made a bunch of birdies and that helped,” Wren noted as the moment he knew he was on his way to victory.
Jake Niedosik of Lansdale, Pa., finished third with scores of 81-75-156.
In the Girls Division, Ashley Dingman of Lorton, Va., earned her first victory by firing scores of 77-80-157. Dingman started her first round with a double-bogey, but recovered to rip off six straight pars. She bogeyed holes Nos. 8 and 9, finishing with a front-nine score of 40. Dingman saved some of her best play for the back nine, with a par at the 10th hole and a birdie at the 11th hole. She put together her second long streak of pars, with five more from holes Nos. 12-16. Like the front side, she finished with two bogeys, but still shot a sparkling 37 on the back nine. Madeline Sager of Kimberton, Pa., also had a strong back nine, shooting a 38 to finish the day with a score of 81.
With the wind much stronger in the final round, Dingman found ways to avoid any big mistakes. Consistent approach shots were key to her success on the front nine, which included a birdie at No. 7 as part of a 40. She started the back nine with a bang, making birdies on both hole No. 10 and No. 11. Dingman ran into some trouble at the 14th and 15th holes, but she had a comfortable lead by then. She finished with a matching score of 40 on the back to shoot an 80 for the final round to win the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award.
“I was feeling really good at the turn and then I made birdies back-to-back. I hit a rough patch but battled through,” Dingman mentioned as the turning point of her final round.
Sager finished second with scores of 81-88-169. Her final round was highlighted by a birdie at the par-5, eighth hole.
The Boys 14 & Under Division presented the most drama, as Will Clark of Virginia Beach, Va., came away with a three-stroke victory.
Clark opened his tournament by shooting a 77 in the first round. A bogey at the second hole was his only blemish as part of a 1-over-par 37 on the front nine. Clark added a birdie at No. 11 as part of a back-nine 40. Only one shot back of Clark after the first round was Gordan Brixi of Potomac, Md. Brixi opened with a birdie at the first hole and also birdied the seventh hole while shooting even-par on the front. Brixi shot a 42 on the back nine to finish his day with a 78. Gordan’s brother, Garyk Brixi of Potomac, Md., sat three shots back of Clark, while Ryan Pongrac of Freehold, N.J., was four shots back after the first round.
Clark and Gordan Brixi matched each other with a 40 on the front nine during the final round. Garyk Brixi was unable to make up any ground on the two, also shooting a 40. Pongrac was putting together a nice round until he found trouble at the seventh and ninth holes to fall out of contention.
Gordan Brixi and Clark were tied after the 12th after Gordan Brixi had a par and Clark bogeyed. The two remained tied until Gordan Brixi bogeyed No. 14 to fall one stroke behind. Garyk Brixi slowly fell off the pace with three consecutive bogeys on holes Nos. 12-14.
A birdie at No. 16 gave Clark a two-stroke lead over Gordan Brixi, and the lead remained the same after both bogeyed the par-3, 17th. On the 18th hole, both players found the fairway off the tee, but Gordan Brixi found a bunker while Clark hit the green, with only 20 feet separating him from a victory. Gordan Brixi’s bunker shot came to rest 15 feet from the cup and he was unable to drain his par putt. Clark easily two-putted to finish off the victory in his hometown.
“I had to gear it down with my irons and focus on controlling the ball flight,” Clark noted as his key to dealing with the winds.
Gordan Brixi finished second with final scores of 78-80-158, while Garyk Brixi was third with 80-80-160 totals.
The IJGT returns to action next weekend for The Major Championship at Palmetto Dunes in Hilton Head Island, S.C. The tournament will be contested on the George Fazio Course at the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. 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, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Kiawah Island Resort, and Harbour Town Golf Links. Official partners of the IJGT include Bridgestone Golf, Quagmire Golf, CHAMP Spikes, Clazic Belts, AB Golf Designs, The First Tee, Sundog Eyewear, Golfweek, morodZ, PURE Grips, and the International Junior Golf Academy.
To obtain more information about the IJGT, please visit www.IJGT.com or call (800) 792-9143.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Final-round results of the IJGT Battle at Virginia Beach National conducted by the International Junior Golf Tour completed November 3, 2013. Boys 15-19 Division: Gold Tees – 6,851 yards, Par 72 (73.9/137) Boys 14 & Under Division: Blue Tees – 6,143 yards, Par 72 (70.4/125) Girls Division: White Tees – 5,809 yards, Par 72 (73.7/125)
Saturday: Sunny with temperatures in the low 60’s with 5-10 mph winds
Sunday: Cloudy with temperatures in the low 50’s with 30-35 mph winds
International Junior Golf Tour
IJGT Battle at Virginia Beach National
Virginia Beach, Va.
November 2-3, 2013
Boys 15-19 Division – Gold Tees, 6,851 yards, Par 72
1. Trey Wren, Suffolk, VA *75-73–148
2. Teddy Hoffmann, Virginia Beach, VA *82-73–155
3. Jake Niedosik, Lansdale, PA *81-75–156
4. Tom Crow, Virginia Beach, VA *82-76–158
4. Tyler Putnam, Virginia Beach, VA *80-78–158
6. Nicholas Bruner, Virginia Beach, VA *78-82–160
7. Phil Colevas, Rockville, MD *82-79–161
8. Travis Broome, Virginia Beach, VA *83-79–162
9. Adam Bacon, Fairfax Station, VA *84-82–166
9. Connor Jaenke, Arnold, MD *84-82–166
11. Christopher Chiminski, Penns Park, PA *83-89–172
12. Jake McKenzie, Virginia Beach, VA *82-92–174
13. Sam Hecht, Oakton, VA *97-87–184
14. William Bell, Williamsburg, VA *99-91–190
Boys 14 & Under Division – Blue Tees, 6,143 yards, Par 72
1. Will Clark, Virginia Beach, VA *77-78–155
2. Gordan Brixi, Potomac, MD *78-80–158
3. Garyk Brixi, Potomac, MD *80-80–160
4. Ryan Pongrac, Freehold, NJ *81-82–163
Girls Division – White Tees, 5,809 yards, Par 72
1. Ashley Dingman, Lorton, VA *77-80–157
2. Madeline Sager, Kimberton, PA *81-88–169
DID NOT FINISH
Alexis Harris, Piscataway, NJ *DQ (Rule 6-3a)