Diaz prevails in three-player playoff
Zeng, Pfoestl also nab top honors in 27-hole event
BLUFFTON, S.C. – The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) hosted Carolina Classic at the local venue, Colleton River Plantation Club. Due to inclement weather the event was played entirely on January 25, 2015 with one round of 18 holes and one of nine utilizing a shotgun start. IJGT Merit Points and national rankings were at stake for competitors.
Santiago Diaz of Merida, Mexico finished first after a three-player sudden-death victory in a playoff for the Boys 15-19 Division. After regulation, Diaz, Conor Byrne of Dublin, Ireland, and Trey Wren of Suffolk, Va. were in a three-way tie for first place.
Wren had led the division after the first 18 holes but Diaz and Byrne closed the gap with a chip for birdie on hole 15 and seven straight par finishes respectively.
The playoff began on the course’s par-4 hole No. 16. From the tee, Byrne found the fairway while Diaz and Wren both found their way to the outer edges of the fairway. Byrne was the first to reach the green but came up short on his putt. Wren found himself in a right-side bunker forcing him to earn his putt. All three juniors fell just shy of the hole on their attempts for par, leveling the playing field. In the end, it was Diaz who handled the pressude, ending the playoff with his successful putt for bogey and for the win.
Diaz finished with scores of 72 and -38 for 27-hole a total of 110. His regulation play was highlighted by par-or-better finishes on 23 of 27 holes including three birdies in his first 18. This was Diaz’s first ever playoff and when asked how he felt during the extra hole he said, “Really nervous.” When asked his favorite hole he said “It would probably have to be 15, the one I chipped in.”
Wren finished with scores 70 and-40 for a total of 110. His first round included par-or-better finishes on all but one hole. Wren also took home the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award which, due to the special circumstances, was awarded to the male and female player with the best nine-hole score at the event. Wren took the title home with a score of 35 on both the front and back nine in his first 18. Byrne, who finished with scores of 71 and-39 for a total of 110, finished his day with seven straight pars and four birdies.
In the Girls Division, Bunyaporn “Nat” Zeng of Bangkok, Thailand took home the title and the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award with scores of 74 and-37 for a total of 111 on the day. Her round of 35 on the back nine was her best of the day where she earned the Low Round award and carded two birdies. When asked how she felt about the day Zeng said, “I felt really good and nervous and a bit tired.” She said her favorite hole was, “hole no. 16 because, I birdied it every time.”
Behind Zeng was Melany Chong of Mississauga, Ontario, who finished the day in second with scores of 80 and-39 for a tournament total of 119 and Rei Nakatani of Tokyo, Japan, in third with scores of 79 and-41 for a total of 120.
Thomas Pfoestl of Schenna, Italy won the Boys 14 & Under Division with scores of 79 and-42 for a total of 121. Coming off of a second-place finish at the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National last week, Pfoestl carded a streak of nine pars to take a lead heading into the final nine holes. Daniel Schindler of Pittsford, N.Y., made his IJGT debut and took second in the division with scores of 93 and-37 for a total of 140.
The IJGT’s Southeast Tour will host its next event January 31 – February 1, 2015. The Lowcountry Junior will be held at the local venue, Wexford Plantation Golf Course, in Hilton Head Island, S.C. To sign up for this event, or others, visit IJGT.com or call (843) 785-2444.
Carolina Classic at Colleton River- Dye Course
January 25, 2015
Boys 15-19 Division- Back Tees, 6,707 yards, Par 72 (27 hole competition)
1. Santiago Diaz, Merida, Mexico *72-38–110
T2. Conor Byrne, Dublin, Ireland *71-39–110
T2. Trey Wren, Suffolk, VA *70-40–110
4. Shiso Go, Kanagawa, Japan *76-36–112
5. Tennoshin Ogawa, Ichinomiya-shi, Japan *72-41–113
6. Kanata Irei, Okinawa-shi, Japan, *76-38–114
7. Taylor Kay-Green, Needham, MA *79-36–115
8. Brett Inserra, Upper Saddle River NJ, *80-37–117
9. Pongpalin Lapvisuttisin, Bangkok, Thailand *76-42–118
10. Frederic Ruess, Hamburg *79-40–119
11. Chandler McDowell, Springbrook, Canada *79-41–120
12. Jason Stokes, St. Brelade, Jersey *82-39–121
13. Won Jun Choi, Seoul, South Korea *81-42–123
13. Kyle Ash, Reading, MA *82-41–123
13. Brent Rodgers, Cranberry Township, PA *82-41–123
16. Kanoon Bunthanawong, Chonburi, Thailand *79-45–124
16. Alan Smith, Winchendon, MA *85-39–124
18. Mark Goodall, Livingston, Scotland *81-44–125
19. Christian Clemence Tupamahu, Manado, Indonesia *81-45–126
19. Brandon McLean, Unionville, ON *86-40–126
21. Shogo Taniguchi, Osaka, Japan *86-43–129
21. Paul Gostner, Bolzano, Italy *83-46–129
21. Taisuke Ono, Tokyo, Japan *86-43–129
24. Trent Dickerson, Guyton, GA *93-44–137
25. Liam Kent, Portage, MB *102-49–151
25. Spencer Eller, Phoenix, AZ *98-53–151
Did Not Finish
JWD Trent Hope, Savannah, GA JWD
Boys 14 & Under Division- Medal Tees, 6,079 yards, Par 71 (27 hole competition)
1. Thomas Pfoestl, Schenna, Italy *79-42–121
2. Daniel Schindler, Pittsford, NY *93-47–140
Girls Division- Member Tees, 5,679 yards, Par 71 (27 hole competition)
1. Bunyaporn Zeng, Bangkok, Thailand *74-37–111
2. Melany Chong, Mississauga, Canada *80-39–119
3. Rei Nakatani, Tokyo, Japan *79-41–120
4. Yeji Ahn, Changwon-City, South Korea *86-47–133