The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) made it back to Hummelstown, Pa., on Oct. 26-27, 2013 for The Final Challenge at Hershey Links. The tall fescue grass and undulating greens at the Hershey Links Golf Course were tough enough as is; however, Mother Nature threw in a healthy dose of wind for the tournament as well. The players were exposed to a true links course experience as they battled wind gusts of 30-40 miles per hour during the first round. Our Players of the Week for the Northeast Region are Liza Freed of Alexandria, Va., and Rij Patel of Hunt Valley, Md.
Freed had a tough start to the tournament with just one birdie on her way to a score of 84 during the first round. This left her in a tie for fourth place after battling the windy conditions. During the final round, Freed came back with consistent play, including 13 pars, five of them in succession from holes 7-11. With her resilient final round, Freed’s 78 was good enough to move her up to second place and take the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award for her performance. She was also the only player in the Girls Division to break 80 during the second round, and one of only two girls to break 80 over both days. With her impressive round of 78 during the tough conditions, as well as her recent win at the College Series at University of Maryland, Freed has proven herself as a great all-around player through three seasons on the IJGT.
Patel found himself tied for 11th place after the first round. Entering the final round, Patel teed off just before the winds picked up, which proved to be an advantage as he fired a 3-over-par 39 on the front nine to put himself in position to make a charge for the leaders. After a 1-under-par 35 on the back nine with two birdies, Patel was the leader in the clubhouse with the low round of the tournament at 2-over-par 74. The 74 Patel put together was also good enough to clinch the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award for the Boys Divisions. In addition, Patel’s low final round moved him into a tie for third place, which was his first top three finish this season, and eighth over his four seasons on the IJGT. Patel will carry this momentum into the Thanksgiving Day Classic at TPC Sawgrass on Nov. 29-Dec. 1.