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.


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.


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’s 2014 list of Top 100 Courses in the U.S. It is also the host of the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage.


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’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!

Powderly, Kozak earn IJGT Player of the Week honors – Dec. 16, 2014

The IJGT hosted its final tournament of the fall season, the IJGA Invitational at Sea Pines on December 13-14, 2014. The two-day, 36-hole tournament was played on both the Ocean Course and Harbour Town Golf Links. Each junior golfer had the opportunity to play both courses. Although frost delays pushed back tee times on both days, the temperature rose with the sun creating pleasant playing conditions. Following the event, the IJGT is proud to award this week’s Player of the Week honors to Liam Powderly of Cockeysville, Md., and Bluffton, S.C., native Kayla Kozak.

Liam Powderly

Competing against talented juniors from around the world, Powderly finished sixth in his third tournament of the season. The 14-year-old won the 14 & Under Division of The DC Shootout at National Golf Club in October before making the transition to the Boys 15-19 Division.

Powderly was consistent throughout the IJGA Invitational finishing 4-over-par on both days. He carded three birdies in round one at Harbour Town on holes No. 6, 8 and 10. He closed out round two shooting par-or-better on the last five holes at the Ocean Course, including birdies on holes No. 17 and 18.

Kayla Kozak

Kozak tied for second in her second tournament of the season. Aiming for consistency, Kozak scored par on 13 of 18 holes to join the race for the lead after round one. Her bogey-free streak on holes No. 13-18 on the Ocean Course allowed her to finish round one with a 3-over-par 75. In round two at Harbour Town Golf Links, arguably the tougher of two courses, Kozak carded back-to-back birdies on holes No. 4 and 5.

Congratulations to both Liam Powderly and Kayla Kozak on their Player of the Week honors!

Major Championship at Kiawah Island – Tour Preview

The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) will head to play two of the five courses at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, S.C. on February 15-16, 2014 for the Major Championship. Players will play the first round at Turtle Point and finish out the weekend with round two on the Ocean Course, both of which are championship courses. At stake are double IJGT Merit Points as well as national rankings.

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The first day’s 18 holes will be played at Turtle Point, a Jack Nicklaus course known for being one of the longest on the island. Turtle Point has been host of past PGA Cup Matches and proves to be challenging for even advanced players. Unpredictable winds are characteristic of this course even with towering trees along the fairway.

Day two will be 18 holes to be played at the #4 Greatest Public Golf Course in America as ranked by Golf Digest, Ocean Course. A Pete Dye creation, Ocean Course was the location for the 2012 PGA Championships. The course includes 10 holes that run right along the Atlantic Ocean, creating for beautiful scenery. Among just 17 other courses in North America, Golf Digest readers have given Ocean Course a 5-star rating for best places to play.

The 14th at Turtle Point.

The 14th at Turtle Point.

The IJGT expects the fierce competition at the #MajorChamp across all Divisions. In the Boys 15-19 Division, Tennoshin Ogawa of Ichinomiya-shi, Japan and Keshav Sharma of New Delhi, India, and Brad Cook of Jackson, Wyo. Ogawa and Sharma finished first and second, respectively, after a playoff at the Winter Shootout in January 2014. Sharma also tied Cook for third at the Carolina Classic in late January 2014.

Look for a stand-out performances from Takafumi Shimoji of Okinawa, Japan, and Joe Parrini of York, Pa. After placing second in the Boys 14 & Under Division at the Carolina Classic at Colleton River Plantation January 25-26, 2014, Shimoji has now placed in the top three in seven of eight Events played with the IJGT. In his first appearance in a southern tournament, Parrini will look to take command of the Boys 14 & Under Division. He comes into the Major Championship with five first place finishes on seven tournaments.

Rounding out our watch list, Ana Paula Valdes of Morelia, Mexico, will look to lead the pack. Coming off of a first place finish at the Junior Heritage at Sea Pines February 1-2, 2014, Valdes will look to add to her accolades at Kiawah Island.

To register or for more information about the Major Championship at Kiawah Island, click here.

IJGA Invitational – Tour Preview

The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) will be hosting the IJGA Invitational on Dec. 14-15 at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The two-day, 36-hole tournament will consist of one round at Sea Pines Ocean Course and one round at Harbour Town Golf Links. Players will be competing for national rankings and Double IJGT Merit Points at the last Major Championship of the fall season.

The first course built on Hilton Head Island, the Ocean Course features one of only two oceanfront holes on the island. The par-72 course stretches to 6,906 yards with a rating of 73.5 and slope of 144 from the back tees. Strategically-placed bunkers and lagoons provide difficulties to players of all skill levels. The par-3, 15th is the signature hole at the Ocean Course, as elevated tees give players unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Hole 15 Ocean Course

The par-3, 15th hole at Sea Pines Ocean Course is one of only two oceanfront holes on Hilton Head Island.

Harbour Town Golf Links is the more nationally known of the courses at Sea Pines. Harbour Town has played host to the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage (formally Heritage Classic) since 1969. The course is consistently awarded billing as one of the top courses, including being rated 18th in Golf Digest’s 2013-14 “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses.” Playing as a par-71, the course features five sets of tees stretching from 5,208 yards to 7,101 yards. The 18th hole at Harbour Town is one of golf’s most well-known holes, as players overlook Calibogue Sound and features the Harbour Town Lighthouse in the background.

Harbour Town Lighthouse 18 Green

The 18th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links provides one of the most recognizable finishing holes in golf.

The IJGA Invitational consistently features one of the strongest fields of the IJGT season, and this year is no different. In the Boys 15-19 Division, Tennoshin Ogawa of Ichinomiya-shi, Japan, Shota Ozaki of Tokyo, Japan, William Thomson of Pittsford, N.Y., and Trey Wren of Suffolk, Va. highlight a strong field. Ogawa, Ozaki, and Wren have all been victorious in IJGT Events this season, while Thomson won last season’s IJGA Invitational in the Boys 14 & Under Division, narrowly edging out Ogawa. Other players to keep an eye on include Matt Cheng of Taipei, Taiwan and Bobby Firth of Jenkintown, Pa.

Takafumi Shimoji looks to continue his impressive rookie season on the IJGT by capturing the tournament in the Boys 14 & Under Division. Shimoji has won three tournaments this fall while finishing 2nd in his other two events. Shimoji shot his low round of the season in the first round of the Lowcountry Open at Oldfield Golf Club in August, carding six birdies on his way to a 5-under-par, 67. Players to also watch in the Boys 14 & Under Division include Alex Lawson of Pittsburgh, Pa., Brandon McBride of Bluffton, S.C., Ryan McCarthy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., and Luis Sanchez of Tampico, Mexico.

The Girls Division features a number of players who have had successful seasons so far, including Samantha Huang Shenzhen, China, Ana Paula Valdes of Morelia, Mexico, and Kelly Whaley of Farmington, Conn., all of whom have been victorious twice this fall. Cake Phuchanbanchob of Chiang Mai, Thailand, Clementina Rodriquez of Caracas, Venezuela, Ana Ruiz of Chihuahua, Mexico, Thamonpat Siriko of Bangkok, Thailand, and Susana Vik of Greenwich, Conn. all placed in the top ten of last year’s IJGA Invitational.