Goldenring grabs first IJGT championship
Walker gets redemption at White Manor
MALVERN, Pa. – The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) traveled to White Manor Country Club for their second stop of the Northeast Tour to host the Philly Challenge. Temperatures reached into the mid-60s in the first round and dropped into the low 40s for the final round. The field of 87 golfers competed for IJGT Merit Points, AJGA stars, and National Rankings, as well as an invite to the IJGT’s Bridgestone Tournament of Champions to be played at Grand Cypress Resort on May 24-26, 2014.
In the Boys 15-19 Division, Sam Goldenring, of Florham Park, N.J., played consistently throughout the weekend, coming from behind to win his first IJGT championship. He managed to make par or better on 12 of 18 holes during round one. Goldenring played the front nine well both days, totaling 3-over-par, including a birdie on the par-5, hole No. 6 in round one. His score of 76 put him just two strokes behind the leader headed into the final round. While many other golfers were affected by the temperature drop, Goldenring did not let it bother him. During the final round, he made par or better on 13 of 18 holes. At the turn on day two, he narrowed the gap to trail the leader by just one stroke. His concentration and consistency led him to win his first ever IJGT championship. Goldenring posted scores of 76-76—152 overall for the weekend and won his division by four strokes.
When asked his mindset coming into the final round trailing, Goldenring replied, “I just tried to take it one
shot at a time. Don’t force the birdies and if it happened, great, but if not then I would be happy [too].”
Quinn Dolan of Broomall, Pa., and Brendan Bacskai of Berwyn, Pa., tied for second place in the Boys 15-19 Division. Dolan posted scores of 80-76—156 overall and Bacskai posted scores of 81-75—156 overall. Bacskai’s score of 75 during the final round earned him the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award. This award goes to the player that shoots the lowest score during the final round of the tournament.
In the Girls Division, Brynn Walker of St. Davids, Pa., took the lead early and never looked back. After taking second place at White Manor last season, Walker came back this year in hopes of redemption. On day one, she started off solid and was 1-under-par after three holes. She closed out the first nine with six consecutive pars. Walker finished the first round with a score of 1-over-par 72, the lowest score in all divisions. The weather proved troublesome during the final round but she managed to extend her lead. Walker totaled three birdies in the final round, two of which came on par-3s. Walker’s dominant play won her division by 10 strokes, posting scores of 72-76-148. Her final round score of 76 tied with Cara Basso, of Downingtown, Pa., for the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award.
When asked what she did differently this year and what changes she made to her game, Walker said, “over the winter, it was tough because of the weather to work on different things, but I worked on my mindset and getting my mental game down. I think that really paid off. I was just mentally strong this week.”
In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Leo Hernandez of Stewartsville, N.J., won his first IJGT championship. Hernandez has had various competitive finishes this season, including a third- place finish at The Final Challenge at Hershey Links. At the Philly Challenge, Hernandez was able merge every aspect of his game together for a win. He was striking the ball well, picking up distance on his first and second shots and also making putts when they mattered most. In round one, he was a little shaky but battled to tally one birdie and six pars. In round two he closed out the tournament shooting a 2-over-par score of 37 on his last nine holes. Hernandez finished the final round with a score of 77. His numbers for the weekend were 84-77—161 overall.
“My ball striking was working really well. Even when I didn’t manage to hit the fairway, I was still finding greens and two putting for par,” said Hernandez.
The IJGT’s next event will be the Metropolitan Junior at Forsgate Country Club on March 29-30, 2014. 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, Dynamic Brands, Clazic Belts, Oakley, Sun Mountain, The First Tee, Golfweek,
College Golf Camps, 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.