Hicks comes from behind to secure first IJGT win
Aragon wins big in first event with IJGT
MARICOPA, Ariz. – The IJGT headed west to host the Arizona Junior at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club on April 18-19, 2014. The two-day 36-hole event featured a field of 15 juniors ranging in age from 13-17 years old. IJGT Merit Points and national rankings were at stake for competitors as well as an invite to the IJGT Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions to be played at Grand Cypress Resort on May 24-26, 2014.
Ryan Hicks of Santa Monica, Calif., came from behind to secure his first-ever IJGT victory. Sitting just one stroke behind Hayden Plewe of Cortez, Colo., Hicks finished round one with a 3-over-par score of 75 tied for second place in the division. Posting a consistent second-round score of 75 on day two, Hicks’ performance was highlighted by three birdies. His birdies in round two matched the three he carded in round one, tying for the most birdies across all three divisions. Finishing with a tournament score of 75-75–150 overall, Hicks’ victory becomes his first IJGT win and seventh top-10 win in his IJGT career.
Markopolo Fullepp of San Diego, Calif., finished in second with a score of 78-74–152 overall. Plewe, the round one leader of the Boys 15-19 Division, rounded out the top three with a score of 74-79–153 overall.
Sam McKay of Scottsdale, Ariz., earned the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award with his round-two even-par score of 72. The award is offered to the player who shoots the lowest score during the final round of the event.
“Today and yesterday, just hitting the ball straight off the tee was great, it puts you in a great position to start holes,” noted Hicks.
In his first-ever IJGT event, Roman Aragon of La Palma, Calif., won the Boys 14 and Under Division. Though he competed unopposed in his age group, Aragon recorded a score of 83-87–170 overall that included an impressive birdie on the par-5 hole No. 16 in round two. He made par or better on 18 of 36 holes in his first IJGT appearance.
“My favorite part of this tournament was meeting new people and having fun,” said Aragon.
Also competing alone in the Girls Division, Molly Balbierz of Hamburg, N.Y., captures her first IJGT win. Her 85-82–167 overall score included a birdie on the par-5 seventh hole and a par or better streak for three holes at the start of round two. Her tournament score of 167 ties her career best score, previously recorded at the AB Golf Designs Junior at Ravenwood Golf Club.
“Definitely my driving, I could keep it in the fairway the whole entire time and my putting and my chipping kept me going,” said Balbierz when asked about what worked well for her.
The IJGT will host the first 54-hole College Prep event of the Southeast Tour for the 2013-2014 season on April 26-27, 2014 at the Palmetto Hall Robert Cupp Course. To sign up for this Event, or others, visit IJGT.com or call (843) 785-2444.
Maricopa, Ariz. – Final round results of the IJGT Arizona Junior conducted by the International Junior Golf Tour completed April 19, 2014. Boys 15-19 Division: Gold Tees – 6,900 yards, Par 72 (72.7/131). Boys 14 & Under Division: Blue Tees – 6,287 yards, Par 72 (69.7/124). Girls Division: Tees – 6,012 yards, Par 72 (77.1/135).
Weather: Cloudy with temperatures in the Low 80s, winds 10-15 mph
Sunny with temperatures in the High 80s, winds 15-20 mph
International Junior Golf Tour
Arizona Junior at Southern Dunes GC
April 18-19, 2014
Boys 15-19 Division (Gold Tees), 6,900 yards, Par 72
1. Ryan Hicks, Santa Monica, CA *75-75–150
2. Markopolo Fullepp, San Diego, CA *78-74–152
3. Hayden Plewe, Cortez, CO *74-79–153
4. Sam McKay, Scottsdale, AZ *82-72–154
5. Ryan Rybicki, Maricopa, AZ *79-77–156
5. Aleksandar Mikalacki, Scottsdale, AZ *80-76–156
7. Michael Braunstein, Roslyn Heights, NY *77-80–157
8. Cole Anderson, Colorado Springs, CO *82-76–158
9. Paul Gunness-Bendetti, Calabasas, CA *78-81–159
10. Devon Horne, Albuquerque, NM *75-85–160
11. Alex Elizondo, Thousand Oaks, CA *85-77–162
12. Joey Goryeb, Morristown, NJ *92-82–174
13. Cole Skach, Reno, NV *91-89—180
Boys 14 & Under Division (Blue Tees), 6,287 yards, Par 72
1. Roman Aragon, La Palma, CA *83-87–170
Girls Division (White Tees), 6,012 yards, Par 72
1. Molly Balbierz, Hamburg, NY *85-82–167