PITTSFORD, N.Y. — The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) ventured to upstate New York for the Upstate Challenge at Locust Hill Country Club on Sept. 28-29, 2013. With its narrow, tree-lined fairways and small greens, Locust Hill Country Club proved to be an LPGA-caliber course. With great weather and spectacular course conditions, there were plenty of opportunities for players to score well this weekend. The Players of the Week in the Northeast Region are Sarah Godfrey-Singleton of Depew, N.Y., and Harry Jin of Palisades Park, N.J.
Godfrey-Singleton made her first appearance in an IJGT Event this week at Locust Hill. After a first round 87 put her in seventh place, Godfrey-Singleton came back on day two with her sights set on posting a solid score. She did just that and improved by eight strokes on her way to carding a 79. She was also one of only three girls to break 80 in the Girls Division during the final round. This moved her up to a fourth-place finish for the tournament. After her strong finish in the final round, Godfrey-Singleton will be one to watch in future IJGT appearances.
Jin definitely made a statement this weekend in his first IJGT Event. He was able to put two great rounds together to stay in the hunt through the 36th hole. Jin was tied for the lead after firing a 1-over-par 73 on Saturday and continued to play well into Sunday where he fired a 74 to move into a tie for second place with a 3-over-par 147 total. Heading into the last hole, Jin was tied for the lead but came up a bit short on the 18th green, failing to force a playoff. He made a total of seven birdies for the weekend and with this hot start, he looks forward to the South Jersey Open at Blue Heron Pines where he will try to capture his first win in an IJGT Event.
BEAUFORT, S.C. — Meanwhile, IJGT’s Southeast Tour hosted the Sanctuary Shootout at Sanctuary Golf Club on Cat Island in Beaufort, S.C. The tournament consisted of many talented junior golfers, where contestants competed on a beautiful and challenging golf course. Norman Hong of Shenzhen, China, and Yeji Ahn of Changwon-City, South Korea, both have received Player of the Week honors for the Southeast Region.
Hong, who competes in the Boys 15-19 Division, struggled his first day, shooting 14-over-par 85. Despite this first round performance, Hong came into Day 2 with a sheer determination to turn his play around; he did just that, hitting nearly every fairway in the final round. Hong shot a 3-over-par on the front nine and was on the green in regulation on every hole. He finished his final round with an 8-over-par 79, displaying consistence with his woods and irons throughout. Although this was his best outing thus far on the Southeast tour, Hong will continue to improve and will be looking for a win in upcoming tournaments.
Ahn, competing in the Girls Division, showed how practice can make perfect over the weekend. Ahn played extremely well in the final round, shooting 14-over-par 85, an incredible 13 stroke improvement over her first round outing. This 85 mark sets Ahn’s best score so far this year and she continues to improve on a daily basis. The turning moment in the final round came when she birdied the par-5 fifth hole, putting it within two feet of the cup on her drive. From that point on, she continued to hit nearly every fairway with her driver. Ahn remains a tough competitor and truly shows that if you practice hard, it pays off in the end with great results.