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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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PGA Golf Club Invitational – Fun Facts

PGA Golf Wire

We’re kicking off the first round coverage of the PGA Golf Club Invitational by thanking all of the players and families for making the trip to Port St. Lucie to participate in the event. Additionally, we would like to recognize the fifteen champions from last year.

2014 Champions

Boys 6 & Under: Phillip Dunham (Jacksonville, FL) Girls 7 & Under: Morgan Rodriguez (Delray Beach, FL)
Boys 7: Eric Nguyen (Pembroke Pines, FL) Girls 8: Alyssa Kurji (Dallas, TX)
Boys 8: Sihan Sandhu (Ashburn, VA) Girls 9: Sara Im (Duluth, GA)
Boys 9: Nahsawn Tyson (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) Girls 10: Alexa Pano (Lake Worth, FL)
Boys 10: Luke Clanton (Miami Lakes, FL) Girls 11: Amanda Sambach (Charlotte, NC)
Boys 11: Jackson Van Paris (Lake Forest, IL) Girls 12: Mimi Chen (Longwood, FL)
Boys 12: Joseph Pagdin (Orlando, FL) Girls 13-14: Meadow Southworth (North Port, FL)
Boys 13-14: Martin Gutierrez (Key Biscayne, FL)

Since 2008, U.S. Kids Golf families have spent Columbus Day weekend in Port. St. Lucie, Florida. This year marks the 8th annual PGA Golf Club Invitational, the largest of the nine U.S. Kids Golf Regional Championships.

Over 320 of the world’s best golfers (ages 5-14) will embark on a two-day journey in hopes of being crowned the 2015 PGA Golf Club Invitational Champion for their age group. The top three players from each age group will receive automatic invitations to the 2016 World or Teen World Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

St. Lucie Trail will serve as the competitor to Boys 10, Boys 11, Boys 12, and Boys 13-14 age groups. All other age groups will match up against the Ryder Course, a Tom Fazio classic.

Four girls from Port St. Lucie will look to capitalize on their home field advantage after narrowly missing the podium in 2014 — Angela (Girls 7 & Under) and Gloria Nip (Girls 9), Brianna Castaldi (Girls 10) and Zoey Iglesias (Girls 12). Fifty of the 325 players are international, traveling from as far as Italy, Sweden and Norway.

Countries Represented (# of participants):

  • United States (275)
  • Mexico (15)
  • Canada (8)
  • Colombia (9)
  • Puerto Rico (9)
  • Guatemala (2)
  • Dominican (1)
  • Northern Ireland (1)
  • Italy (1)
  • Norway (1)
  • Sweden (1)
  • Venezuela (1)

Furthest Traveled

  • Tommaso Fabbri (Bologna, Italy): 4,999 miles
  • Samuel Baresso (Sodertalje, Sweden): 4,882 miles
  • Gregory Solhaug (Stavern, Norway): 4,631 miles

2015 Leaders thru Round 1

Boys 6 & Under: 2 tied

Ryan Lavoie (Jupiter, FL)

Luke Parsons (Salley, SC)

Girls 7 & Under: Gianna Clemente (Warren, OH)
Boys 7: Phillip Dunham (Jacksonville, FL) Girls 8: Avery Zweig (Dallas, TX)
Boys 8: 2 Tied

Jack Roberts (St. Mary’s, GA

Aiden Wright (Shenandoah, TX)

Girls 9: Gloria Nip (Port St. Lucie, FL)
Boys 9: Sihan Sandhu (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) Girls 10: Alexa Pano (Lake Worth, FL)
Boys 10: Aaron Pounds (Spring, TX) Girls 11: Minny Byun (Honolulu, HI)
Boys 11: Luke Clanton (Miami Lakes, FL) Girls 12: Yae Eun Kim (Mosenor, Nouel, Dominican Republic)
Boys 12: Dean Greyserman (Boca Raton, FL) Girls 13-14: Megan Ikeda (Windermere, FL)
Boys 13-14: 2 Tied

Jude Kim (Plantation, FL)

Brett Roberts (Coral Springs, FL)

“Many shots are spoiled at the last instant by efforts to add a few more yards.”

-Bobby Jones

Good luck in the final round!

2015 Venice Open – Final Round

Family-Focused Golf in the Heart of Italy

The locals were welcoming, the smiles were bountiful and the quality of golf sensational at the first annual U.S. Kids Golf Venice Open. The final round action did not disappoint– we had a three sudden-death playoffs and champions from seven different countries. A special thank you to our hosts in Padova and to the families that traveled from across the world. You made this an unforgettable event and set the precedent for an exciting new tradition for U.S. Kids Golf.



Boys 7 & Under  |  Galzignano Terme Spa & Golf Resort

1    Charles David Beeson (Atlanta, GA): E
2    Jake Valentine (Stoke Poges, United Kingdom): +1
T3  Alex Utterson (Johannesburg, South Africa): +3
T3  Filip Grave (Bunkeflostrand, Sweden): +3
5    Francesco Maria Franza (Trieste, Italy): +6

After day one, four boys from the 7 & Under age group were tied for the lead at +2. Charles David Beeson emerged victorious on the final day. The youngster from Atlanta, Georgia carded birdies on the 3rd, 5th and 7th hole finishing the day at -2 (34). After falling just short at the British Championship the week prior, Beeson captured his first U.S. Kids Golf Major Championship victory in Padova, Italy.

Boys 8  |  Galzignano Terme Spa & Golf Resort

1    Matthew Golovanov (Boca Raton, FL): +1
T2  Miguel Morato Brede (Kassel, Germany): +3
T2  Cillian Roberts (Swindon, United Kingdom): 3
4    Alessandro Cesario (Varese, Italy): +4
5   Maximilian Fischer (Sydney, Australia): +5

Matthew Golovanov

Matthew Golovanov (pictured above) occupied fourth place in the Boys 8 age group after shooting a +4 (40) in the first round. He was three strokes back heading into the final round, but this USKG veteran was tenacious and determined to change that result. The 2015 European Champion carded a bogey-free -3 (33) in his final round to en route to his second Major Championship victory of the year: the inaugural Venice Open.

Boys 9  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1     Yoyo Xia (Honolulu, HI): -7
2     Mikhail Efremov (Moscow, Russian Federation): +5
3     Lorenzo Casartelli (Tremezzo, Italy): +6
4     Bence Samuel Somogyi (Budapest, Hungary): +8
T5   Maximilian Fischer (Sydney, Australia): +5
T5   Frankie Wallace (Norwich, United Kingdom): +10

Yoyo Xia, the only competitor in the field from Hawaii, represented his home state in the Pacific extremely well. After jumping out to a three shot lead in round one, he built on his performance in a big way. The 2015 British Open Champion carded a spectacular -6 (66) in the final round, finishing at -7 for the tournament. Twelve shots separated Xia from second place- the largest margin of victory among all age groups.

Boys 10  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1   Cesar DeMeaux (Paris, France): +2
2   Sam NG (Arcadia, California): +8
3   Stefans Spruzs (Rigas Rajons, Latvia): +11
4   Edoardo John Gallazzi (Alessandria, Italy): +12
5   Maximilian Fischer (Sydney, Australia): +15

Cesar Demeaux, a participant in the last two World Championships and European Championships, set out on the final day in search of his first U.S. Kids Golf victory. After carding an impressive even par (72) in his first round, he followed up with a steady +2 (74) in the final round. Demeaux’s consistent play earned him the title of the first-ever Boys 10 Venice Open Champion.

Boys 11  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1   Flavio Michetti (Roma, Italy): -5
2   Armand Loscalzo (Tampa, FL): -5
3   Tiger Christensen (Hamburg, Germany): -2
4   Filippo Valzorio (Borgosesia, Italy): E
5   Darren Strachan (Hardelot, France): +3

After the first 18 holes of play, Flavio Michetti of Rome found himself three shots back on Tampa Local Tour Champion, Armand Loscalzo. However, Michetti fired a -3 (69) on the second day, birdying five of the last ten holes to force a playoff. The Italian native went on to win the playoff and celebrate his victory with his fellow countrymen.

Boys 12  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1     Francisco Matos Coelho (Lisboa, Portugal): +1
2     Alessio Battista (Udine, Italy): +3
3     Pietro Pontiggia (Roma, Italy): +5
T4   Alessandro Castellani (Milano, Italy): +10
T4   Max Popovic (Domzale. Slovenia): +10
T4   Severi Soutolahti (Tampere, Finland): +10

Francisco Matos Coelho was the lone Portuguese Champion in the inaugural Venice Open. Coelho, who also won the inaugural British Kids Championship last week, fired a 73-72 to win the Boys 12 age group by two shots. After bogeying 4,6 and 7, the Portuguese youngster recovered with three birdies in his last ten holes. Alessio Battista made a good effort to recover from his opening round of 78 by carding a -3 (69) the second day, but it wouldn’t be enough to overthrow Coelho.

Boys 13  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1   Valerio Rossi (Roma, Italy): -1
2   Max Van De Kuilen (Oosterhout, Netherlands): +3
3   Lorenzo Tatti (Prato, Italy): +5
4   Filippo Lazzini (Carrara, Italy): +6
5   Lorenzo Giudice (Casalserugo, Italy): +7

Valerio Rossi was yet another golfer who played scored significantly lower on the second and final day of the event. Rossi, who traveled to the World Championship in 2011, reminded everyone that he has game by carding a -4 (68) in his final round. Like Michetti (Boys 11), Rossi fired an impressive final round score, propelling him into first place and allowing him to return to his home city of Rome, a Champion.

Boys 14  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1     Tommaso Orsi (Monza, Italy): -10
2     Carlo De Luca (Padova, Italy): -2
3     Aldric Bouffard (Ozoir La Feriere, France): +3
4     Alessandro Ghilardi (Mozzo, Italy): +4
T5   Ben Carpenter (Darien, Connecticut): +10
T5   Angus James Klintworth (Kyalami, South Africa): +10

Keep an eye out for Tommaso Orsi in the coming years. This talented young Italian has a very bright future if he continues to play and build upon his already outstanding golf game. After shocking the field with a -7 (65) in the opening round, he posted a modest -3 (69) in the second. The U.S. Kids Golf rookie made a name for himself during the inaugural Venice Open as he won the Boys 14 age group by a commanding eight shots.

Boys 15-18  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1   Massimiliano Repele (Vicenza, Italy): +5
2   Simone Dalla Pieta (Oderzo, Italy): +6
3   Federico Regaldo (Buttigliera Alta, Italy): +9
4   Jeremy Faure (Saint-Priest Manissieux, Italy): +11
5   Andreas Jonsson (Chiaverano, Italy): +13

The Italians dominated the oldest division among boys. Massimiliano Repele, yet another USKG rookie, edged out fellow Italian, Simone Dalla Pieta, claiming first place in the Boys 15-18 age group. The 16-year-old carded a +1 (73) in the final round to secure his place in U.S. Kids Golf history.


Girls 8 & Under  |  Galzignano Terme Spa & Golf Resort

1   Paris Appendino (Roma, Italy): E
2   Kaila Elsayegh (Pacific Palisades, California): +3
3   Elise Liu (Richmond, Canada): +5
4   Matilde Santilli (Ancona, Italy): +6
5   Annika Kohoutkova (Prague, Czech Republic): +7

After falling just short in the past two World Championships and European Championships, Paris Appendino finally achieved gold, and did so in her home country. The young USKG veteran carded almost identical rounds during the two-day event. Both days she made two birdies and two bogeys (36-36), becoming the third champion crowned from Rome.

Girls 9  |  Galzignano Terme Spa & Golf Resort

1   Lorena Rossettin (Genoa, Italy): +4
2   Helen Briem (Nürtingen, Ge­rmany): +4
3   Stephanie Barbaglia (Johannesburg, South Africa): +18

Lorena Rossettin and Helen Briem led the way in the oldest girls age group at Galzignano. It was anyone’s tournament to win or lose in this small age group, and both girls were neck and neck. Each shot 40-36 in their first two rounds which led to a dramatic, sudden-death playoff Saturday evening. Rossetin emerged victorious among the home crowd.


Girls 10  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1      Victoria Matthews (Great Falls, Virginia): +23
T2    Philippa Gollan (Neustadt, Germany): +23
T2    Marta Silcenko (Moscow, Russian Federation): +23
4      Franziska Hoffman (Frankfurt, Germany): +24
5      Maria Vittoria Coppi (Pama, Italy): +39

Victoria Matthews, Philippa Gollan and Marta Silcenko put on a show for the spectators who attended and the participants that remained. They entered the clubhouse at Golf Club Della Montecchia in a three-way tie after 36 holes. It took a 5-hole, sudden-death playoff to decide the champion– Victoria Matthews– but all three girls are champions in our book for providing us with fantastic golf and family fun under the beautiful Italian sunset (pictured above).

Girls 11  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1   Lea Ludwig (Walldorf, Germany): +14
2   Ashley Stevenson (Cely, France): +18
3   Madison Starke (Walnut Creek, California): +19
4   Skylar Kew (Ontario, Canada): +20
5   Lucrezia Rossettin (Genoa, Italy): +29

Lea Ludwig‘s consistency won her the title of the Girls 11 Venice Open Champion. She carded back-to-back 79’s to seize the first place trophy. Ludwig, a top-ten finisher in the Holiday Classic, won by four shots.

Girls 12  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1   Nataliya Guseva (Moscow, Russian Federation): +2
2   Rivekka Dzhumagulova (Sofia, Bulgaria): +8
3   Darlene Maitem (Anthem, Arizona): +20
4   Matilde Innocenti Angelini (Firenze, Italy): +25
5   Alisa Khokhlova (Moscow, Russian Federation): +35

Nataliya Guseva was the only Russian to hoist the first place trophy in the inaugural Venice Open. Guseva shocked the European Championship field in the  earlier this summer by coming out of nowhere to win the Girls 12 age group. In the second round of the Venice Open, Guseva carded four birdies on the back nine to win the age group by a commanding six strokes. She is now 2-2 in U.S. Kids Golf tournaments, with two impressive pieces of first place hardware.

Girls 13-14  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1   Tijana Jovicevic (Slovenia): +13
2   Margaret He (London, United Kingdom): +15

Tijana Jovicevic was one of three Slovenian players in the Venice Open field, and represented her country and compatriots well by lifting the championship trophy. Jovicevic, a champion of the 2011 European Championship fired a 77-80, winning the age group by two shots over Londoner Margaret He.

Girls 15-18  |  Golf Club Della Montecchia

1   Ludovica Busetto (Venezia, Italy): +5
2   Alessandra Tenderini (Treviso, Italy): +14

The smallest age group in the tournament was comprised of two Italian girls. These girls were not caught up with competition, but instead welcomed the Venice Open as a family-focused event in their beautiful homeland. After finishing in the top 20 in the Teen World Championship in Pinehurst, Ludovica Busetto carded an impressive 72-77 in Padova. 15-year-old Busetto has a very bright future.



Boys 9: Lorenzo Zambotto

Boys 9: Frankie Wallace

Boys 10: Edoardo Giacomo Vandelli (pictured above)

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2015 Venice Open


Family-Focused Golf in the Heart of Italy

The first round of the inaugural U.S. Kids Golf Venice Open is officially in the books. Northern Italy’s oldest city welcomed 219 of the world’s best players from 29 different countries. Boys and girls, ages 6-18, competed on two of the three “Play 54” courses just outside Padova, Italy.

Youngest Participants
Boys: Achille Ghidini (Italy) – 6 years, 5 months, 5 days
Girls: Constanze-Louise Keferstein (Germany) – 7 years, 5 months, 1 day

Farthest Traveled
Maximillian Fischer (Sydney, Australia): 10,153 miles (16,339 km)

Italy is well represented
111 out of the 219 participants call Italy home.

22 families have two or more players competing in the event. The DeMeaux’s are the family to beat after round one. Juliette DeMeaux (7-years-old) leads the Girls 8 & Under age group by one shot after posting a 1-under 35 in the opening round. Her older brother, Cesar DeMeaux possesses a three shot lead in the Boys 10 age group after carding an even par 72.



There were many great scores in round one, but none better than the 7-under (65) turned in by Italy’s own Tommaso Orsi (Boys 14). Orsi carded seven birdies and an eagle in the first round en route to a seven stroke lead over second place. Hawaiian native Yoyo Xia (Boys 9) finished with the low round among the nine hole age groups: 1-under (71). The girls 9-holes age groups were highlighted by an impressive performance from Juliette DeMeaux of France. DeMeaux (Girls 8 & Under) shot a 1-under 35 in her opening round. Two girls in the 18-hole age groups finished with remarkably low rounds of even par (72)– Rivekka Dzumagulova (Girls 12) of Bulgaria and Ludovica Busetto (Girls 15-18) of Italy.

Boys 7 & Under

4 tied at +2:
Charles David Beeson (Atlanta, GA)
Francesco Maria Franza (Italy)
Alex Utterson (South Africa)
Jake Valentine (United Kingdom)

Boys 8

2 tied at +1:
Alessandro Cesario (Italy)
Cillian Roberts (United Kingdom)

Boys 9

Yoyo Xia (Honolulu, HI): -1 (71)

Boys 10

Cesar DeMeaux (France): E (72)

Boys 11

Armand Loscalzo (Tampa, FL): -5 (67)

Boys 12

Pietro Pontiggia (Italy): E (72)

Boys 13

Filippo Lazzini (Italy): E (72)

Boys 14

Tommaso Orsi (Italy): -7 (65)

Boys 15-18

Simone Dalla Pieta (Italy): +3 (75)


Girls 8 & Under

Juliette DeMeaux (France): -1 (35)

Girls 9

2 tied at +4 (40)
Helen Briem (Ge­rmany)
Lorena Rossetin (Italy)

Girls 10

Marta Silcenko (Russian Federation): +10 (82)

Girls 11

Lea Ludwig (Germany): +7 (79)

Girls 12

Rivekka Dzhumagulova (Bulgaria): E (72)

Girls 13-14

Tijana Jovicevic (Slovenia): +5 (77)

Girls 15-18

Ludovica Busetto (Italy): E (72)

Today’s Results

Tomorrow’s Tee Times


Boys 9: Lorenzo Zambotto (Italy)

Boys 9: Frankie Wallace (United Kingdom)

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Second-Round Notes: 2015 World Championship

Round 2 is in the books. The weather held out for a great second day of golf!

Golf Family

This year’s award for dedication to the game goes out to the Ritter family. They have kids playing in the World Championship this week. 8-year-old triplets and an 11-year-old daughter: Alexander, Ethan, Huston and Anna.The Ritter’s hails from New Albany, Ohio.

Holes-in-One for the Week

The 2015 field has a lot of ground to make up if they plan on catching last year’s field in terms of total holes-in-one. There were 11 holes-in-one last in the 2014 World Championship. This year, one girl and one boy are the lone aces:

  • Girls 7Gianna Clemente, Gianna wrote a 1 on her card for Midland Country Club’s 87-yard 8th hole. Way to go Gianna!
  • Boys 11Bence Kotel from Hungary didn’t waste time getting into the tournament by carding an ace on the 15th hole at Talamore. The 143-yard hole was no match as he took only one stroke and a few high fives to get to 16. The 15th hole will never be the same.

Boys Results & Tee Times

Girls Results & Tee Times

Van Horn Cup Projections

First-round Notes: 2015 World Championship

The 2015 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship marks the 10th anniversary in Pinehurst and the 16th anniversary of the tournament.

Today, 1,442 junior golfers (and caddies) embarked on a three-day journey with their sights set on raising the coveted World Championship trophy. Ten Pinehurst area golf courses will play host to thirteen age groups again over the next two days.

Road to Pinehurst

The U.S. Kids Golf staff is proud to welcome players and their families from over 50 countries. Three players from Sydney, Australia traveled farther than anyone else this week—9,577 miles:

  • Christian Rees (Boys 7)
  • Ruby Kavanagh (Girls 7 & Under)
  • Sophie Yip (Girls 11)

We are also joined by three Pinehurst natives who are fortunate enough to enjoy the company of their own home while living in arguably the most golf-friendly area in the world:

  • Sebastian Balbin (Boys 6 & Under)
  • Hou Guanting (Boys 8)
  • Harley Parks (Girls 12)

Low Rounds

Little River is getting quite the workout again this year to a tune of 63 carded by Allan Kournikova (Boys 10) who carries a five shot lead into day two.

Seven Lakes, the newest edition to the World Championship courses, was no match for Alexa Pano (Girls 10) on Thursday. Pano, who was one of Kournikova’s co-stars in the documentary The Short Game, tied Elle Nachmann (Girls 12) with a 3-under 69 in round one.

“A bad attitude is worse than a bad swing.”

-Payne Stewart

Boys Results & Tee Times

Girls Results & Tee Times

Van Horn Cup Projections

Final-Round Notes: 2015 Teen World Championship


Final results
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Three international players and three Americans claimed Teen World Championship titles Saturday in Pinehurst.

Boys 13  |  Pinehurst No. 8
1  Canon Claycomb (Bowling Green, KY): -8
2  Louis Dobbelaar (Australia): -7
3  Vanchai Luangnitikul (Thailand): -6

After posting a steady 2-under par in the first two rounds of the tournament, Canon Claycomb carded a clutch 4-under on the final day. Claycomb’s 68 was the lowest score of the final round across all age groups. His overall score of 208 gave him a one shot advantage over Louis Dobbelaar (Australia) and earned him the title of the 2015 U.S. Kids Golf Teen World Champion (Boys 13). He will return home to Bowling Green, KY with a new piece of hardware to add to his 2015 collection— 1st place in the Copperhead Classic and Jekyll Island Cup.

Boys 14  |  Pinehurst No. 9
1  Connor Creasy (Abington, VA): -6
T2 Henry Dubiel (North Palm Beach, FL): -5
T2 Jake Miller (Richmond, VA): -5
T2 Andres Quintanilla (Mexico): -5

A single stroke also decided the Boys 14 age group: Connor Creasy (Abingdon, VA) narrowly edged out three competitors, carding a 2-under 70 on Saturday. A strong 33 on the back side of Pinehurst No. 9 solidified his spot in U.S. Kids Golf history. Henry Dubiel (North Palm Beach, FL), Jake Miller (Richmond, IN), and Andres Quintanilla (Mexico) fell just short of Creasy’s 210 total, and will look to improve on their solid finishes as they graduate to the Boys 15-18 age group in 2016.

Boys 15-18  |  Pinehurst No. 2/4
1  Paul Chaplet (Costa Rica): -4
2  Ryggs Johnston (Libby, MT): -1
3  Keelan Van Wyk (South Africa): +1

In Boys 15-18, Paul Chaplet (Costa Rica) rose to the occasion on Saturday, carding a 73 at the storied Pinehurst No. 2 en route to his first Teen World Championship victory. The four-time participant won by three strokes as the majority of the field struggled on the U.S. Open track. Keelan Van Wyk (South Africa) and Paphangkorn Itthiratchai (Thailand) carded the low rounds of the day— 71.

Girls 13  |  Mid Pines
1  Bentley Cotton (Austin, TX): +8
T2 Phoebe Beber-Frankel (Miami, FL): +17
T2 Lillian Berry (Dover, FL): +17

Bentley Cotton continued her dominance of the Girls 13 age group posting a 2-over 74 at Mid Pines on Saturday. Her nine stroke advantage was the largest margin of victory across all age groups. She improved on her 2014 World Championship appearance by 37 places, and will return to Austin, Texas a U.S. Kids Golf Teen World Champion. Phoebe Beber-Frankel (Miami, FL) and Lillian Berry (Dover, Florida) tied for second at +17.

Girls 14  |  Mid Pines
1  Georgia Oboh (United Kingdom): +7
T2 Sitanan Jonglikit (Thailand): +10
T2 Rachel Kuehn (Asheville, NC): +10

In Girls 14, Georgia Oboh (United Kingdom) erased a five shot deficit by carding a 3-under in her final round. Her 69 at Mid Pines was the lowest round of the tournament among female competitors, and earned her a champion’s speech at the Closing Ceremonies where she inspired the audience and brought many to tears. Sitanun Jonglikit (Thailand) and Rachel Kuehn (Asheville, NC) both shot 74 on the final day to tie for second at +10, three strokes off the lead.

Girls 15-18  |  Mid Pines 
1  Maria Fernanda Escauriza (Paraguay): E
2  Shuan Chen (Taiwan): +2
3  Haeley Wotnosky (Wake Forest, NC): +5

Maria Fernanda Escauriza produced the low round of the day (70) in Girls 15-18. Her 34 on the back nine proved to be pivotal in her quest for her first Teen World Championship win. Shuan Chen (Taiwan) fought hard to erase her detrimental first round by posting 70-71 in the final two days of the tournament, but it would not be enough to overthrow Escauriza. North Carolina native and 2014 Teen World Champion, Haeley Wotnosky finished in third place, five strokes off the lead.

Sam Thomas (Boys 14): Pinehurst No. 9, Hole #17 with a USKG Tour Series PW