Bluffton, S.C. – The International Junior Golf Tour conducted the Carolina Classic at Colleton River Plantation in Bluffton, S.C., on Jan. 25-26, 2014. The event at Colleton River, the site of the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, is a highlight on the schedule, and this year’s competition certainly lived up to its high expectations. Volunteers from the Professional Golfers Career College assisted with numerous tasks throughout the weekend and a passionate Colleton River staff worked ardently to prepare the Dye Course for the event. While the weekend got off to a cold and windy start, creating some difficulties for the players, the final round conditions were favorable and allowed for a more enjoyable experience for all and lower scores for the competitors. Brad Cook, from Jackson, Wy., and Kayla Kozak, of Bluffton, S.C., earned Player of the Week honors with exceptional play throughout the weekend, leading to personal bests.
Cook (left), in his first year with the IJGT, faced off against a very tough field, but played well throughout the weekend to earn himself a third-place finish. Tough winds and a score of 80 left Cook in seventh place after round one; however, he played consistently throughout the second round, avoiding any large numbers and scoring a birdie on his final hole of the tournament to secure a third-place tie with Keshav Sharma of New Delhi, India. Cook’s finish and total score of 80-77–157 are both personal bests in his short IJGT career. We look forward to seeing Brad compete in many more events this spring, including the Major Championship at Kiawah Island Feb. 15-16 and the Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions at Grand Cypress Resort May 24-26.
Kozak (left), who entered the tournament as one of the favorites to win, captured a lead early and never looked back, en route to her first career IJGT victory and third top-ten finish on the year. On the first day of the tournament, when most struggled due to the cold weather and strong winds, Kozak managed eight pars and one birdie, helping her finish with an impressive score of 80. Her performance only got better with time, as she shaved off three strokes in her final round, to card a total of 157 for the tournament. Kayla was very excited to have won her first IJGT tournament and is looking forward to continued success the rest of the season. Kozak’s next tournament will be Feb. 22-23, 2014 at the Georgia Junior at Savannah Harbor.
For full results from the Carolina Classic at Colleton River Plantation, click here.