First-round notes: 2016 Teen World Championship

First-round results  |  Second-round tee times
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The 2016 U.S. Kids Golf Teen World Championship showcases over 600 players from more than 40 nations – including countries as diverse as Indonesia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. Now in its 11th year, the Teen World Championship serves as an aspirational goal for teenage golfers across the world.

Three United States players and three International players currently occupy the top spots on the leaderboard after the first round of the Teen World Championship.

One participant in each boys age group emerged with a one-stroke lead or better, while a handful of challengers have positioned themselves nicely for the upcoming rounds.

After finishing 7th in the Boys 12 age group in the 2015 World Championship, Jose Cristobal Islas (Boys 13) now possesses a two-stroke advantage in his first year of the Teen World Championship. Islas traveled from Mexico for the eighth-consecutive year and already has two top 5 finishes to his name. He now has his sights set on the first place trophy after posting a 2-under, 70 in round one.

Clay Stirsman (Boys 14) leads the pack at Pinehurst No. 9 after posting a 3-under, 69 in round one. Stirsman, who resides in the small town of Carmel, Indiana, has traveled to Pinehurst since 2011. His first round score was the lowest in his World Championship career. He leads the age group by one stroke over Georgian Brock Hoover.

Behind the strength of five birdies and only one bogey, Garrett Defisser (Boys 15-18) carded the lowest round of the young tournament with a 4-under, 68. Defisser’s strong effort in the first round gave him a one shot lead over Pinehurst native, AJ Beechler. Defisser began playing on the U.S. Kids Golf Phoenix Local Tour when he was only five-years-old, and quickly rose through the rankings. This year marks Garrett’s 10th trip to Pinehurst since the age of five, and he will look to capitalize on an impressive first round score.

Comparable to the boys, one girl in each age group beat out the rest of the field to gain sole possession of the top spot on the leaderboard.

The four-stroke lead held by Juliana Camargo (Girls 13) is the largest among all six age groups. The Colombian native posted a 75 in her first round at Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club. Camargo, played in the previous four World Championships, and took home the first place trophy at the 2015 Holiday Classic.

Chloe Schiavone (Girls 14) has a two-stroke lead in her age group after shooting even par in round one. Schiavone’s impressive 72 is her lowest round by nine strokes in her three-year World Championship career. She has six Jacksonville Local Tour victories to her name, and will look to add an even bigger piece of hardware to her trophy case this week at Mid Pines.

Sixteen-year-old Ling-Jie Chen (Girls 15-18) traveled all the way from Taiwan for the third consecutive year to claim the top spot after round one in the 2016 Teen World Championship. After posting an even par 72 at Pinehurst No. 6, Chen has a three-stroke lead heading into day two.

 

The Teen Van Horn Cup will be played Sunday, July 31 on Pinehurst No. 2.

Boys Cup Projections

Girls Cup Projections

European Championship Recap

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“Cheers”

We would like to thank all of the players and their families for joining us last week in East Lothian, Scotland – “The Home of Golf” – for the 9th Annual European Championship.

Spectacular Shots

The opening day of the championship saw albatrosses at Luffness New and The Glen. The final round was graced by a hole-in-one and a third albatross at The Glen.

Angus Klintworth (Boys 15-18) made the first albatross of the tournament at Luffness New. “Aberlady” – the par 5, 14th hole with a sharp dogleg right was tipped out at a whopping 547 yards. Klintworth (pictured below) took an aggressive line and set himself up nicely for a miraculous second shot into the rangy par 5.

Klintworth’s albatross was swiftly backed up by an interesting moment for a 12-year-old Frenchman at The Glen.

Augustine Valery (pictured below), one of the stars of The Short Game – an independent documentary made during the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst – thought he hit his second shot into the tall grass over the green on the par 5, 15th. After searching for a few minutes, Valery declared the ball lost and returned to hit another shot from the fairway (which he stuck to 15 feet).

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As one of the other caddies went to tend the pin for the group, he noticed a ball in the hole; it was Valery’s lost ball! After verifying the ruling (Decision 1-1/2) and snapping a quick photo, Valery penciled in his 2 on the par 5.

Hunter Thomson (pictured below) of Calgary, Canada completed every golfer’s dream in his final round when he aced the 4th hole at The Glen.

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Finally, Sean-Karl Dobson recorded the third albatross of the tournament on the 8th hole, securing a place at the awards ceremony.

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The Glen

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Four of the five courses from last year’s event remained unchanged, while Glen Golf Club was added to the schedule. The Glen, as the locals call it, is often described as a hidden gem, but the secret’s out. This majestic links course wraps around the cliffs of North Berwick, mesmerizing its competitors from tee to green. There are a few quirky holes and blind tee shots, but hopefully it will become a staple in the event for years to come.

Boys 7 & Under – Longniddry

Boys 7 & Under

No other player in the field this week was as consistent as Graden Lomax. The youngster from Wrentham, MA posted three-consecutive rounds of 34 for a final total of 6-under-par. Lomax has shown a lot of promise – he was the runner-up in the 2015 World Championship and placed in the top five in six different Regional Championships. He finally put it all together this week as he secured his first Championship victory.

Boys 8 – Longniddry

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After firing a one-under 35 in round one, Jake Valentine fell four strokes behind the leader with a 39 in round two. Valentine knew he faced an uphill battle heading into the final round if he was going to overthrow the consistent Aarav Shah from Melbourne, Australia. Valentine was relentless down the stretch, birdieing four of his last five holes for a final round score of 31 and a one stroke victory.

Boys 9 – Gullane No. 3

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The nine-year-old boys champion was also decided by a one-stroke victory as Felix Soderman won the age group with a three day total of +7 (223). Soderman returned to the U.S. Kids Golf circuit to improve upon his Top 10 finish in Pinehurst last summer. A well-timed eagle by the Swede on the par 5, 16th proved to be the difference in the age group.

Boys 10 – Craigielaw

Boys 10

Defending European Champion, Jay Leng Jr. added to his trophy collection on Thursday when he ran away with the Boys 10 age group. Leng Jr. fired rounds of 73-71-73, securing a commanding eleven-stroke victory at Craigielaw Golf Club. Leng Jr., who won the past two World Championships, has his eye on a three-peat in Pinehurst.

Boys 11 – Craigielaw

Boys 11

After falling just short in last year’s European Championship, Shubham Jaglan posted the low total of all sixteen age groups with a 207 strokes (9-under-par). The New Delhi, India native, who had a five shot advantage through two rounds, carded a 6-under, 66 in the final round to win by thirteen shots.

Boys 12 – The Glen

Boys 12

The aforementioned Glen saw only one participant under par through three rounds of play – Riccardo Roberto made the Italians proud with a final score of 3-under par. Roberto saved his best for last, shooting 70 in his final round. After a shaky 37 on the front, Roberto eagled the 12th and capped off the day with a birdie on 18 to secure his Championship trophy.

Boys 13 – Luffness New

Boys 13

Dominic Clemons found himself two shots off the lead heading into the final round. Clemons came out firing on Thursday with a quick eagle on the second, followed up by a trio of birdies on holes six through eight. He finished the day with a 68 which was good enough to turn his two shot deficit into a two shot victory.

Boys 14 – Luffness New

Boys 14

Lancelot Salisbury of France played in the European Championship for the sixth consecutive year. Each year, Salisbury improved upon his final standing. Last year was his best finish (8th) before championing the Boys 14 age group in 2016. Salisbury posted rounds of 71-75-71, winning by five strokes and proving that hard work pays off.

Boys 15-18 – Luffness New

Boys 15-18

In his first sanctioned U.S. Kids Golf event, sixteen-year-old Lukas Pany took home gold in the oldest boys’ age group. Pany carded consistent rounds of 75-72-73, becoming one of only two Spaniards to win this year’s event – the other – his twin sister, Elena. 

Girls 8 & Under – Longniddry

Girls 8 & Under

Isabella Dovhey was one of three Americans to claim the top prize in East Lothian. Dovhey shot back-to-back rounds of 39 leading to a two shot deficit heading into round three. The Florida native proceeded to post the low round of the tournament for her age group (35) on Thursday, winning by two strokes.

Girls 9 – Longniddry

Girls 9

No other girl competitor went lower at Longniddry than Rosie Bee Kim. Kim, who hails from the Greater London area, did not post a single round over par in her three day triumph at Longniddry. After placing second in 2015, the exceptional young girl returned to Scotland with a vengeance, firing 33-36-34 to win by five shots. 

Girls 10 – Gullane

Girls 10

The infamous Gullane hill was very unkind to all players who faced it this week, but that did not stop Stephanie Barbaglia from grinding out some impressive scores. Barbaglia, who was one of twelve South Africans in the field (including her older brother, Enzo) made her country proud by winning Girls 10 by eight shots.

Girls 11 – Gullane

Girls 11

In 2014, Harriet Lockley finished in tenth place. In 2015, Lockley cracked the top 5 and a earned herself a trophy with a fourth place finish. This year, Lockley continued to improve. After opening with an 80 in round one, Lockely followed up with a 74 in round two, capped off by an impressive 67 in round thee.

Girls 12 – Gullane

Girls 12

Pia Babnik is no stranger to the winners’ stage at the European Championship. The twelve-year-old from Slovenia has played the event since she was old enough to compete at the age of eight. Since finishing in second in her first two tournaments, Babnik has won her last three appearances and has no plans of letting up in 2017.

Girls 13-14 – Luffness New

Girls 13-14

Ffion Tynan became the fifth United Kingdom representative to hoist a championship trophy on Thursday. Tynan shaved a stroke off of her score each day as she finished with scores of 74-73-72. Tynan has competed in the tournament since the age of nine, has never finished outside the top four, and is now a two-time champion. 

Girls 15-18 – Luffness New

Girls 15-18

Lukas was not the only Pany returning home with a first place trophy. His twin sister, Elena showed the same levels of talent and poise as she won the oldest girls age group with scores of 76-75-78. The Pany twins caught the attention of many this week as their consistency proved the driving force behind their success at Luffness New.

European Van Horn Cup – Luffness New

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The closest fought cup in its history saw the International side retain their title for the fourth year running after a sudden death playoff.

Just as it seemed that Western Europe would take back the cup for the first time since 2012, fourteen-year-old Sigurdur Gardarsson of Iceland knocked his second shot on the par 5, 18th to five feet. The Western Europe team would par while Gardarsson, with ice in his veins, drained his eagle putt to force a sudden death playoff. The International side went on to edge the cup on the first playoff hole.

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The pairing with the lowest round in the European Van Horn Cup were awarded the Morrison Medal, named in honor of the late Sir Garth Morrison, who was Lord Lieutenant for East Lothian, and his wife Lady Gill Morrison.

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The boys winners were Shubham Jaglan, from India, and Alan Kournikova, from the U.S., who shot a 65, while Slovenia’s Pia Babnik and Ashley Stevenson, of France, carded a 63 for the girls, all playing for the International team.

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A Message from the Founder

Dan Van Horn, President and Founder of U.S. Kids Golf said, “On behalf of U.S. Kids Golf and the 630 players and their families that took part in this year’s European Championship, I want to offer my deepest gratitude to the East Lothian community and everyone who served, volunteered, or helped in hundreds of different ways.

“The talent, the courses, the energy just seems to get better and better every year. We crowned some incredible champions and had the closest Van Horn Cup match in history. Also, we were honored to donate to the formation of the Duncan McLean East Lothian Junior Golf Foundation. It was an amazing week. Most of all, I want to thank the many families I had the privilege to meet. They embody the U.S. Kids Golf mission so well.”

See you next year!

European Championship – Round 2

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Leaders Heading Into Round 3

With one round left to play, 17 players from 10 different countries sit atop the leaderboard.

Age Group Name Hometown 1st Round 2nd Round Total
Boys 7 & Under Graden Lomax Wrentham, MA 34 34 -4
Boys 8 Aarav Shah Melbourne, Australia 35 35 -2
Boys 9 Sebastian Desoisa Gibraltar 77 71 +4
Boys 10 Jay Leng Jr. Rancho Santa Fe, California 73 71 E
Boys 11 Shubham Jaglan Delhi, India 69 72 -3
Boys 12 Ricardo Roberto Rome, Italy 71 72 -1
Boys 13 Ben Allen Lincs, UK 68 77 +1
Severi Soutolahti Tampere, Finland 72 73 +1
Boys 14 Lancelot Salisbury Bondues, France 71 75 +2
Boys 15-18 Lukas Pany San Pedro, Spain 75 72 +3
Girls 8 & Under Matidle Modesti Rome, Italy 37 39 +4
Girls 9 Rosie Beem Kim Greater London, UK 33 36 -3
Girls 10 Stephanie Barbaglia Johannesburg, South Africa 77 79 +12
Girls 11 Lou Loron Paris, France 79 74 +9
Girls 12 Beth Coulter Belfast, UK 71 73 E
Girls 13-14 Ffion Tynan Tonyrefail, UK 74 73 +3
Girls 15-18 Elena Pany San Pedro, Spain 76 75 +7

CLICK HERE FOR ALL RESULTS

Notable European Championship Alumni

Since its founding in 2008, the European Championship has seen many former players make a name for themselves in the world of amateur golf. The players this week look to join the likes of many notable alumni including Grant Forrest, Marco Penge, Robert MacIntyre, Matthias Schwab, Annabel Dimmock, Olivia Mehaffey, Albane Valenzuela and Shannon Aubert.

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Grant Forrest, a Craigielaw member, won the inaugural European Championship as a 14-year-old. He is now the top ranked Scottish amateur, and finished second this past weekend in the men’s Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship. Fellow past champion Annabel Dimmock won the women’s Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship in 2014. She now plays on the Ladies European Tour.

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The Conditions – More of the same

One of the major headlines from this year’s European Championship is the weather. John Godwin, Director of Player Development for U.S. Kids Golf, has made the journey to the European Championship since its founding in 2008.

“This is the first time that I can recall having three consecutive days of sunshine during the official rounds of play. Some may think that the sunshine and light breeze will make their battle with the links courses an easier one, but they would be mistaken.”

The sun continues to dry out the course, making the already firm grounds harder. As a result, the downwind holes play more difficult than the holes into the wind. Instead of landing the ball 10-15 yards short of the green and allowing it to release, players must land the ball 25-30 yards short of the green. Alternatively, players hitting into the wind have the ability to get the ball to stop.

“If players fail to adjust their approach with the conditions, they will have difficulty scoring. Landing points change because the ball is releasing much further. Shots tend to slip away when it’s dry and firm.”

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Economic Impact

The European Championship benefits more than just the skills of the players involved. The influx of tourists in the area delivers over a million pounds to the local economy – filling restaurants, hotels and B and Bs along Scotland’s Golf Coast.

Councilor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism said: “It’s wonderful to welcome these budding young golfers back to East Lothian. I know that the players and their families thoroughly enjoy their time in our fantastic county with its scenery, warm hospitality and, of course, world-class golf courses.

“I very much look forward to welcoming this year’s competitors. It’s great to see golf’s future stars playing right here in East Lothian, which is home to the world’s oldest continuously-played golf course at Musselburgh Old Links. It’s a great link between history and the future.”

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European Van Horn Cup

As the tradition continues, the European Van Horn Cup is contested at Luffness New following the three-day European Championship. The top players from Western Europe face off against the top International players in a team event. Two players from each of the following age groups represented their respective teams: Boys 10, Boys 11, Boys 12, Boys 13, Boys 14, Boys 15-18, Girls 11, Girls 12, Girls 13-14 and Girls 15-18. In all, 10 games of stroke-play four-ball are played, and each game was worth one point. The International squad won last year’s Cup, improving their record to 3-5.

2016 European Championship

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The Field

Golf’s next generation of rising stars has flocked to Scotland to compete in one of the world’s most prestigious junior championships. The 2016 U.S. Kids Golf European Championship in East Lothian showcases 630 players from 50 nations – including countries as diverse as Gibraltar, Mauritius, and Nigeria. Now in its 9th year, the European Championship serves as an aspirational goal for junior golfers across the world.

Five of the champions from 2015 have returned to Scotland in hopes of defending their title – Allan Kournikova (Boys 11), Jay Leng Jr. (Boys 10), Albert Newman (Boys 8), Pia Babnik (Girls 12) and Grace Crawford (Girls 9).

Aarav Shah traveled just under 10,500 miles (approx. 16,900 km) – further than any other competitor – from his hometown in Melbourne, Australia to compete in this year’s championship. The two youngest competitors in the field are Matilde Modesti and Charlie Parker, who turns just six-years-old later this month.

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The Conditions

The opening day of the tournament was proclaimed one of the country’s most beautiful days of the year. Blue skies and lenient winds allowed many of the players with earlier tee times to post low numbers.

The abundant sunshine and little moisture that benefitted many of the morning competitors had the opposite effect on afternoon participants as it kept the links courses firm. Additionally, the East Wind, or the Winter Wind as the locals call it, began to remind everyone of the host country’s notorious playing conditions. The competitors were forced to get creative and knock the ball around under the wind.

No groups could speak to that more than the finishing groups at the top of Gullane hill on the No. 3 course. The gusts coming off the North Sea made it nearly impossible to reach the fifteenth hole for some players. However, the day was an overwhelming success thanks to spirit of the competitors and families alike.

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The Albatrosses

Recording an albatross (3-under par for the hole) is extremely rare, yet there were two players who managed that feat in the first round of the European Championship. Angus Klintworth, 15, made the first albatross of the day at Luffness New. “Aberlady” – the par 5, 14th hole, with a sharp dogleg right was tipped out at a whopping 547 yards. Klintworth took an aggressive line and set himself up nicely for a miraculous second shot to card his 3-under par.

The second albatross came from Augustine Valery, one of the stars of The Short Game – an independent documentary made during the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst. This albatross was truly unique. The 15th hole at The Glen is described as “an excellent par 5 taking the golfer along the cliff top on a typically undulating links fairway which has bunkers galore. Into the prevailing westerly wind this hole can be one of the most testing on the course. The approach shot needs to avoid the two greenside bunkers, either side of the green.” Valery’s shot did just that.

Not being able to see the hole, the group assumed the ball had gone into the tall grass over the green. After searching for a few minutes, Valery declared the ball lost and returned to hit another shot from the fairway (which he stuck to 15 feet). As one of the other caddies went to tend the pin for the group, he noticed a ball in the hole. It was Valery’s lost ball! After double-checking the ruling (Decision 1-1/2) and snapping a quick photo, Valery penciled in his 2 on the par 5.

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9-Hole Low Rounds

Rosie Breem Kim of Greater London, UK posted the low round among girls playing nine holes with a 33 at Longniddry. The 9-year-old carded birdies on 1, 8, and 9 in a bogey-free effort. E Butters of the Boys 7 & Under age group matched Kim’s score of 33 with four birdies and one bogey in his first round at Longniddry. The Chandler, Arizona native finished 3rd in Pinehurst in 2015 and is looking to build on his success from the Phoenix Local Tour.

18-Hole Low Rounds

Shubham Jaglan traveled all the way from Delhi, India to show the Boys 11 age group that he has game. Jaglan breezed through the front nine at Craigielaw with five birdies, and finished with a 3-under 69. Another British girl is leading the pack in the Girls 12 age group – Beth Coulter of Belfast, UK recorded a 1-under 71 at Gullane No. 3. Coulter holds a three stroke lead heading into round two.

Click here for the full results

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Certified Coach Seminar – Venice, Italy

Venice-Seminar

For Immediate Release:

April 14, 2016
U.S. Kids Golf Foundation—Chris Carme
770-441-3077, ext. 682
playandlearn@uskidsgolf.com

U.S. Kids Golf, the world’s leaders in youth golf development, is offering a special 1.5-day Certified Coach Seminar in Venice, Italy on May 25-26 at Golf della Montecchia.

The seminar, attended by more than 2600 golf professionals since its inception in 2012, enhances an instructors’ knowledge of youth golf, best practices and provide tools to make learning programs more fun and productive for both students and coaches alike. Topics that will be covered include:

Enhancing Current Youth Programs:  Tools, resources, best practices and bringing “fun” to junior programs through a games-based curriculum. The seminar features outdoor “live coaching” sessions to demonstrate game-based learning.

Learning Program Use—Details for creating a sequenced learning program to enhance the student’s experience are provided.

Equipment: Information on correct club length for a proper fit along with other important aspects of club design to maximize success for both young golfers and their instructors will be presented.

Developing Swing Speed and Power:  Proprietary research and information on swing speed development and tools to help young kids learn a golf swing that will last them a lifetime will be shared.

Course Yardages: Research regarding proper length of course set up for players based on the length they can achieve will be provided so that instructors become experts in golf course setup and appropriate yardages.

Analysis of Youth Golf Participation: Data will be shared showing how golf stacks up to other youth sports and the commonalities found in those sports and opportunities that exist for golf.

The day-long seminars are led by John Godwin, PGA Master Professional and former PGA of America National Junior Golf Leader, and John Bryan, Vice President of U.S. Kids Golf Foundation and former Executive Director of the Georgia PGA.

The cost of the Certified Coach Seminar is $275.00USD for PGA Professionals.  This fee includes both days of the seminar, coffee breaks, a luncheon on the first day, all seminar materials, optional online training and testing, and the U.S. Kids Golf Book of Games.

For more information or to register visit:   http://www.signupanytime.com/front/event/about.aspx?event=42703

About U.S. Kids Golf

The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, a Georgia non-profit recognized as a 501(c)(3) charity, was created in 2001 and provides services that include competition and instruction. The Foundation organizes more than 750 golf tournaments for kids each year with over 10,000 individual players ages 5-18.  These tournaments include Local Tours in more than 50 cities, 10 Qualifiers across the nation, seven Regional Championships, a European and Malaysia Championships and the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship and Teen World Championship, which are held each year in Pinehurst, N.C.

The vision of the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation is to provide kids and their families the opportunity participate in the game of golf through instruction and competition.  They believe that family interaction is critical in the development of young golfers and encourage parents to serve as caddies for their kids during tournaments and to develop positive coaching techniques.

U.S. Kids Golf, LLC is based in Atlanta and manufactures equipment and related golf products designed for kids. It was created in 1997 when Founder/CEO Dan Van Horn found that his children were losing their interest in golf due to not having the proper equipment. In addition to more than 4,000 golf shops and retail locations in the United States, the company’s products also are available in over 75 countries worldwide.

Connect with U.S. Kids Golf

Website: www.uskidsgolf.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/USKidsGolf
Twitter: www.twitter.com/USKidsGolfFDN
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/USKidsGolfFDN

2016 JEKYLL ISLAND CUP

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The 13th annual Jekyll Island Cup is officially in the books. While there was some pretty spectacular golf being played, we hope that you were able to enjoy some of the many attractions this quaint little island has to offer. The time you spend on the golf course with your family is special, but it’s important to relax and enjoy family time away from the course as well. These Regional Championships provide the perfect family get-a-way.

While the Jekyll Island Cup has the largest field of any of the ten Regional Championships, its storied history is what makes the tournament unique. Before it was a Regional Championship, the small island of Jekyll was the site of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship from 2000 – 2003. The World Championship grew and had to find a new home, but the deeply rooted traditions of U.S. Kids Golf in Jekyll were not forgotten. The World Championship paved the way for the founding of the first Regional Championship – the Jekyll Island Cup.

The island welcomed many great champions over the years, and the tournaments served as a stage for some of the game’s brightest young stars to shine for the first time. Both Lexi Thompson and Cheyenne Woods burst onto the scene in Jekyll by winning the World Championship twice. Several of today’s college standouts and top-ranked amateurs made their names known in Jekyll – Georgia’s Lee McCoy, Alabama’s Robby Shelton, Stanford’s Mariah Stackhouse, Clemson’s Ashlan Ramsey and many more.

These kids are special.

This notion is not something that you need to be told, but we enjoy recognizing and repeating it. Golf is far from an easy game –  whether your kid came in first, last or somewhere in between, you know he/she is special. Simply playing in the Jekyll Island Cup is an achievement that every kid and their parent should be proud of.

Unlike previous years, the wind played a significant factor in keeping the bugs in check. For those of you who have not dealt with the bugs of Jekyll when they are truly out and about, trust us when we say it was a great year! The USKG team did our best to make the tournament run as smoothly as possible, and we would like to thank everyone for their support and patience. We would also like to thank all of the families for making this tournament a truly special event.

Over 300 of the world’s best golfers (ages 5-14) embarked on a two-day journey in hopes of being crowned the 2016 Jekyll Island Cup Champion for their age group. On Sunday, 81 players returned home with a new piece of hardware for their trophy cases, 47 received invitations to the 2016 World or Teen World Championship in Pinehurst, and 15 were crowned champions.

Boys 6 & Under  |  9 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes

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1 Jessy HUEBNER Miami Beach, FL -15
2 Patrick PINKNEY Fort Lauderdale, FL -9
3 Connor FORD Mount Vernon, KY -4
T4 Beau ALLEN Palm Beach Gardens, FL E
T4 David LEI (not pictured) Glen Allen, VA E

In 2o15, Jessy Huebner (right) won the Jekyll Island Cup with a score of 66. This year, he broke the scoring record for the Jekyll Island Cup with a 15-under-par, and he did it in only 18 holes of play. Huebner followed up his 1st place finishes at the Holiday Classic and Copperhead Classic with his third consecutive Regional Championship victory, and fifth total. His 28 in round one and 29 in round two consisted of two eagles, eleven birdies, five pars, and ZERO bogeys.

Boys 7 |  9 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes

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1 Miles RUSSELL Jacksonville Beach, FL -7
T2 Graden LOMAX Wrentham, MA -4
T2 Colton Watson Bloomington, IN -4
4 Luke PARSONS Salley, SC +1
5 Carson HIGGINBOTHAM Clarksburg, WV +2

A big congratulations to Miles Russell (right) on his first Regional Championship victory! After totaling 18 Local Tour wins in the state of Florida, Russell finally got the proverbial monkey off his back and won the Boys 7 age group by three strokes. Russell declined to comment at the awards ceremony, and instead went to celebrate with his siblings.

Boys 8 | 9 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes

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1 Patmon MALCOM Alpharetta, GA -8
T2 Jordan HWANG Richmond Hill, ON -4
T2 Nicholas Pisarski Orlando, FL -4
4 Jack Roberts St. Mary’s, GA -2
5 Phillip Dunham Jacksonville, FL E

Georgia native, Patmon Malcom won his first Jekyll Island Cup after posting an 8-under, 64. Malcom, a three-time Regional Championship winner and Atlanta Local Tour veteran, eagled both of the par 5’s in his first round. He proceeded to tack on three birdies in his bogey-free second round to win Boys 8 by four strokes.

Boys 9 |  18 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes

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1 Aiden CUDNEY Appleton, WI -2
2 Samuel DURAN Panama City, Panama -1
3 Charlie WARD Herzogenaurach, Germany +2
T4 Awesome BURNETT Boca Raton, FL +3
T4 Ben KABLACH Virginia Beach, VA +3
T4 Trey MARRION Chesapeake, VA +3

Aiden Cudney (right) captured his first U.S. Kids Golf tournament win on Sunday. Cudney posted a 73 in round one, and entered Sunday three shots behind the leader. His back-to-back-to-back birdies on 12, 13 and 14 led to a final round score of 70 which was good enough to win the age group by only a single stroke.

Boys 10 |  18 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes

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1 Adam HUNT Columbia, SC +1
T2 Mason SNYDER Las Vegas, NV +3
T2 Waymon THOMAS Mount Pleasant, SC +3
4 Davis OVARD Frisco, TX +6
T5 Antonio JUSTO Miami Shores, FL +8
T5 Tommy TYLER Venice, FL +8

Adam Hunt (right) was yet another first-time Regional Championship winner at the Jekyll Island Cup. Hunt has 25 Local Tour wins to his name across 4 different tours – Charleston, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach and Pinehurst. Stuck in a three-way tie after round one, Hunt made clutch birdies on 14 and 16 en route to a final round 71 and two stroke victory.

Boys 11 |  18 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Indian Mound

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1 Rafe COCHRAN* Palm Beach, FL +1
2 Allan KOURNIKOVA Palm Beach, FL +1
3 Kareem EL-KASSEM Raleigh, NC +3
T4 Andrew GARGER Sharpsburg, GA +5
T4 Lorenzo PINILI Rochester Hills, MI +5

*Won in playoff

Boys 11 was the only age group decided by a playoff. Both Rafe Cochran (right) and Allan Kournikova (second from the right) posted rounds of 74-71, finishing at one-over-par. The players, their caddies and a handful of spectators headed over to hole 10 for the playoff. Cochran emerged the champion with a steady two-putt par on the dogleg par 5.

Boys 12 |  18 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Indian Mound

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1 Jake PEACOCK Alpharetta, GA -5
2 Jackson VAN PARIS Pinehurst, NC E
3 Joshua STEWART Winter Springs, FL +3
4 Balthazar Duclos Garches, France +4
T5 Ryan MACRI Wake Forest, NC +6
T5 Luis PARK Virginia Beach, VA +6

Jake Peacock (right) won his third Regional Championship this weekend at the Jekyll Island Cup. Peacock held a one shot lead after round one before firing a tournament low 66 (for 18 hole age groups). He birdied the 16, 17 and 18 to finish the tournament in style and win by five strokes. While he may be shorter (for now) than other kids in his age group, he makes up for it with the quality of golf he plays.

Boys 13-14 |  18 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Indian Mound

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1 Austin CHERICHELLA Orlando, FL +2
2 Fernando CASTILLO Monterrey, Mexico +4
T3 Jonah LEACH Windermere, FL +7
T3 Evan OWAN Germantown, MD +7
T5 Jack HEATH Charlotte, NC +8
T5 Austin MOSHER Mt. Pleasant, SC +8

Before this weekend, Austin Cherichella (right) had not finished better than fifth in a Regional Championship. His weekend total of 146 was seven strokes better than his previous best at a Regional. Cherichella is improving at the right time with the 2016 season in full swing.

Girls 7 & Under  |  9 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes

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1 Gianna CLEMENTE Warren, OH -7
2 Elle Marie REISNER Braselton, GA -3
3 Lily ZHANG Buffalo, NY E
T4 Anna Christian BEEKER Tuscaloosa, AL +3
T4 Lisa COPELAND Naperville, IL +3

Gianna Clemente (right) was all smiles after winning her fourth consecutive Regional Championship in the Girls 7 & Under division. Clemente, birdied three of the last four holes to finish at 7-under-par. The 2015 World Champion carded a 35-30 winning her age group by four strokes. She and Elle Marie Reisner were the only participants in Girls 7 & Under to finish the tournament under par.

Girls 8  |  9 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Indian Mound

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1 Madison MOMAN Palm Beach Gardens, FL +1
2 Angela NIP Lafayette Hill, PA +5
3 Kanchana DUANGSAM Haymarket, VA +13
4 Amelie PHUNG Forest Hills, NY +19
5 Steele SOUTHERLAND Atlanta, GA +22

Madison Moman (right) took home her third 1st Place trophy from a Regional on Sunday, and first of 2016. Moman birdied the last two holes to shoot -1 on the day and +1 on the weekend. This 8-year-old from Florida is on a mission, and will look to carry her momentum into the Texas Open on May 7-8.

Girls 9  |  9 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Indian Mound

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1 Emerson BLAIR West Point, MS -1
2 Alessandra LORENZ Weston, FL E
3 Gloria NIP Port St. Lucie, FL +4
4 Mary MILLER Savannah, GA +6
5 Staci PLA West Palm Beach, FL +7

Emerson Blair (right) is somewhat new to U.S. Kids Golf tournaments. The closest Local Tours to Emerson are over four hours away – hint, hint to anyone from Mississippi. She gained access to the Seaview Open via open application where she earned herself Priority Status. After posting totals of 87 and 85 at the Seaview Open and Holiday Classic, respectively, Blair fired a 71 at Jekyll. The 9-year-old clearly worked hard this offseason.

Girls 10  |  18 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes

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1 Addison KLONOWSKI Naples, FL +1
2 Alexandra GAZZOLI Palm Coast, FL +3
3 Caroline DASCH Austin, TX +9
4 Parker JULES Easton, MD +13
T5 Abby BROWN Suwanee, GA +16
T5 Lindsay YAO Whittier, CA +16

Addison Klonowski (right) won her first Regional Championship Sunday in the Girls 10 age group that had yet another narrow margin between first and second. Klonowski is no stranger to U.S. Kids Golf events – the veteran has competed on a whopping five different Local Tours in the state of Florida. She’s also no stranger to awards ceremonies – she has taken home six pieces of hardware from the eight Regionals she has played in. Her rounds of 72-73 secured her first champion’s trophy.

Girls 11  |  18 Holes Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes

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1 Hannah Grace NALL Cleveland, OH +7
T2 Kiley MALMBERG Far Hills, NJ +13
T2 Tylar Ann WHITING South Daytona +13
4 Reagan SOUTHERLAND Atlanta, GA +14
5 Ava MERRILL Johns Creek +17

Hannah Grace Nall (right) has not played in a Regional Championship since winning the Seaview Open last year, but she picked up right where she left off. The Cleveland native came out firing in the first round with a score of 73. Her 78 in the second round was enough to retain her lead an earn a first place trophy.

Girls 12  |  18 Holes – Jekyll Island Golf Club – Pine Lakes

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1 Emma SCHIMPF Daniel Island, SC +2
2 Kyndall SHAMBLIN Cleveland, TN +8
T3 Kimberly SHEN Johns Creek, GA +13
T3 Gabriela SHORTRIDGE Orlando, FL +13
T5 Alyson FRANCIS Decatur, GA +14
T5  Julia MISEMER Overland Park, KS +14

Emma Schimpf (right) has 17 wins on the Charleston Local Tour under her belt, but the 2016 Jekyll Island Cup marked her first Regional Championship victory. Schimpf followed up her first round score of 74 with an impressive even par, 72 in round two. Her final round included an outstanding eagle on the ninth hole – a 245 yard par 4.

Girls 13-14  |  18 Holes – Jekyll Island Cup – Indian Mound

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1 Abigail SCHIMPF Daniel Island, SC +10
2 Sarah EDWARDS Pembroke, GA +14
3 Cassandra ROBINSON Emporia, VA +20
4 Jaycee RHODES Eagan, MN +22
5 Kennedy CARROLL Mount Pleasant, SC +26

Emma was not the only Schmipf leaving Jekyll this weekend with a first place trophy. Her sister, Abigail Schimpf (right) came up just short in last year’s Jekyll Island Cup, finishing third. Abigail has 25 Local Tour wins to her name, but like her sister, this was her first Regional Championship victory. These two talented sisters gave the Schimpf family plenty to celebrate on their way home.

We hope to see you at our next Regional Championship – the Texas Open!

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PGA Golf Club Invitational – Recap

PGA Golf Wire

Another successful PGA Golf Club Invitational and fun-filled Regional Championship weekend is in the books. This year was especially challenging from an administrative standpoint due to the renovation of the Wanamaker course which usually hosts the Boys 10 – Boys 13-14 age groups. We were forced to host the event at two separate locations and were spread a little thin with minimal volunteer support. The weather delay made for an interesting first round, but thankfully it was pleasant for the majority of the weekend. The USKG team did our best to make the tournament run as smoothly as possible, and we would like to thank everyone for their support and patience. We would also like to thank all of the families for making this tournament a truly special event.

Over 300 of the world’s best golfers (ages 5-14) embarked on a two-day journey in hopes of being crowned the 2015 PGA Golf Club Invitational Champion for their age group. On Sunday, 81 players returned home with a new piece of hardware for their trophy cases, 39 received invitations to the 2016 World or Teen World Championship in Pinehurst, and 13 were crowned champions.

Boys 6 & Under  |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Luke PARSONS Salley, SC -12
2 Ryan LAVOIE Jupiter, FL -7
T3 Jessy HUEBNER Miami Beach, FL -6
T3 Patrick PINKNEY Fort Lauderdale, FL -6
T5 Carson HIGGINBOTHAM Clarksburg, WV -4
T5 Miles RUSSELL Jacksonville Beach, FL -4

Luke Parsons (right) was able to carry over his hot summer to his first ever PGA Golf Club Invitational. After winning back-to-back-to-back State Invitationals in Georgia, Carolina and Florida, Parsons seized the title of Boys 6 & Under World Champion, shooting -7 in Pinehurst. This weekend, he carded his lowest round in a U.S. Kids Golf tournament, and he did it twice in a row! Parsons’ 30-30 won him the first place cup by five strokes. Twelve birdies, six pars and ZERO bogeys.

Boys 7 |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Phillip DUNHAM Jacksonville Beach, FL -13
2 Maxwell VANDERMOLEN Jupiter, FL -8
3 Graden LOMAX Wrentham, MA -1
4 Daniel MCBRIEN Holly Springs, NC E
T5 Hampton BEEBE West Palm Beach, FL +2
T5 Kevin CORZO Miami, FL +2

Phillip Dunham (right) is another youngster that is no stranger to the winner’s stage. After capturing his second consecutive World Championship, Dunham finished with the lowest score of the tournament among nine-hole boys. His -13 (59) gave him a five shot lead over second, and won him his fifth Regional Championship.

Boys 8 |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Shawn COULTOFF* Winter Garden, FL -3
T2 Jayden BRAR Calgary, AB -3
T2 Pavel TSAR Palm Beach Gardens, FL -3
T4 Sam UDOVICH Inver Grove Heights, MN -1
T4 Aiden Wright Shenandoah, TX -1

*Won in playoff

It took more than 72 holes to decide this age group. Three participants in Boys 8 came into the clubhouse with a final score of -3 (69). After one sudden-death playoff hole, Shawn Coultoff (right) emerged as champion. Jayden Brar (35-34) and Pavel Tsar (39-30) both played outstanding golf, and will certainly look to build on their successes in the tournaments to come. The 2015 Jekyll Island Cup Champion parred every hole in his first round at the PGA Golf Club Invitational. Round two was a different story – Coultoff made clutch birdies on his final two holes to reach the playoff. The rest is history.

Boys 9 |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Sihan SANDHU Ashburn, VA -7
2 Asher JOSEPH Melbourne, FL +6
3 Bradley CHILL Columbia Station, OH +7
4 Alex LONG Toronto, ON +8
5 Brett MOORE Hollywood, FL +11

The Boys 9 age group marked the first group of boys to play 18 holes. After posting a -1 (76) in round one, Sihan Sandhu (right) enjoyed a five stroke lead heading into round two. Although Sandhu was a little under the weather, it did not stop him from posting a -6 (66) to win by thirteen strokes (the largest margin of victory among all boys age groups). His victory at the 2015 PGA Golf Club Invitational marked his twelfth Regional Championship win.

Boys 10 |  PGA Golf Club – St. Lucie Trail

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1 Nashawn TYSON Palm Beach Garden, FL E
2 Alex HEARD Boca Raton, FL +6
3 Beni LONG Toronto, ON +8
T4 Mason CROWDER Dothan, AL +9
T4 Aaron POUNDS Spring, TX +9

Nashawn Tyson (second from the left) was the only ten-year-old boy to break par this week. Tyson was three strokes off the lead after the first day of play, but the defending PGA Golf Club Invitational champ came out firing in the final round. He carded six birdies to finish the tournament at even par. Boys 10 was one of four age groups that were matched up against the relatively unknown St. Lucie Trail course. Narrow fairways, small greens and a plenty of O-B stakes kept the the scores in check.

Boys 11 |  PGA Golf Club – St. Lucie Trail

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1 Luke CLANTON Miami Lakes, FL -1
2 Logan ZURN Elkhorn, WI +5
T3 Allan KOURNIKOVA Palm Beach, FL +6
T3 Connor MACMILLAN Canton, GA +6
5 Alexander DALMAU Coral Gables, FL +12

Luke Clanton (right) played a smart and consistent two days of golf to secure his second consecutive PGA Golf Club Invitational. The 2015 Boys 11 World Champion collected yet another trophy after shooting 70-73 at St. Lucie Trail. He will look to continue his success at the Monterey Challenge on the weekend of November 7th.

Boys 12 |  PGA Golf Club – St. Lucie Trail

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1 Nicklas STAUB Boynton Beach, FL -1
2 Jackson VAN PARIS Pinehurst, NC +1
3 Kevin JIANG San Diego, CA +6
4 Dean GREYSERMAN Boca Raton, FL +7
T5 Frankie HARRIS Lighthouse Point, FL +10
T5 Ryan MACRI Wake Forest, NC +10
T5 Brendan VALDES Orlando, FL +10

Nicklas Staub (not looking at the camera) returned to Port St. Lucie, Florida for the first time since winning the 2010 PGA Golf Club Invitational as a seven-year-old, and did so in style. After shooting a modest +2 (74) in round one, Staub follwed up with an impressive -3 (69) in the final round to edge out Pinehurst native, Jackson Van Paris.

Boys 13-14 |  PGA Golf Club – St. Lucie Trail

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1 Brett ROBERTS Coral Springs, FL +1
2 Leopolod HERRERA III Miami, FL +2
3 Jude KIM Plantation, FL +5
4 Alec NACHMANN Boca Raton, FL +7
T5 Austin CHERICHELLA Orlando, FL +9
T5 Esteban JARAMILLO Miami, FL +9

No, the kid on the right did not photo-bomb the Boys 13-14 picture.13-year-old Brett Roberts may be shorter than his adversaries, but there is no doubt that the kid can play. He narrowly edged out Leopolodo Herrera with scores of 72-73 in his two rounds at St. Lucie Trail to capture his first Regional Championship victory.

Girls 7 & Under  |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Gianna CLEMENTE Warren, OH -2
2 Angela NIP Port St. Lucie, FL +2
3 Kayla BRYANT Boca Raton, FL +3
4 Lisa COPELAND Naperville, IL +8
5 Elle Marie REISNER Braselton, GA +10

Gianna Clemente (right) was all smiles after winning her first Regional Championship trophy. Clemente, another 2015 World Champion, carded a -3 (33) in her final round to win her age group by four strokes. She was the only participant in Girls 7 & Under to finish the tournament under par. Angela Nip, a native to the Port St. Lucie area, fell just short after an impressive -1 (35) in her second round.

Girls 8  |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Avery ZWEIG Dallas, TX E
2 Morgan RODRIGUEZ Delray Beach, FL +1
3 Hailey HAN Duluth, GA +4
4 Madison MOMAN Palm Beach Gardens, FL +8
5 Natalie QUINONES Celebration, FL +12

Avery Zweig (right) captured her third Regional Championship title of 2015. After falling just short in the past two World Championships, she won her fourth Regional Championship overall. This eight-year-old from Dallas is on a mission, and will look to continue her success in December at the Holiday Classic.

Girls 9  |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Gloria NIP Port St. Lucie, FL +2
2 Alyssa KURJI Dallas, TX +5
3 Alessandra LORENZ Weston, FL +6
4 Alana KUTT Sarasota, FL +8
5 Alejandra CASTILLO Monterey, MX +12

Gloria Nip (right), Port St. Lucie native and big sister of Angela (2nd in Girls 7 & Under), carded a consistent 37-37 to win the Girls 9 age group. The 2015 Copperhead Classic champion won the age group by three strokes, and was one of the few who could confidently say that they did not need a travel box to keep their trophy safe.

Girls 10  |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Sara IM Duluth, GA -3
2 Addison KLONOWSKI Naples, FL +11
3 Brianna CASTALDI Port St. Lucie, FL +12
4 Alexandra GAZZOLI Palm Coast, FL +15
5 Tynley COTTON Tallahassee, FL +17

Sara Im (right) was the only participant to record a score under par in the Girls 10 age group, and she did so in a very impressive way. Im shot a -5 (67) in her first round at the Ryder Course. She eagled the fifth hole and tacked on four additional birdies to lead the field by nine strokes after round one. Her fourteen stroke win was the largest margin of victory among any age group in the event, as she earned her third Regional Championship victory.

Girls 11  |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Alexa PANO Lake Worth, FL -7
2 Izzy PELLOT Apopka, FL -4
3 Thienna HUYNH Lilburn, GA -1
4 Minny BYUN Honolulu, HI +4
T5 Lily CELENTANO Weston, FL +7
T5 Ainsley MANN Apopka, FL +7

If you are an avid U.S. Kids Golf tournament player or parent, then you already know the name Alexa Pano (right). All she has done is starred in The Short Game, won four World Championships, and now 22 Regional Championships. The eleven-year-old phenom is near impossible to beat if she is on her game. However, Izzy Pellot did a great job of giving Pano a run for her money after carding an incredible -5 (67) in her second round. Pellot will carry the confidence she gained from her great second round to the Holiday Classic in Palm Beach Gardens.

Girls 12  |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Yae Eun KIM Monsenor Nouel, DR -5
2 Karoline TUTTLE Lake Mary, FL +1
3 Wyndom BURNETT Citrus Springs, FL +5
T4 Juliana CAMARGO Bogota, CO +7
T4 Makenna RODRIGUEZ Delray Beach, FL +7

Yae Eun Kim (right) represented the International players by becoming the only non-American resident to win her age group in the 2015 PGA Golf Club Invitational. This Dominican Republic golfer has dominated the DR Local Tour in the past two years, and finished runner-up this year in her first trip to Pinehurst for the World Championship. Kim was determined to make this trip count. After shooting a -6 (66) in round one, she returned to her hotel room with a six shot lead. She followed up in round two with a steady 73 to retain her six stroke lead and win her first Regional Championship.

Girls 13-14  |  PGA Golf Club – Ryder Course

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1 Megan IKEDA Windermere, FL +6
2 Manon DONCHE-GAY Reunion, FL +9
3 Talor Lexie ROBERTS Boca Raton, FL +11
4 Lauren DAVENPORT Delray Beach, FL +18
5 Annika CHURCH Naples, FL +19

Megan Ikeda (right), a seasoned U.S. Kids Golf veteran, was able to capture her first Regional Championship this past weekend by shooting +6 (73-77). Ikeda was the recipient of this year’s Peggy Kirk Bell Award for her “helping hand” efforts in her local community. She is a champion on and off the golf course.

We hope to see you at our next Regional Championship – the Monterey Challenge!

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