Cook nabs first in two-hole playoff
Arjun finishes first in a come-from-behind win
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The IJGT hosted College Prep at the local venue, Palmetto Hall Plantation Club on April 26-27, 2014. The first 54-hole event of the Southeast Tour was held on the Robert Cupp Course both days and consisted of three rounds of 18 holes. The tournament’s lineup included 51 juniors between the ages of 13 and 19. IJGT Merit Points and national rankings were at stake for competitors, as well as an invite to the IJGT Bridgestone Golf Tournament of Champions to be played at Grand Cypress Resort on May 24-26, 2014.
Brad Cook of Jackson, Wyo., placed first after a sudden-death victory in a playoff for the Boys 15-19 Division. After regulation, Cook and Tennoshin Ogawa of Ichinomiya-shi, Japan, were tied for first place. Ogawa had led the division after rounds one and two, leading Cook by five strokes going into the final round in day one. The tie forced a sudden-death playoff held on the course’s par-5 hole No. 15. Ogawa teed off first, hitting the fairway while Cook’s tee shot found its way into the rough. Ogawa rolled his approach shot long beyond the hole before putting in for par from 20 feet. Cook reached the green from a 70-yard approach shot before also putting for par. The pair finished their 55th hole still tied and moved on to the par-3 No. 16.
Ogawa teed first again, landing in a difficult bunker on the left of the green. Cook capitalized on Ogawa’s situation as he found the front-side fringe. In attempt to get out of the bunker, Ogawa’s chip found the water hazard forcing him to play a new ball. Ogawa chipped close but finished with six. Cook’s birdie putt came up just shy, but his par putt allowed him to safely secure the title.
Cook finished with score of 77-75-71 – 223. His regulation play was highlighted by six birdies, five of which came in the final round. He carded par or better on 14 of 18 holes in round three to secure a 1-under-par score of 71, a score that would earn him the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award. This award is given to the player who shoots the lowest score during the final round of the event. Keshav Sharma of New Delhi, India, and Geuntae Kim of Daegu, South Korea, also carded scores of 71 to receive the award.
Ogawa finished in second as a result of the playoff and finished with scores of 73-74-76 – 223. Kim of finished third with scores of 74-80-71 – 225.
When asked what his thoughts were during the final hole of the playoff, Cook said, “[Tennoshin] hit his into the bunker so I was just thinking if I could just hit the green than I could have a really solid set up.
In a comeback performance, Nikita Arjun of Bangalore, India, secured first place with scores of 79-74-78 – 231. Arjun trailed Samantha Huang of Shenzhen, China, by two strokes after round one before shaving five strokes from her score to share the divisional lead going into round three. Her Clazic Belts Low Final Round score 78 was one stroke better than Huang, putting her in first. Arjun tallied a division-high eight birdies to help secure the title.
Huang finished second behind Arjun by one stroke with scores of 77-76-79 – 232 while Sera Tadokoro of Osaka, Japan, rounded out the top three with scores of 79-76-79 – 234 overall.
“The first thing I had to focus on was not getting tired because 36 holes in one day is not easy. I’m glad because the day before, I’d planned on carrying my bag but instead I brought a push cart,” said Arjun.
In only his second IJGT event of his career, Dong Jun Kim of Kimhae, South Korea, took first in the Boys 14 & Under Division with scores of 79-80-87 – 246 overall. Coming off of a second-place finish at The College Classic at Duke University, Kim pulled into first in the first round. Round two gave Kim a commanding lead as he scored 10 strokes better than any other junior, allowing him to finish 10 strokes in front for the entire tournament.
“I was pretty tired after playing 54 holes, they’re pretty long walks,” said Kim in discussing what his first 54-hole event experience.
The IJGT’s Southeast Tour will host two events on May 3-4, 2014. Both events will be Callaway Junior World Qualifiers, one to be held at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., and the other to be held at Golden Bear Golf Club at Indigo Run in Hilton Head Island, S.C. To sign up for this event, or others, visit IJGT.com or call (843) 785-2444.