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.
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.
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 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.”
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
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