First-round Notes: 2014 World Championship

Six countries and three past World Champions are represented among the leaders after the first round of the 15th annual World Championship.

First-round results
Second-round tee times
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Louis Dobbelaar (Australia) carded five birdies over his last 12 holes en route to a 3-under 69 and a two-stroke lead in Boys 12. A trio of players carded rounds of 71, including two-time USKG National Player of the Year and two-time World Champion Michael Thorbjornsen (Massachusetts, USA).

Colombia’s Juan Camilo Vesga Solano and Alexander Yang (California, USA) carded the best first round among the 1400 players, and they share a one-stroke lead in Boys 11. Vesga Solano birdied six of his first seven holes on his second nine (Nos. 1-2, 4-7) en route to his 5-under 67, while Yang closed his round with birdies on his last two holes.

Two players from Thailand and two players from China have at least a share of the lead heading into Friday’s second round. Ratchanon Chantananuwat (Thailand) and Haizhao Tang (China) carded rounds of 3-under 33 and lead by two strokes in Boys 7, while Girls 9 is led by Natachanok Tunwannarux (Thailand) and Girls 12 is led by Anne Yu (China).

Philippines is the sixth country to have a representative atop a leaderboard, as defending champion Jed Dy is among the five co-leaders in Boys 10 after carding a 4-under 68.

Mimi Chen (Florida, USA) won the 2012 World Championship and, after an opening-round 69 in Girls 11, she finds herself in the lead once again. Leon Takagi (New York, USA) is the third former champ in the lead, as a 4-under 68 has given her a four-stroke cushion in Girls 10.

Boys 12  |  Pinehurst No. 8
-3…Louis Dobbelaar (Australia)
-1…Michael Thorbjornsen (Massachusetts, USA)
-1…Carter Dalili (Florida, USA)
-1…Alfred Raja Sitohang (Indonesia)

Boys 11  |  Talamore
-5…Juan Camilo Vesga Solano (Colombia)
-5…Alexander Yang (California, United States)
-4…Kentaro Nanayama (Japan)

Boys 10  |  Little River
-4…Gavin Aurilia (Arizona, USA)
-4…Jed Dy (Philippines)
-4…Orlando Coons (Nevada, USA)
-4…Nicholas Dunlap (Alabama, USA)
-4…Ian Fritz (Nevada, USA)

Boys 9  |  Pinehurst No. 6
-4…Alex Papayoanou (Texas, USA)
-3…Subham Jaglan (India)
-2…Treed Huang (Texas, USA)
-2…Allan Kournikova (Florida, USA)
-2…Jeremy Chen (Taiwan)

Boys 8  |  Mid Pines (back)
-2…Jay Leng Jr. (California, USA)
E…Hanru Guo (South Carolina, USA)
E…Asher Joseph (Florida, USA)
E…Sihan Sandhu (Virginia, USA)

Boys 7  |  Mid Pines (front)
-3…Ratchanon Chantananuwat (Thailand)
-3…Haizhao Tang (China)
-1…Achira Chumchaivate (Thailand)

Boys 6 & under  |  Midland Country Club
-4…Phillip Dunham (Florida, USA)
-3…Isaac Diaz (Texas, USA)
-3…Tristan Wieland (Florida, USA)

Girls 12  |  Pinehurst No. 3
-3…Anne Yu (China)
E…Estefania Hurtado (Colombia)
E…Michaela Morard (Alabama, USA)

Girls 11  |  Southern Pines
-3…Mimi Chen (Florida, USA)
E…Madelyn Gamble (California, USA)
E…Man Li Xiang Yang (China)

Girls 10  |  Longleaf
-4…Leon Takagi (New York, USA)
E…Kynadie Adams (Tennessee, USA)
E…Skylee Shin (Florida, USA)

Girls 9  |  Longleaf (front)
-3…Natachanok Tunwannarux (Thailand)
-2…Alexa Pano (Florida, USA)
-1…Isabell Pellot (Florida, USA)

Girls 8  |  Mid Pines (front)
+1…Kiara Romero (California, USA)
+2…Sofia Temelo (Mexico)
+2…Gracie McGovern (Arizona, USA)
+2…Jeanne Padillo (California, USA)

Girls 7 & under  |  Midland Country Club
-2…Chloe Kovelesky (Florida, USA)
-1…Natalie Yen (Oregon, USA)
E…Avani Prashanth (India)

Quick Facts: 2014 World Championship

The 15th-annual World Championship will be played July 31 – Aug. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C. Nine of the best courses in Pinehurst will host nearly 1400 players, ages 5-12, from 48 countries.

First-round tee times

Course Assignments
Division  |  Course  |  Defending champion (if returning)

Boys 12  |  Pinehurst No. 8  |  Michael Thorbjornsen – Massachusetts, USA
Boys 11  |  Talamore  |  Benjamin James – Connecticut, USA
Boys 10  |  Little River  |  Jed Dy – Philippines
Boys 9  |  Pinehurst No. 6  |  Allan Kournikova – Florida, USA
Boys 8  |  Mid Pines (back)  |  Daniel Zou – Texas, USA
Boys 7  |  Mid Pines (front)
Boys 6 & under  |  Midland Country Club

Girls 12  |  Pinehurst No. 3  |  Karah Sanford – California, USA
Girls 11  |  Southern Pines  |  Elle Nachmann – Florida, USA
Girls 10  |  Longleaf  |  Leon Takagi – New York, USA
Girls 9  |  Longleaf (front)  |  Alexa Pano – Florida, USA
Girls 8  |  Mid Pines (front)  |  Sofia Temelo – Mexico
Girls 7 & under  |  Midland Country Club

Tournament Preview
Ten of the 11 eligible champions from 2013 have returned to Pinehurst in hopes of defending their titles as World Champions. Of these past champs, four are looking to continue winning streaks that date back as far as 2011.

Alexa Pano (Girls 9) and Allan Kournikova (Boys 9) are both three-time reigning champions, and a win in 2014 would move them to second on the all-time win list with four titles. Michael Thorbjornsen (Boys 12) is the two-time U.S. Kids Golf National Player of the Year, and he will look to close his World Championship career with a third-consecutive victory. Daniel Zou (Boys 8) shot a combined 10-under-par in his two World Championship wins, and he will look to keep this winning streak alive at Mid Pines this week.

Contenders include five players who claimed a European Championship title in May. In Boys 8, two European Champions will challenge Zou for the title. Asher Joseph (Florida, USA) shot 10-under and won Boys 7 & Under by nine strokes, while Sihan Sandhu (Virginia, USA) won Boys 8 by two strokes. Bailey Shoemaker (New York, USA), the Girls 9 European Champion, returns to Pinehurst after finishing tied for third a year ago.

Rasmus Bofill (Denmark) won Boys 12 in Europe this year and will look to improve upon his T14 showing at the 2013 World Championship. In Girls 12, Rina Tatematsu (Thailand) was runner-up at this event a year ago, and the three-time European Champion is coming off a 24-stroke victory in Europe.

Countries represented
Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

Final-round notes: 2014 Teen World Championship

14TeenWorldChamps

Top row (L to R): Alvin Kwak – Boys 13, Grant Smith – Boys 14, John Gough – Boys 15-18. Bottom row (L to R): Mikhaela Denise Fortuna – Girls 13, Haeley Wotnosky – Girls 14, Maria Regina Gonzalez – Girls 15-18

Final results
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Three international players and two players from the host state of North Carolina claimed Teen World Championship titles Saturday in Pinehurst.

In Boys 14, Ryggs Johnston (Montana, USA) posted the best score in tournament history – a 10-under-par 62 that included nine birdies and an eagle – and he had the clubhouse lead at 8-under-par with nine players left to finish. Second-round leader Grant Smith (North Carolina, USA) remained unfazed, as birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 15 helped him finish with a final-round 69 and a one-stroke victory with a 9-under total.

Haeley Wotnosky (North Carolina, USA) was the other Tar Heel to claim top honors Saturday. A year after finishing third in this event, Wotnosky posted 10 birdies on the week and finished at 7-over, six strokes ahead of runner-up Julia Alhemoud (Kuwait).

The trio of international champions was led by John Gough (United Kingdom), who claimed the title of Teen World Champion two months after winning the European Championship. Facing a three-stroke deficit entering the final round, Gough eagled No. 17 en route to a 1-under 71, the second best score of the day. His even-par total was two strokes better than Amarin Kraivixien (Thailand).

In Girls 15-18, Maria Regina Gonzalez (Mexico) closed with birdies on four of her final 10 holes and carded a final-round 71. Her 13-over total was one stroke clear of Pascalle Tego (Mexico), who birdied Nos. 3-6 and Nos. 9-10 en route to a tournament-best round of 67.

Mikhaela Denise Fortuna (Philippines) completed her wire-to-wire victory in Girls 13, as her final-round 76 kept her atop the leaderboard and seven strokes ahead of the competition. Janejilla Marston (Thailand) tallied five birdies Saturday and finished at 14-over after recording a final-round 70.

Playing in the penultimate group in Boys 13, Alvin Kwak (Washington) held the clubhouse lead at 1-under after carding a final-round 72. Second-round leader Juan Delgado (Dominican Republic) matched the 54-hole total after a 1-over 73, and the duo went to a 55th hole to decide the championship. Kwak prevailed in the sudden-death playoff, as a par sealed the victory on the par-5 10th hole.

Boys 15-18 (Pinehurst No. 8)
E (75-70-71)…John Gough (United Kingdom)
+2 (76-70-72)…Amarin Kraivixien (Thailand)
+3 (75-76-68)…Ryan Flick (Ohio, USA)
+3 (74-69-76)…Nicholas Solimene (Connecticut, USA)

Boys 14 (Pinehurst No. 6)
-9 (72-66-69)…Grant Smith (North Carolina, USA)
-8 (73-73-62)…Ryggs Johnston (Montana, USA)
-7 (73-68-68)…Michael Sanders (North Carolina, USA)

Boys 13 (Pinehurst No. 9)
-1 (71-72-72)…Alvin Kwak (Washington, USA)*
-1 (69-73-73)…Juan Delgado (Dominican Republic)
+1 (73-71-73)…Jake Miller (Indiana, USA)

Girls 15-18 (Mid Pines)
+13 (80-78-71)…Maria Regina Gonzalez (Mexico)
+14 (84-79-67)…Pascalle Tego (Mexico)
+17 (77-79-77)…Killian Casson (Maryland, USA)

Girls 14 (Mid Pines)
+7 (74-73-76)…Haeley Wotnosky (North Carolina, USA)
+13 (79-76-74)…Julia Alhemoud (Kuwait)
+19 (79-79-77)…Pin-Wen Lu (Taiwan)
+19 (84-74-77)…Lauren Peter (New York, USA)

Girls 13 (Mid Pines)
+7 (75-72-76)…Mikhaela Denise Fortuna (Philippines)
+14 (82-78-70)…Janejilla Marston (Thailand)
+16 (81-79-72)…Caroline Craig (Florida, USA)
+16 (78-84-70)…Amy Zhang (Florida, USA)

*Won via sudden-death playoff

Second-round notes: 2014 Teen World Championship

Second-round results  |  Final-round tee times
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Three of the six age divisions have co-leaders with 18 holes left to play, which promises to make for an exciting final round Saturday at the Teen World Championship.

In Boys 14, Grant Smith (North Carolina, USA) tallied seven birdies Friday, including three in a row to end his round, to post a tournament-best 6-under 66 on Pinehurst No. 6. His 6-under total is tied with Kritchayapol Sinchai (Thailand), and two strokes ahead of Alejandro Gutierrez (Mexico).

Boys 13 also features co-leaders through 36 holes, as Juan Delgado (Dominican Republic) and Chriseagle Kim (North Carolina, USA) are 2-under and share a one-stroke lead. Kim moved 27 spots up the leaderboard after carding six birdies on the day, including four in a row on Nos. 7-10, en route to a 67.

A steady second round by Killian Casson (Maryland, USA) erased a four-stroke deficit and pulled her even with Grace Shin (Oklahoma, USA) with one round to play in Girls 15-18. Casson and Shin are 14-over, while Maria Regina Gonzalez (Mexico) is just two strokes off the pace.

A hot finish by Jake Lawson (Georgia, USA) earned him a spot in the final Boys 15-18 grouping Saturday, as birdies on Nos. 16-18 highlighted a second-round 70. Lawson is 2-under after two days and has a one-stroke lead over Nicholas Solimene (Connecticut, USA), who closed Friday’s round with two birdies en route to a 3-under 69.

Haeley Wotnosky (North Carolina, USA) is in position to improve upon her third-place finish from a year ago, as she is 3-over-par and has built an eight-stroke cushion in Girls 14. Similarly, Mikhaela Denise Fortuna (Philippines) previously finished second at the 2010 World Championship, but has built a 12-stroke lead in Girls 13 after rounds of 75-72 and will aim to stand atop the podium tomorrow evening.

Boys 15-18 (Pinehurst No. 8)
-2 (72-70)…Jake Lawson (Georgia, USA)
-1 (74-69)…Nicholas Solimene (Connecticut, USA)
+1 (75-70)…John Gough (United Kingdom)
+1 (72-73)…Eddie Karst (Tennessee, USA)

Boys 14 (Pinehurst No. 6)
-6 (69-69)…Kritchayapol Sinchai (Thailand)
-6 (72-66)…Grant Smith (North Carolina, USA)
-4 (69-71)…Alejandro Gutierrez (Mexico)

Boys 13 (Pinehurst No. 9)
-2 (69-73)…Juan Delgado (Dominican Republic)
-2 (75-67)…Chriseagle Kim (North Carolina, USA)
-1 (71-72)…Alvin Kwak (Washington, USA)
-1 (73-70)…Henry Dubiel (Florida, USA)

Girls 15-18 (Mid Pines)
+12 (77-79)…Killian Casson (Maryland, USA)
+12 (73-83)…Grace Shin (Oklahoma, USA)
+14 (80-78)…Maria Regina Gonzalez (Mexico)

Girls 14 (Mid Pines)
+3 (74-73)…Haeley Wotnosky (North Carolina, USA)
+11 (79-76)…Julia Alhemoud (Kuwait)
+13 (79-78)…Ami Gianchandani (New Jersey, USA)

Girls 13 (Mid Pines)
+3 (75-72)…Mikhaela Denise Fortuna (Philippines)
+15 (77-82)…Woo Wade (Georgia, USA)
+16 (81-79)…Caroline Craig (Florida, USA)
+16 (83-77)…Georgia Oboh (Nigeria)
+16 (82-78)…Janejilla Marston (Thailand)

First-round notes: 2014 Teen World Championship

First-round results  |  Second-round tee times
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Players from four countries have risen to the tops of the leaderboards after the first round at the Teen World Championship.

The boys leaderboards are crowded at the top, as the two-stroke lead held by Costa Rica’s Paul Chaplet (Boys 15-18) is the largest among the three boys leaders. Chaplet carded five birdies on the day en route to a 2-under-par 70, while four Americans are tied for second after carding even-par rounds of 72.

Behind the strength of three birdies and an eagle, Luka Karaulic (Ohio, USA) carded the lowest round of the day, a 4-under 68, and has a one-stroke lead over Alejandro Gutierrez (Mexico) and Kritchayapol Sinchai (Thailand) in Boys 14. Juan Delgado (Dominican Republic) also has a one-stroke lead in Boys 13, as a birdie on his closing hole gave him sole possession of the lead over four players.

Two World Championship veterans are among the girls leaders after the first round. Haeley Wotnosky (North Carolina, USA) finished 3rd at last year’s Teen World Championship, and this year she opened with a 2-over 74 and leads Girls 14 by five strokes. In Girls 13, Mikhaela Denise Fortuna (Philippines) shot a 3-over 75 and has a two-stroke lead over Woo Wade (Georgia, USA). In two previous appearances at the World Championship, Fortuna finished 7th in 2013 (Girls 12) and 2nd in 2010 (Girls 9).

Grace Shin (Oklahoma, USA) is playing in her first U.S. Kids Golf tournament, and an opening-round 73 has given her a four-stroke lead over Killian Casson (Maryland, USA) in Girls 15-18.

Boys 15-18 (Pinehurst No. 8)
-2…Paul Chaplet (Costa Rica)
E…Eddie Karst (Tennessee, USA)
E…Vijay Mishra (South Carolina, USA)
E…RJ David (Arizona, USA)
E…Jake Lawson (Georgia, USA)

Boys 14 (Pinehurst No. 6)
-4…Luka Karaulic (Ohio, USA)
-3…Alejandro Gutierrez (Mexico)
-3…Kritchayapol Sinchai (Thailand)

Boys 13 (Pinehurst No. 9)
-3…Juan Delgado (Dominican Republic)
-2…Connor Creasy (Virginia, USA)
-2…Ross Steelman (Missouri, USA)
-2…Carson Stohler (Indiana, USA)
-2…Trent Tipton (Ohio, USA)

Girls 15-18 (Mid Pines)
+1…Grace Shin (Oklahoma, USA)
+5…Killian Casson (Maryland, USA)
+8…Victoria Origel (Mexico)
+8…Maria Regina Gonzalez (Mexico)

Girls 14 (Mid Pines)
+2…Haeley Wotnosky (North Carolina, USA)
+7…Julia Alhemoud (Kuwait)
+7…Ami Gianchandani (New Jersey, USA)
+7…Pin Wen Lu (Taiwan)

Girls 13 (Mid Pines)
+3…Mikhaela Denise Fortuna (Philippines)
+5…Woo Wade (Georgia, USA)
+6…Amy Zhang (Florida, USA)

Quick Facts: 2014 Teen World Championship

The ninth-annual Teen World Championship will be played July 24-26 in Pinehurst, N.C. Four of the best courses in Pinehurst will host more than 550 players, ages 13-18, from 35 countries.

Course Assignments
Boys 15-18  |  Pinehurst No. 8
Boys 14  |  Pinehurst No. 6
Boys 13  |  Pinehurst No. 9
Girls 13, 14, 15- 18  |  Mid Pines

First-round tee times

Tournament Preview
Two champions from this year’s European Championship will look to add another major victory to their resumes this week. Conor White (United Kingdom) posted a 4-over-par total and claimed the Boys 15-18 victory in a sudden-death playoff over fellow countryman Joseph Cloherty, who has also traveled to North Carolina to compete for a Teen World Championship crown.

Frederik Sejr (Denmark) posted a seven-stroke victory in Boys 14 at the European Championship, and he’ll return to Pinehurst after finishing T8 at this event last year. In all, the Boys 14 division will feature eight of the top 10 finishers from 2013, including runner-up Galven Green (Malaysia) and third-place finisher Derek Hitchner (Minnesota, USA).

Other top finishers from the 2014 European Championship include Georgia Uboh from Nigeria (T4, Girls 13), Louise Maurel-Le Corre from France (2nd, Girls 15-18), and Madison Elliott from South Carolina (3rd, Girls 15-18).

Haeley Wotnosky (North Carolina, USA) finished 3rd at last year’s Teen World Championship and is the top returning player in Girls 14, while Morgan Tournemire (Florida, USA) finished T4 at the 2013 World Championship and is the highest returning player in Boys 13.

Countries represented
Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

Past Champions
Spencer Alexander…2012
Ryan Nicole Ashburn…2006
Maria Balcazar…2012
Anna Buchanan…2013
Lucas Gabriel Cabarcos…2009
Branden Collins…2008, 2010
Kyle Cornelius…2013
Casey Danielson…2008, 2009
Natalia Forero…2009
Gavin Kyle Green…2008
Benjamin Griffin…2010, 2011
Richard Hattori…2009
Courtney Hooton…2007
Veronica Joels…2013
Mitchell Klooz…2009
Hendrika Labsch…2010
David Mackey…2012
Sophie Madden…2011
Janet Mao…2010
MJ Maquire…2007
Samantha Marks…2008
Alberto Martinez…2013
Chad Merzbacher…2007
Bobby Monaco…2006
Haley Moore…2012
Tyler Moore…2010
Alheli Moreno…2009
Nicole Quinn…2008
Mark Reilly…2008
Jonathan Renza…2007
Laura Restrepo…2011
Matthew Ruel…2012
Daffodil Sanchez…2006
Yasemin Sari…2010
Monifa Sealy…2007
David Snyder…2011, 2013
Kennedy Swann…2013
Korey Ward…2006
Kelly Whaley…2012
Cameron Young…2011
Yin Yuanru…2011

Pinecrest High School seniors awarded 2014 U.S. Kids Golf Foundation volunteer scholarships

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VILLAGE OF PINEHURST, N.C. (June 27, 2014) — A pair of enthusiastic and devoted student volunteers were recently awarded U.S. Kids Golf Foundation Volunteer Scholarships.

Three weeks later they were logging numerous unpaid hours on Pinehurst’s legendary No. 2 course during the historic back-to-back U.S. Opens.

These two rising college freshmen are volunteers extraordinaire.

Dr. Richard Lawson, Volunteer Chairman for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, presented the scholarships to Pinecrest High School seniors Savannah Thompson and James Halligan shortly before graduation. This marks the fifth year that these scholarships have been awarded for exceptional citizenship, community service, willingness to serve as a volunteer and extra-curricular activities.

And though it is not a requirement for the scholarship, both Thompson and Halligan have been loyal U.S. Kids Golf volunteers in the past years.

Thompson, of Seven Lakes, will use her $750 scholarship at UNC-Pembroke, where she will study Mass Communications and join the golf team. Her U.S. Open volunteer experience was one that most teens would dream about.

“I had the opportunity to be the standard bearer for Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickleson in the practice round,” she said, “and I also had the amazing chance to walk with the last group as a standard bearer on Sunday. It was a great experience being able to watch Martin Kaymer make his last putt on the 18th hole.”

N.C. State University is Halligan’s college choice, and his $750 scholarship will help him study Computer Engineering. James is from Pinehurst, and he was also a standard bearer during the Opens.

“I’ve met so many interesting people through golf and consider myself fortunate to have been granted the opportunity to volunteer for the U.S. Opens, the U.S. Amateurs, U.S. Kids Golf and many other tournaments hosted at Pinehurst,” Halligan said. “Though I’m not a great golfer myself, the sport has proven that it still has a lot to give me.”

Since 2006, Atlanta-based U.S. Kids Golf has held the World Championship on 12 of the Pinehurst area courses. More than local 700 volunteers help with the event each August.

Chris Vonderkall, Vice President of Tournaments for U.S. Kids Golf, had great things to say about the Sandhills area volunteers and the scholarship winners.

“Through these Foundation scholarships, we are able to pay tribute to the countless hard-working volunteers from the local area, because without them, the World Championship would not be possible,” said Vonderkall. “I congratulate Savannah and James because they certainly represent the giving nature of the folks around the Pinehurst area.”