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South Carolina Open at Kiawah Island – Round one recap (Feb. 14, 2015)

On a windy but sunny Valentine’s Day, the IJGT traveled to Kiawah Island, S.C., for the South Carolina Open at Kiawah Island. After an hour-long frost delay, juniors teed off beginning at 9 a.m. on the renowned Ocean Course for the first of two rounds. The second round will be played tomorrow at Turtle Point. In review, below are each division’s leaders’ rounds, in numbers.

Bruce Kozel of Annapolis, Md., leads the Boys 15-19 Division. His round in numbers:

8 – Kozel made par on eight of nine holes on the front nine

38 – His division-best score on the back nine

76 – His 4-over round one score to carry the lead

2- Kozel leads the division by two strokes

The Boys 14 & Under Division is led by Thomas Pfoestl of Schenna, Italy. His round in numbers:

10 – Pfoestl made par a division-best 10 times in round one

83 – His round one score to lead the division

1 – Pfoestl leads the division by a single stroke

1- Pfoestl is coming off a first place finish in the Carolina Classic at Colleton River

Ami Gianchandani of Short Hills, N.J., leads the Girls Division. Her round in numbers:

4 – Her longest par-or-better streak lasted from the par-5 hole No. 2 through the par-3 fifth hole

87 – Her round one score to carry the lead

2- She leads the division by 2 strokes

1 – Her lone birdie came on the par-4 third hole

The second round of the South Carolina Open at Kiawah Island will take place tomorrow, February 15, 2015, beginning with a 10 a.m. shotgun start at Turtle Point. For full results from round one, click here. Keep up-to-date with up-to-the-minute updates and other news by following the IJGT on Twitter @IJGT.

South Carolina Open at Kiawah Island – Tour Preview

Traveling to an annual fan-favorite site, the IJGT will host the South Carolina Open at Kiawah Island on February 14-15, 2015. A weekend dedicated to love will allow juniors to experience a true love for this course. The two-day, 36-hole event will be played on both the Ocean Course and Turtle Point.

Kiawah Ocean Course

The Ocean Course is one of only four courses in the U.S. to have hosted every major PGA event in the country. It hosted the 2012 PGA Championship. The par-72 course was designed by Pete and Alice Dye.

Wind provides an exciting challenge on the Ocean Course as its strength and direction is constantly changing and unpredictable; there are no prevailing winds on the course. It has more seaside holes than any other course in the Northern Hemisphere, 10 right along the Atlantic with the other eight running parallel. This provides players unobstructed views of Kiawah’s Atlantic coastline from every hole.

KiawahOcean_8th_Hole

The Ocean Course was named one of the Top 10 Courses in the U.S. and the World by the Travel Channel in 2014. In 2012, it was named the #1 Golf Course in South Carolina by Golf Digest.

The Jack Nicklaus-designed Turtle Point course gives players the opportunity to test not just their accuracy, but also their mental game.

All of Kiawah Island’s five courses are Audubon-certified Cooperative Sanctuaries. Located less than an hour outside of Charleston, Kiawah Island offers an abundance of activities for visitors.

Shiso Go of Kanagawa, Japan, tops the list of players to watch for the Boys 15-19 Division of the South Carolina Open at Kiawah Island. Go is currently ranked first in his division on the IJGT Tour Rankings. He has six top-three finishes this season, including wins at the IJGT College Series at NC STATE, the MAJOR Championship at Dormie Club and the IJGA Invitational at Sea Pines. Other players to watch in the Boys 15-19 Division include Thomas Lipowicz of Alexandria, Va., and Karan Arjun of Bangalore, India, who finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in last year’s IJGT event at Kiawah. Also keep an eye out for John Karcher of Novi, Mich., who is playing in his third IJGT event at Kiawah.

In the Girls Division, Rei Nakatani of Tokyo, Japan, finished third in last year’s Major Championship at Kiawah. This is her third IJGT event at the notoriously difficult course. Victoria Parker of Lewiston, N.Y., also played last year’s event, finishing in 11th place.

Thomas Pfoestl of Schenna, Italy, is coming off a first place finish in the Boys 14 & Under Division of the Carolina Classic at Colleton River. He is currently first in his division in the IJGT rankings. Pittsford, N.Y., native Daniel Schindler will look to improve on his second place finish in the Carolina Classic at Colleton River, his first IJGT event. Also keep an eye out for Will Whittaker of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., who finished 13th in last year’s IJGT event at Kiawah.

Juniors will be competing for national rankings and IJGT Merit Points as they play the world-renowned courses at Kiawah Island. Be sure to follow @IJGT on Twitter for live updates and download the IJGT app for live scoring.

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!