The Upstate Challenge at Locust Hill Preview

The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) will be headed to upstate New York for The Upstate Challenge at Locust Hill Country Club on September 28-29. Located in Pittsford, Locust Hill will be hosting its first IJGT Event. Top junior golfers from around the Northeast will be competing for national rankings and IJGT Merit Points.

Locust Hill is a private country club only five miles southeast from the city of Rochester. Seymour Dunn designed the course and it has been open since 1927. Locust Hill is an annual stop on the LPGA Tour, as they have hosted an event every year since 1977. From 2010-2013, Locust Hill was the site of the LPGA Championship, one of five major championships on the LPGA Tour. The 18-hole championship course plays as a par 72, with four sets of tees ranging from 5,628 yards to 6,615 yards.

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In the Boys 15-19 Division, William Thomson hopes to earn the victory in his home town. Thomson starred in the 2012-13 season, winning four events and finishing no lower than a tie for 9th in 14 events in the Boys 14 & Under Division. Thomson was the IJGT Boys 14 & Under National Player of the Year last season and has elected to move up to the 15-19 Division. This will be Thomson’s first IJGT Event of the 2013-14 season. Kevin Borowicz of Grand Island, N.Y., had a strong showing at The Upstate Challenge at Timber Banks last season, finishing 5th. Borowicz played in The Labor Day Classic at Hershey CC, finishing 14th. Jack Gianniny of Rochester, N.Y., was able to qualify for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship this season and hopes to build off that performance. A number of players will be playing in their first IJGT Event including Nicklaus Curry of Cranberry Township, Pa., Evan Gaesser of Kendall, N.Y., and Colin Patrick of Newtown, Conn.

Sarah Bothner of Rochester, N.Y., won The Upstate Challenge last season, carding a final round 76 on her way to victory. Bothner played at Hershey CC earlier this season, finishing 5th, and she’ll be looking to defend her championship at Locust Hill. Bothner will face a number of challengers including Madison Braman of Loudonville, Pa., Chelsea Dantonio of Lancaster, N.Y., and Allyson Wentworth of Stewartsville, N.J. Braman is coming off a 5th place finish at the IJGT Philly Open at Jeffersonville, while Dantonio placed 4th at Hershey, and Wentworth was 6th at the Major Championship at Crystal Springs.

Danny Gianniny of Rochester, N.Y., and Chang Hyun Park of Pittsford, N.Y., highlight the Boys 14 & Under Division. Gianniny had two top-10 finishes last season, including a 4th place finish at the IJGT Junior at Wintonbury Hills. Gianniny has yet to play in an IJGT Event this season. Park will be making his IJGT debut and looks to make his trip to Locust Hill memorable.