Malvern, Pa. – The IJGT continued the Northeast Tour with the Philly Challenge at White Manor March 22-23, 2014. While snow threatened the likelihood of the tournament early on in the week, sunny skies and wind helped to clear the course in time for the event. The staff at White Manor Country Club worked diligently to ensure that the course was prepared for its first golf of the season. Players enjoyed uncharacteristically warm temperatures in the mid-60s during round one but wind gusts up to 20 mph required the golfers to adjust their shots. Despite cooler temperatures, round two saw lots of great golf and many players improving on their scores, including Brendan Bacskai, of Berwyn, Pa., and Cara Basso, of Downingtown, Pa., who earned Player of the Week honors from the Northeast Tour.
Bacskai competed in his second IJGT event of the year in the Boys 15-19 Division. He played in the College Series at the University Of Maryland in early October 2014, finishing T10. During the first round at White Manor Country Club, Bacskai carded six pars and one birdie in tough conditions on his way to a 10-over-par, 81, to tie for 17th. Bacskai was determined to bounce back and move up the leader board in the final round. He did just that, playing very consistent and carding 12 pars and one birdie in less windy conditions and cutting six strokes off his first-round total for a final round of 75. Overall, Bacskai finished with an 81-75–156 overall, on his way to a tie for a 2nd place. We are all excited and looking forward to seeing what Bacskai can do the rest of the 2014 IJGT season.
Basso, playing in her fourth season with the IJGT, added another top-five finish to her tournament resume after coming back from a tough first round. While she handled the par-3s very well in round one, scoring par or better on three of four, she had difficulty navigating the remaining holes. A great deal of resiliency allowed her to put round one behind her en route to improving her score by 14 strokes in round two. Basso matched or beat her score on all but one hole in the final round, including a birdie on the par-five No. 6, after struggling with it in round one. Her final round score of 76 earned her the Clazic Belts Low Final Round award, along with Brynn Walker. We wish Basso the best of luck and look forward to watching her compete in future tournaments.
Columbia, S.C. – The IJGT hosted the Palmetto Open at the Columbia Country Club March 22-23, 2014. Despite forecasted rain, the weather held out for a dry two-day tournament. The weather was perfect for golf with sunny skies, tame winds, and temperatures in the mid 60s. Temperatures dropped into the mid 50s and overcast skies threatened rain on day two. This week’s Southeast Players of the Week were John Weiss of Columbia, S.C., and Milleina Ohara of Meguro-Ku, Japan.
New to the IJGT, Weiss, had an impressive showing at the course he trains regularly, finishing second in the Boys 14 and Under Division. Weiss started strong in round one shooting an impressive 78. That round included four birdies and seven pars. Facing tougher conditions on day two, Weiss shot an 80, which included 11 pars and a birdie on the tough par-4 No.6 hole. After regulation, Weiss was tied to force a playoff for first. Though his bogey on the playoff hole was not enough for a victory, Weiss made a bold introduction for himself on the tour.
Ohara, playing in her third tournament since winning at Country Club of Hilton Head got off to a shaky start in round one. She finished the first round with a score of 82 highlighted by nine pars. Determined to reach the winners circle, Ohara tallied two birdies and ten pars to improve her first-round score by five strokes. She finished the tournament with a total of 159 to place third. The third-place finish becomes her third top-five finish in the 2013-2014 season.
Congratulations to our Players of the Week from both the Northeast and Southeast Tours!