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The Orlando Open at Lake Buena Vista Presented by BGGA – Tour Preview

Lake Buena Vista feat image

The IJGT Southeast Tour will travel to Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to host The Orlando Open at Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course presented by BGGA on May 9-10, 2015. Juniors will compete for IJGT Merit Points, national rankings and North American Junior Amateur exemptions during the two-day, 36-hole event.

The course, designed by Joe Lee, has hosted the PGA Tour, the LPGA Tour and USGA events. It is a certified Audubon Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary and earned a 4-star rating from Golf Digest.

The course’s most notable feature is elevated greens, which make accurate approach shots essential for low scores. The par-3 seventh hole offers a unique challenge as it features an island green.

The IJGT will host a one-day, nine-hole Discovery Tour event for juniors ages 8-12 (as of September 1, 2015) on May 9.

Conor Byrne of Dublin, Ireland, tops the list of players to watch in the Boys 15-19 Division. He is looking for his third IJGT victory of the season having won the IJGT Junior at Hilton Head National in January and the IJGT Island Open at Palmetto Hall in April. Wataru Koguchi of Fukuoka, Japan, will look to add a second IJGT title to his name; he won the IJGT Island Open at Palmetto Hall in November. Frederic Ruess of Hamburg, Germany, and Jason Stokes of Channel Islands, Jersey, are coming off a tie for third in last weekend’s Junior World Qualifier at Golden Bear. They will look to outdo one another at Lake Buena Vista. Rounding out the list of players to watch in the Boys 15-19 Division is Trey Wren of Suffolk, Va. Wren will aim to add a second IJGT title to his resume, he won the Lowcountry Junior at Wexford Plantation in February.

In the Girls Division, keep an eye on Kelly Whaley of Farmington, Conn. Whaley, who will be playing college golf at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill next season, has won all three IJGT events she’s competed in this season: the IJGT College Series at NC State in September, the Major Championship at Dormie Club in November and the Lowcountry Junior at Wexford Plantation in February. Sera Tadokoro of Osaka, Japan, is also seeking her fourth IJGT win of the season. Her victories include the IJGT Island Open at Palmetto Hall in November and the Savannah Junior at The Landings and IJGA Invitational in December. Chomchana “Cake” Phuchanbanchob of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Bunyaporn “Nat” Zeng are both looking for their third IJGT wins of the season. Zeng has finished in the top-four in all five IJGT tournaments she’s competed in this season. Finally, Jasmine Chee of Hong Kong, China, and Lita Huber of Montevideo, Uruguay, are coming off a second-place and third-place finish, respectively, in last weekend’s Junior World Qualifier at Golden Bear.

During the tournament, follow the IJGT on Twitter @IJGT for live updates. You can find tee times and view the leaderboard here on the IJGT website or by downloading the IJGT app on your phone or tablet.

St. John Golf & Fitness Open at Mendon Golf Club – Tour Preview

The IJGT Northeast Tour will host the St. John Golf & Fitness Open at Mendon Golf Club in Rochester, N.Y., on May 2-3, 2015. Juniors will be competing for IJGT Merit Points and national rankings as well as exemptions into the North American Junior Amateur and International Junior Masters.

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In addition to the two-day, 36-hole event for juniors ages 9-19, there were also be a one-day, 9-hole tournament for juniors ages 8-12 as part of the IJGT Discovery Tour. The latter event will take place on Saturday, May 2.

This tournament offers the chance for juniors to play the same course as professional golfers and NCAA athletes; the Mendon Golf Club is regularly a qualifying site for the U.S. Open and will host the 2016 Division III NCAA Men’s Golf Championships.

Victoria Parker of Lewiston, N.Y., tops the list of players to watch in the Girls Division. She is seeking her third IJGT victory of the season after winning back-to-back events (the College Series at Penn State University and the MAJOR Championship at Outdoor CC) in October. Caroline Yarnall of East Aurora, N.Y., is looking for her first IJGT victory after finishing second in The Upstate Challenge at Brook Lea Country Club in September.

In the Boys 15-19 Division, keep an eye out for Ben Reichert of East Amherst, N.Y., and TJ Buck of Penfield, N.Y., who are each looking for their second IJGT wins of the season. Reichert won The Upstate Challenge at Brook Lea Country Club in September and Buck won The Architects Cup presented by the IJGA in October. Brad Belote of Lancaster, N.Y., competed against Reichert in The Upstate Challenge and finished third.

Daniel Schindler of Pittsford, N.Y., finished second in the Boys 14 & Under Division of January’s Carolina Classic at Colleton River, but is still looking for his first IJGT victory. James Meyers of Wexford, Pa., has two top-three finishes this season, but also has yet to win an event. He will look for his first victory at the Rochester Open.

During the tournament, follow the IJGT on Twitter @IJGT for live updates and view the leaderboard here on the IJGT website or on the IJGT app on your phone or tablet.