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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.

IJGT Carolina Major Championship — #EliteFields

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort is home to the IJGT Carolina Championship Major, which is played every year during the third week of February. There are five championship courses on this resort; the IJGT plays on the Ocean Course and Turtle Point. The island itself is located about 15 miles south of Charleston, S.C. and has been a great venue for some tremendous junior golf performances.

Kiawah Ocean CourseDuring last years Carolina Championship at Kiawah Island, for all three divisions, the leader board was decided by only a few strokes. In the Boys 15-19 Division, Saravit Kerdsinchai came away with a victory by shooting a 78 for both rounds. Consistency was Kerdsinchai’s game. The rest of the division was a close finish as 2nd place through 7th place was decided by on four strokes.

In the Boys 14 and Under division, Alejandro Santibanez and William Thomson were battling each other all weekend for the lead. Santibanez won the division by one stroke. Through the first nine holes of the second round, Thomson was leading by three strokes, but started the back nine by making a double bogey on the 10th hole. It was then Santibanez took the lead and never looked back. His five pars and one birdie on the back nine helped his comeback and eventual first place finish.

Ana Paula Valdes started the day off for the girls division with one goal in mind: victory. She finished her first round with 11 pars and three birdies and finished the day sharing the lead with Phiminpha Wongwaiwate who finished with the exact same scores. The second round was thought to be a battle down to the very last shot, but Wongwaiwate was not able to get her round going so Valdes took home the championship

We hope for the same excitement during the 2013 Carolina Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort!

About the IJGT

The IJGT provides exceptional junior golfers with the opportunity to develop and showcase their competitive skills while setting high standards to preserve the traditions and integrity of the game.  As a tour that operates primarily throughout the academic year, the IJGT hosts approximately 60 tournaments annually. In addition, the IJGT hosts three international events. Each event provides multi-day competition for junior golfers of all skill levels ages 9-19. Players representing 45 states and 43 countries around the world regularly compete in events at venues such as TPC Sawgrass, Pinehurst, Bethpage State Park and Harbour Town Golf Links. Official partners of the IJGT include Bridgestone Golf, Quagmire Golf, KENTWOOL, CHAMP Spikes, AB Golf Designs, Clazic Belts, morodZ, Sundog Eyewear, PURE Grips, The First Tee, Golfweek and International Junior Golf Academy.