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Ahn, Nakayama featured in IJGT Photo of the Week – Jan. 22, 2015

The IJGT kicked off its spring season locally, hosting the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National. Conditions were chilly but sunny during the two-day, 36-hole event. The field, which included participants from eight states and 10 countries, competed for IJGT Merit Points and national rankings.

Photo of the Week Jan 22 15

A photo of Yeji Ahn of Changwon-City, South Korea, and Yuki Nakayama of Kawasakishi, Japan, was selected as this week’s IJGT Photo of the Week. Ahn and Nakayama, both students at the International Junior Golf Academy, decided to match outfits for round one of the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National. In addition to being paired with each other on both days, Ahn and Nakayama also finished next to each other in the standings.

Nakayama used a division-best three birdies to tie Concord, Mass., native Skylar Frankiewicz for first after 36 holes. Frankiewicz won the playoff leaving Nakayama in second. The second-place finish was Nakayama’s best of the season and propelled her into the top 20 in the IJGT Rankings.

Ahn’s third-place finish boosted her 23 spots in the IJGT Rankings.

Congratulations to Yeji Ahn and Yuki Nakayama on being our IJGT Photo of the Week!

Don’t forget–each week we have a Photo of the Week and it could be you! Be sure to check the IJGT Facebook page after each event. Like, share and comment on your favorite photos and, based on the point system below, the photo with the most points will then be featured as that week’s Photo of the Week!

1 point – per ‘Like’

2 points – per comment (let’s keep these positive!)

3 points – per share

Berger, Gerbelova earn IJGT Player of the Week honors – Jan. 20, 2015

The IJGT hosted its first tournament of the spring season, the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National on January 17-18, 2015. Junior golfers competed in chilly but bright conditions during the two-day, 36-hole event. Following the event, the IJGT is proud to award this week’s Player of the Week honors to Statesboro, Ga., native Ford Berger and Martina Gerbelova of Bratislava, Slovakia.

Ford Berger

Ford Berger

Competing in just his second IJGT event, Berger used the help of two birdies to knock an impressive six strokes off his round one score. His round-two birdies came on holes No. 7 and 13.

Combining scores of 87 and 81, his tournament total of 168 was good for third in the Boys 14 & Under Division. After his strong finish this weekend, Berger shot up 15 spots in the IJGT Rankings.

Martina Gerbelova

Martina Gerbelova

Gerbelova had her best two-day total of the 2014-2015 season during the IJGT Junior. Consistent rounds of 96 gave Gerbelova her first top-five finish of her career. Her fifth place finish moved her up nine spaces in the IJGT Rankings.

Congratulations to both Ford Berger and Martina Gerbelova on their Player of the Week honors!

IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National – Final Results (Jan. 18, 2015)

Byrne comes from behind to force playoff

Phillips and Frankiewicz capture first IJGT victories 

The IJGT hosted the first tournament of the spring season, the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National, on January 17-18, 2015. The field for the two-day, 36-hole tournament included junior golfers from eight U.S. states and 10 countries. Juniors competed in chilly but bright conditions for IJGT Merit Points and national rankings.

Conor Byrne

Conor Byrne

After finishing round one in fourth place, Conor Byrne of Dublin, Ireland, came from behind to tie Ryan Skae of Old Tappan, N.J., for first with a tournament total of 146 after 36 holes. Byrne won the Boys 15-19 Division in a playoff by sinking a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 9th hole to edge out Skae for the title.

The victory was Byrne’s first on the International Junior Golf Tour. Byrne’s round two even-par 71 earned him the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award, the award presented to the male and female junior to card the lowest score in the final round of the event.

“I was surprised to shoot the low final round, especially how I started by three-putting the first hole,” said Byrne after his win. “I knew Ryan [Skae] had an eight-footer left for par, so all I was trying to do was get it close. I knew it had good speed and it just so happened to fall. It was pretty cool to win on a birdie.”

Skae, who finished in second, led the field with a 14-hole bogey-free run stretching from hole No. 16 in round one to hole No. 11 in round two. His impressive par-or-better streak on Nos. 1 through 11  included back-to-back birdies on holes No. 6 and 7 in round two.

Jack O’Donovan of Pittsford, N.Y., finished in third in the Boys 15-19 Division with a tournament total of 149. O’Donovan led the field in birdies with eight including back-to-back birdies on holes No. 4 and 5 in round two.

Wataru Koguchi of Fukuoka, Japan, was the only junior to card an eagle. He needed only three strokes to complete the par-5 hole No. 3 in round one.

Skylar Frankiewicz

Skylar Frankiewicz

The Girls Division also saw a playoff in which Skylar Frankiewicz of Concord, Mass., came out victorious. Frankiewicz and Yuki Nakayama of Kawasakishi, Japan, finished with tournament totals of 159, but Frankiewicz defeated Nakayama by one stroke in the one-hole playoff leading to her first IJGT victory.

“I felt a little pressure throughout the day, but I knew where I stood in relation to Yuki [Nakayama],” Frankiewicz said after her win. “I had a bad hole on 17, but I knew if I could beat her by one on the last hole I would be able to send it to a playoff, I did. The win in a playoff made the entire trip from Massachusetts worth it!”

Nakayama’s round two score of 79 was good enough to earn her the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award for the girls.

Yeji Ahn of Changwon-City, South Korea, finished third in the Girls Division with a tournament total of 174.

Chase Phillips

Chase Phillips

 

Chase Phillips of Hilton Head, S.C., built off a two-stroke lead in round one to capture his first IJGT victory in the Boys 14 & Under Division. He knocked two strokes off his round one score to finish with a tournament total of 158. Phillips carded six birdies during the tournament including back-to-back birdies on holes No. 7 and 8 in round two.

“I knew coming into the final round all I had to do was play the way I played the first day to win,” Phillips said after the tournament. “I hit it great and made a few putts. It was nice to improve and finish strong with a 78.”

Thomas Pfoestl of Schenna, Italy, finished second in the Boys 14 & Under Division defeating third-place finisher Ford Berger of Statesboro, Ga., by two strokes.

The IJGT will continue tournament play on January 24-15, 2015 with the Carolina Classic at Colleton River. To sign up for this event, or others, visit www.IJGT.com or call (843) 686-1500.

Bluffton, S.C. – Final Results of IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National on January 17-18, 2014. Boys 15-19 Division: Black Tees – 6,655 yards Par 71 (72.5/125). Boys 14 & Under Division: Blue Tees – 6,016 yards, Par 71 (79.3/124). Girls Division: White Tees – 5,627 yards, Par 71 (71.7/123).

International Junior Golf Tour

IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National

Bluffton, S.C.

January 17-18, 2015

Boys 15-19 Division- Black Tees, 6655 yards, Par 71

1. x-Conor Byrne, Dublin, Ireland *75-71--146 
2. Ryan Skae, Old Tappan, NJ *74-72--146
3. Jack ODonovan, Pittsford, NY *74-75--149
4. Ritwik Jain, New Delhi, India *77-74--151
4. Kanata Irei, Okinawa-shi, Japan *74-77--151
6. Santiago Diaz, Merida, Mexico *78-74--152
7. Shogo Taniguchi, Osaka, Japan *80-81--161
8. Ryan Pongrac, Freehold, NJ *86-77--163
9. Cole Sutherland, Charlotte, NC *78-86--164
9. Masashi Yano, Aichi, Japan *79-85--164
11. Brent Rodgers, Cranberry Township, PA *84-82--166
11. Christian Clemence Tupamahu, Manado, Indonesia *83-83--166
13. Jake Rumfola, Dublin, OH *83-84--167
14. Kyung-Hwan Chung, Hilton Head, SC *83-85--168
14. Paul Gostner, Bolzano, Italy *81-87--168
16. Wataru Koguchi, Fukuoka, Japan *83-86--169
17. Alexander Zahn, Saddle River, NJ *83-88--171
18. Carsen Sanchez, Bristol, VT *83-89--172
19. Norman Hong, Shenzhen, China *85-89--174
20. Deion Shepherd, Dayton, NJ *88-88--176
21. Karan Bhasin, Mishref *90-93--183

Boys 14 & Under Division- Blue Tees, 6016 yards, Par 71

1. Chase Phillips, Hilton Head Island, SC *80-78--158
2. Thomas Pfoestl, Schenna, Italy *82-84--166
3. Ford Berger, Statesboro, GA *87-81--168

Girls Division- White Tees, 5627 yards, Par 71

1. x-Skylar Frankiewicz, Concord, MA *79-80--159
2. Yuki Nakayama, Kawasakishi, Japan *80-79--159
3. Yeji Ahn, Changwon-City, South Korea *87-87--174
4. Claire Jeon, Yong-In, South Korea *89-94--183
5. Martina Gerbelova, Bratislava, Slovakia *96-96--192

 

Fall Highlights and Spring Preview

Following a successful fall season full of low scores, beautiful courses and even holes-in-one, the IJGT is excited to kick off its spring season with the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National on January 17-18, 2015.

LOOKING BACK

During the fall season junior golfers had the opportunity to play a variety of world-renowned courses.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, the IJGT hosted the Thanksgiving Day Classic at the ever-famous TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. This tournament was one of the few three-day, 54-hole events. The junior golfers performed admirably on both THE PLAYERS Stadium and Dye’s Valley courses. Xue Wen Luo of Haikou, China, edged out Ben Albin of Santa Fe, N.M., to win the Boys 15-19 Division. Shiso Go of Kanagawa, Japan, and Sam Ohno of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., tied for third. All of the top three finishers in the Boys 15-19 Division had a round at or below par and eights golfers across the three divisions carded eagles.

The Thanksgiving Day Classic at TPC Sawgrass saw not one but two holes-in-one! In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Charles Larcelet of Geraudot, France, had an ace on the par-3 hole No. 14 on the Valley Course. In the Boys 15-19 Division, Chandler McDowell of Springbrook, Canada, carded a hole in one on the par-3 hole No. 8 on the Stadium Course.

Playing the iconic par-3 17th hole on THE PLAYERS Stadium course was a highlight of the fall season for many of the young golfers.

Dormie Club, No. 43 on the 2015-2016 edition of Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, played home to the MAJOR Championship at Dormie Club. Despite a course that proved to be challenging for the entire field, Kelly Whaley of Farmington, Conn., carded an impressive nine birdies during the tournament. Ritwik Jain of New Delhi, India, and Tennoshin Ogawa of Ichinomiya-shi, Japan, both had bogey-free streaks that lasted 16 holes.

The final event of the fall, the IJGA Invitational, was held at Sea Pines Resort where junior golfers had the opportunity to play both the Ocean Course and Harbour Town Golf Links. The latter ranked No. 19 on Golf Digest’s 2015-2016 list of America’s 199 Greatest Public courses and ranked in the top 50 of Golf.com’s 2014 list of Top 100 Courses in the U.S. It is also the host of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.

LOOKING FORWARD

The spring season features another selection of top-ranked courses. The first three tournaments are local to the Hilton Head/Bluffton area. On January 24-25, 2015, during the Carolina Classic at Colleton River, junior golfers and their families will have a chance to explore the host of the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur. The Pete Dye course, where the Carolina Classic will be played, offers unobstructed views of Port Royal Sound and the Atlantic Ocean from 11 of its 18 holes.

The IJGT will travel to the west coast for the MAJOR Championship at Presidio Golf Course in San Francisco, Calif., on February 7-8, 2015. The Presidio Golf Course is one of the oldest courses on the west coast and has been a national historic landmark since 1962. An Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, it is located within a national park.

On Valentine’s Day weekend (February 14-15, 2015), the IJGT will be traveling to Kiawah Island to host the South Carolina Open. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is ranked No. 20 on the 2015-2016 edition of Golf Digest’s America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses list and third on their America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. This course was the first designed for a specific event, the 1991 Ryder Cup. Known for its challenging and unpredictable winds and spectacular ocean views, the Ocean course is No. 25 on Golf.com’s 2014 list of Top 100 Courses in the U.S.

The Major Championship at Duke University in Durham, N.C., on March 28-29, 2015, provides an excellent opportunity for junior golfers investigating college golf programs to explore Duke as well as the nearby University of North Carolina.

The Northeast Tour of the IJGT will host the Pennsylvania Open at Nemacolin on April 11-12, 2015. The junior golfers will have the chance to play both the PGA Tour-tested Mystic Rock and the par-70 The Links. Mystic Rock placed No. 60 on the 2015-2016 Golf Digest America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.

The following weekend, the Northeast Tour will travel to The Architects Golf Course in Lopatcong, N.J., for The Architects Cup.

On April 25-26, 2015, the IJGT will host a Major Championship at Bulle Rock in Havre de Grace, Md. Bulle Rock sits at No. 45 on Golf Digest’s 2015-2016 list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.

The spring season will culminate with the highly anticipated Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The three-day, 54-hole event will take place on May 23-25, 2015. On the evening of May 24 the IJGT will announce its All-IJGT Team and Player of the Year honors for each division at the Night of Champions.

Juniors in all divisions will be competing for AJGA Performance Stars and national rankings. In addition, the winner of the Boys 15-19 Division will receive an exemption to the 2015 International Junior Masters tournament.

Well wishes to all of our juniors as we reflect graciously on the fall and welcome the spring. Good luck to all!

IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National – Tour Preview

The IJGT is excited to kick off its spring season with the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National. The two-day, 36-hole tournament will be held on January 17-18, 2015, in Bluffton, S.C. Juniors will be competing for IJGT Merit Points and national rankings.

A par-71 Bobby Weed and Gary Player collaboration, Hilton Head National offers four sets of tees ranging from 5,628 yards to 6,730 yards. Player designed the course to be a straightforward test of golf free of sight-impeding hazards and visual intimidation.  The course’s signature sixth hole provides an exciting challenge with massive pot bunkers in addition to a lake along the right side. The 18th hole features a deep marsh along the right side of the narrow fairway and an elevated green.

Hilton Head National

Ritwik Jain of New Delhi, India, tops the list of players to watch in the Boys 15-19 Division of the IJGT Junior. Jain has notched four top-10 finishes this season and currently sits at No. 22 in the Tour Rankings. Also in the Boys 15-19 Division is Norman Hong of Shenzhen, China, looking for his first top-10 finish of the season in the division. Hong finished last year’s IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National in a tie for 29th place and will look to improve on that finish this year.

In the Girls Division, Skylar Frankiewicz of Concord, Mass., is coming off a third place finish at the Savannah Junior at The Landings.

If you haven’t registered for the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National yet, you have until January 13, 2015, to do so.

To register or for more information about the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National, click here.

Final results from the Discovery Tour at Hilton Head National

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) held the first Discovery Tour event of the Fall season at the picturesque Hilton Head National Golf Club on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. With a field of four talented youngsters playing the back nine on a tree-lined, hazard-filled course, the event proved to be a success with tour veteran Jonathan Griz of Bluffton, S.C., taking the title after shooting an impressive 1-under-par 34.

Griz (new)Racking up a remarkable eighth first-place finish in nine Discovery Tour events, Griz (pictured at left) was able to start the 2013 season off strong, sinking two birdies in his first four holes of the afternoon. With a powerful swing and focused short game, Griz finished with two pars on Nos. 16 and 17, and a fantastic birdie on No. 18. His final score of 34 sealed a nine-stroke win over second-place finisher Aaron Elmore, of Rincon, Ga., who ended with a solid 43 on the day.

This was also the ninth appearance on the Discovery Tour for Elmore (pictured at right), who locked in his fifth runner-up finish.

Aaron Elmore Second Place

Also participating in the event were Hudson Buck (Bluffton, S.C.) and Michael Gavin (Hilton Head Island, S.C.), finishing in third and fourth places, respectively. This was Buck’s fifth Discovery Tour Event in two seasons, and he finished at a final tally of 54, his third-best career performance. In just his second appearance on the tour, Gavin carded a 57, a five-stroke improvement from his first appearance at the April 27 Discovery Tour at Shipyard event.

The Discovery Tour is a great opportunity for young junior golfers aged 8-12 who have little or no golf tournament experience to improve upon their skills. With several events lined up each season, the tour is an incredibly fun and relaxed way for the players interact with other golfers, get tips from coaches, and most of all: have some fun! Be sure to catch IJGT’s next Discovery Tour stop at Blue Heron Pines in Cologne, N.J., on Oct. 12!

Membership is $25 and each 9-hole tournament is $40.  To register for events or membership, please contact us at (843) 785-2444.