Lopatcong, N.J. – The IJGT returned to The Architects Golf Club to host The Architects Cup on April 12-13, 2014. The course is always a favorite of the players in the northeast and the tournament featured an excellent field, which lead to lots of great golf throughout the weekend. Other than a short rain shower and a chilly start to the final round, golfers enjoyed beautiful weather on both days with temperatures reaching into the 60s. The conditions allowed for many golfers to score well, including Luke Sample of New York, N.Y., and Linda Wang of Fresh Meadows, N.Y., who set new personal bests and earned the title of IJGT Player of the Week.
Sample, who competed in the Discovery Tour with success as recently as last fall, is beginning to find his game in the 14 and Under Division. At just 10 years old, distance is sometimes an issue for Sample; however, he is able to play intelligently, managing the course and allowing himself to compete with golfers up to four years older than him. In the first round, Sample got off to a hot start by scoring birdie on three of his first six holes, including No. 15, which no other player in the division birdied throughout the weekend. He would later add another birdie, to finish with a round 1 score of 78. He started off his final round with six straight pars, to set the tone for what would be his best 18-hole score with the IJGT. He parred a total of 14 holes in the final round to card a 76, for a tournament total of 154 and a fourth place finish. He shattered his previous 36-hole best by 15 strokes and earned back-to-back top-five finishes. He currently sits at No. 11 in the IJGT Tour Rankings.
Wang, in her third year with the IJGT, also played very well at The Architect’s Cup this year. This is her second time competing at the course and she was able to use knowledge from her previous rounds to improve. At last year’s Major Championship at Architects Golf Club, Wang finished in eighth place with a 76-85–161. This year, she got off to a bit of a shaky start in round one, but was able to recover well enough to keep her in contention for the final round. She was able to par nine of her last 11 holes, en route to a first round total of 80 and sitting in eighth place. She came back in the final round determined to play well, and that she did. She made very few mistakes throughout the round and two birdies helped her to a score of 74 and the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award. Wang’s strong play on the par-3s highlighted her weekend. She scored par or better on nine of the 10, finishing with a combined score of one under par on those holes. Her tournament total score of 154 is seven strokes better than her previous IJGT best and her tie for second place is tied for her best finish.
We wish Sample and Wang continued success throughout the season and hope to see them at future tournaments.
Okatie, S.C. — The IJGT headed to Oldfield Golf Club in Okatie, S.C., on April 12-13, 2014, for the Oldfield Junior presented by Auntie Anne’s. With its unique and challenging layout featuring numerous hazards, Oldfield Golf Club was primed for a competitive tournament. With great weather and spectacular course conditions, there were ample opportunities for players to score well. The IJGT Players of the Week from the Southeast Tour are Keshav Sharma of New Delhi, India, and Sera Tadokoro of Osaka, Japan.
Sharma made his tenth appearance in an IJGT event this season, placing second to tie for his best finish of his career. After finishing his first round with an even-par score of 72, just one stroke off the lead, Sharma came back on day two with his sights set on shooting another steady round. He did just that and shot a 74 in round two to finish with a 72-74–146 tournament total. After his strong and steady play, Sharma will be one to watch in his future IJGT appearances which include the SC Callaway Junior World Qualifier at Golden Bear Golf Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C., May 3-4, 2014.
Tadokoro, playing in her fourth tournament since winning at TPC Tampa Bay in early January of 2014, made a valiant start at the Oldfield Junior presented by Auntie Anne’s by carding a round one score of 78 which included an impressive total of 12 pars. In the second round, Tadokoro carded three birdies and ten pars and thereby improved her score by three strokes to finish with a total of 75. She finished the tournament tied for second place with a score of 78-75–153 overall becoming her fourth top-five finish for the 2013-2014 season. We look forward to seeing Sera compete in future tournaments, including the IJGT’s premier event, the Bridgestone Tournament of Champions May 24-26, 2014 at Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Florida.