Avondale, Pa. – The IJGT continued the Northeast Tour with the Major Championship at Hartefeld National held on, April 5-6, 2014. With chilly but sunny skies, the weather for the tournament was beautiful. The staff at Hartefeld National Golf Club worked diligently to ensure that the course was prepared for its first golf of the season. Players had to battle windy conditions during round one with wind gusts up to 30 mph, requiring them to adjust their shots. Round two featured improved scoring and had a lot of great golf. Many players improved on their scores, including Ryan Rybicki, of Maricopa, Ariz., and Esther Park, of Wilmington, Del., who earned Player of the Week honors for the Northeast Tour.
Rybicki, in his fourth season with the IJGT, adds his performance at the Major Championship at Hartefeld National to an already impressive tournament resume. Battling winds in excess of 30 mph during round one, Rybicki struggled to find a rhythm but never allowed it to take him out of his game. He avoided any scores higher than bogey throughout the entire weekend, but entered the final round eight strokes behind the leader, James Nicholas of Scarsdale, N.Y., and tied for 16th place.
After bogeying his first hole, Rybicki found rhythm and carried it through to the rest of the round. During the middle of his round, he scored par or better on six consecutive and 11 of his final 13 holes, highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 eighth hole. He ended the final round with a tournament low one-over-par 73, earning him the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award. His tournament total 157 landed him in fifth place overall, and into fifth place in the IJGT Tour Rankings for the Boys 15-19 Division. We wish Rybicki the best of luck the rest of the season and hope to see him again soon.
Park, playing in her second event of the season with the IJGT, added another top-five finish to her tournament resume after battling back from a tough first round. While she handled the par-5 holes well in round one, scoring par on three of the four holes, she had some difficulty with the remaining holes in round one. Showing great fortitude allowed her to put round one behind her en route to improving her score by 3 strokes in round two, including a birdie on the tough par-4 12th hole. Park took advantage of the par-3s in round two, scoring par on all but one the par 3-s. Her final round score of 82 was the second lowest round on Sunday for the Girls Division. We wish Park the best of luck and look forward to watching her compete in future tournaments.
Durham, N.C. — The IJGT hosted the College Series at Duke University on April 5-6, 2014. The Washington Duke Golf Club provided a challenging venue for the players with recently renovated greens and a variety of elevation changes throughout the course. The weekend offered dry conditions with warm weather for round one while stronger winds and colder temperatures made round two more difficult. Our Players of the Week for the Southeast Tour are Dylan Lukes of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Phyllis Tang of Hong Kong, China.
In just his third event with the IJGT, Lukes demonstrated perseverance after bouncing back from a tough first round. His first-round score of 84 left Lukes seven strokes out of the lead but he came back during round two determined to climb up the leader board. Lukes played with consistency, carding three birdies as he cut seven strokes off his round one score en route to a score of 77 for round two. Lukes finished tied for fourth place with an 84-77–161 overall. Congratulations to Dylan and we look forward to seeing him compete in more IJGT tournaments in the near future!
Tang, the Girls Division second-place finisher, carded a total of six pars and three birdies to finish with an impressive round-one score of 79 and in the lead. Greeted by tough weather conditions in round two, Tang posted a round-two score of 81 highlighted by two birdies and six pars. She finished the tournament with an overall score of 79-81–160 and her second top-five finish for the 2013-2014 season. Best of luck to Phyllis the rest of the 2014 season!