Familiar Faces Return to Winner’s Circle at Faldo Series Florida Championship
Dongjin Park and Ying-Ting Hsieh earn top prize at Falcons Fire; Sumaer Dhalla earns first IJGT Victory
Kissimmee, FL: The International Junior Golf Tour continued to heat up its Spring Schedule as it returned to sunny Central Florida for its fourth-consecutive Faldo Series Qualifying opportunity as Falcons Fire played host to the Florida Championship. Falcons Fire is a favorite amongst the players with ideal course conditions perfect for low-scoring opportunities.
Players from over 20 countries gathered at the Orlando area course, competing to earn a spot in the Faldo Series U.S. Grand Final, along with earning national golf rankings and IJGT Merit Points.
This is one of eight qualifiers IJGT has scheduled for the 2018 calendar year, with 2 of the top Boys U-18 and U-16 finishers earning an invitation to the Faldo Series U.S. Grand Final. The Faldo Series also extends invitation to the top Girls U-18 and top U-16 finisher as well. The U.S. Grand Final is scheduled to take place at Bella Collina Golf Club (Florida) in October of 2018.
For the Boys 15-19 Division crown, a heavy leaderboard was seen at the conclusion of round one and winning this event would take a valiant effort for Sunday’s final round. Two players rose to that challenge with both Dongjin Park and Erik Fogel each putting a 66 on their scorecard, but as previously seen there could only be one winner over the weekend. And after a solid opening round performance, Dongjin Park found himself in the winner’s circle once again.
Park, a native of Seoul, South Korea who is a current student at Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA), notches his third victory of the Spring season and has already earned himself a spot to the Faldo Series Grand Final with his record-setting performance at Savannah Harbor. Park finishes the weekend shooting scores of 71 and 66 earning himself a finshing score of 137, good for 7-under par.
Jack Hughes claims his first top-three finish of the season by earning second-place for the weekend. The former resident of Snowmass Village, CO by way of BGGA had a very impressive weekend with scores of 69 and 71 for his finish of 140. As previously stated, Erik Fogel had quite the Sunday round putting a 66 on the leaderboard and leaping into third-place for the weekend. Fogel, a native of Sweden who is currently a student at the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) opened the weekend with a 76 for a 142 total finish.
In the Girls Division, 36-holes was simply not enough to decide our weekend winner as two well-deserving players; Ying-Ting Hsieh and One Kashima, earned their way into a sudden-death playoff. Each player made Par on the first two playoff holes, and on the third playoff hole, Ying-Ting Hsieh was able to knock down a 10-foot Birdie putt to earn herself winning honors at Falcons Fire.
Hsieh continues her impressive 2017-2018 campaign with IJGT, as this is her fourth victory of the season and second-consecutive win at Falcons Fire. The former resident of Huantan Township, Taiwan who is currently a student at BGGA, finished off the weekend with scores of 76 and 72 for a 148 total score.
One Kashima finishes off the weekend earning second-place honors at Falcons Fire. Kashima has also had quite an impressive stretch lately, as this is her third top three finish of the IJGT season. Kashima, who hails from Tochigi, Japan and currently resides at IJGA, finished off her weekend with consecutive scores of 74 earning a total of 148 as well.
Multiple players finished their weekend tying for third, as Chiara Arya, Tracy Lee, and Katya King all share the honor for the top-three finish. Arya, of Jakarta, Indonesia and current student at BGGA finishes with scores of 77 and 75 for a total finish of 152. Tracy Lee follows that as well with scores of 77 and 75 as well, earning the Seoul, South Korea native another top-three finish for the IJGT season. Katya King earns herself her first top-three of the IJGT season, as the nearby resident of Celebration, FL finishes with rounds of 75 and 77.
Earning himself his first IJGT victory in the Boys 14 & Under Division is Sumaer Dhalla. The Princeton, NJ native had an excellent weekend as he earns scores of 77 and 82 for a total score of 159. Rounding out the top-three are Muhamad Izwan Zaini and Harrison Freeze, as Izwan Zaini takes home second-place honors for the weekend. The former resident of Seri Kembangan, Malaysia who is a current student at IJGA earned scores of 85 and then division low of 75 on Sunday. Freeze earns himself his first top-three finish of the year with rounds of 79 and 84 for a 163 total finish.
A number of players also punched their ticket to the Faldo Series U.S. Grand Final, earning top qualifying spots that were up for grabs. The top qualifiers for the Boys U-18 division were Erik Fogel and Andreas Huber. The top qualifiers for the Boys U-16 category are Jack Hughes and Kaleb Palm.
Earning spots in the Girls competitive divisions are Katya King and Tracy Lee for the Girls U-18 division. For the U-16 division, One Kashima and Yukiko Takasato.
The full list of Faldo Series Qualifiers will be made available at IJGT.com on May 1st, 2018.
The IJGT will host a fifth-consecutive Faldo Series Qualifier next week, as they return to the “Sweetest Place on Earth” as Hershey Country Club plays host to the Northeast Championship. There will be another Faldo Series Qualifying opportunity later on this Summer for the New York Championship at Bristol Harbour Golf Club.
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