Final-round notes: PGA Golf Club Invitational

PGAInvThis Columbus Day weekend, the sixth-annual PGA Golf Club Invitational was played at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker and Ryder Courses in Port St. Lucie, Fla. More than 260 players, ages 5-14, competed in 15 age divisions during the two-day stroke play event.

Final results
Facebook photos

Boys recaps
Four boys returned to PGA Golf Club and successfully defended their age divisions’ crowns. Sihan Sandhu (Virginia) and Jackson Van Paris (Illinois) both captured their seventh career U.S. Kids Golf victories Sunday. Sandhu finished at 6-under-par and won Boys 7, while Van Paris posted a 10-stroke victory in Boys 10. Beni Long (Ontario) won Boys 8 with an even-par total, and Joseph Pagdin (Florida) finished at 5-under-par and won by four strokes in Boys 11.

In Boys 9, Allan Kournikova (Florida) and Luke Clanton (Florida) were tied at 4-under-par with two holes to play. Kournikova took the lead with a birdie on the par-5 17th, and a par on No. 18 led to a 5-under-par total and two-stroke victory, the 11th of his U.S. Kids Golf career.

In Boys 13-14, Christian Chapman (New York) began the final round three strokes off the lead, but the score was quickly evened after he birdied the first three holes. Chapman finished with a final-round 72, tied for the best round of the day, and posted a 2-over-par total and a two-stroke victory.

In Boys 12, August Meekhof (Michigan) finished at 3-over-par and won by one stroke, while Ben Kablach (Virginia) also won by one stroke with a 3-under-par total in Boys 6 & Under.

Girls recaps
Two of the girls divisions needed a sudden-death playoff in order to determine a winner. In Girls 7 & Under, Chloe Kovelesky (Florida) double bogeyed the second-to-last hole but rebounded with a birdie on No. 9 to finish at 1-over-par and force a playoff with Charlie Whorton (Arkansas). Kovelesky prevailed and won for the third time this season.

A playoff was also needed in Girls 13-14, as Alicia Cappellaro (Florida) erased a three-shot deficit by finishing regulation with a birdie and a par. She carried the momentum into the playoff and came away with her first U.S. Kids Golf win over Ami Gianchandani (New Jersey).

Alexa Pano (Florida) prevailed for the fourth consecutive year at PGA Golf Club and tallied her 16th career U.S. Kids Golf victory by winning Girls 9 with a 6-under-par total. Two other players also defended their titles at the PGA Golf Club Invitational. Mimi Chen (Florida), the 2013 U.S. Kids Golf National Player of the Year, won Girls 11 with a 5-under-par total, while Amy Zhang (Florida) won Girls 12 at 8-over-par.

First-time winners in Girls 8 and Girls 10 round out the list of 15 champions from Columbus Day weekend. Tynley Cotton (Florida) won Girls 8 at 6-over-par, while Xin Cindy Xou (Florida) won Girls 10 by one stroke with a 1-under-par total.

Boys 6 & Under
-3…Ben Kablach (Virginia)
-2…Dean Muratore (New York)
-2…Matthew Pollak (Florida)

Boys 7
-6…Sihan Sandhu (Virginia)
E…Michael Nardone (Florida)
+1…Bryce Wylie (Florida)

Boys 8
E…Beni Long (Ontario)
+2…Alex Heard (Florida)
+3…Alexander Hall (Florida)

Boys 9
-5…Allan Kournikova (Florida)
-3…Luke Clanton (Florida)
+2…Aaron Zhang (Florida)

Boys 10
-3…Jackson Van Paris (Illinois)
+7…Frankie Harris (Florida)
+9…Matthew Griggs (Texas)

Boys 11
-5…Joseph Pagdin (Florida)
-1…Connery Meyer (Georgia)
E…Zach Roberts (North Carolina)

Boys 12
+3…August Meekhof (Michigan)
+4…Joey Burke (Florida)
+5…Alexander Vogelsong (Florida)
+5…Yunhe Zheng (Florida)

Boys 13-14
+2…Christian Chapman (New York)
+4…Carson Yates (Florida)
+5…Clay Gibbs (Florida)

Girls 7 & Under
+1…Chloe Kovelesky (Florida)*
+1…Charlie Whorton (Arkansas)
+5…Isabella Dovhey (Florida)

Girls 8
+6…Tynley Cotton (Tennessee)
+9…Sara Im (Georgia)
+11…Jordan Chantale Fischer (Florida)

Girls 9
-6…Alexa Pano (Florida)
+3…Jane Custer (Florida)
+3…Ashley Shim (Georgia)

Girls 10
-1…Xin Cindy Kou (Florida)
E…Alice Hodge (New York)
+9…Ariel Gonzalez (Mexico)

Girls 11
-5…Mimi Chen (Florida)
-1…Soona Lee-Tolley (New York)
+1…Anne Yu (Florida)

Girls 12
+8…Amy Zhang (Florida)
+13…Daniela Spillert (Florida)
+17…Sarah Scott (Florida)

Girls 13-14
+10…Alicia Cappellaro (Florida)*
+10…Ami Gianchandani (New Jersey)
+19…Faith Hopkins (Oklahoma)

* Won sudden-death playoff

// Chris Richards, USKG Senior Manager of Communications


First-round notes: PGA Golf Club Invitational

This Columbus Day weekend, the sixth-annual PGA Golf Club Invitational is being played at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker and Ryder Courses in Port St. Lucie, Fla. More than 260 players, ages 5-14, are competing in 15 age divisions during the two-day stroke play event.

First-round results
Final-round tee times

The field includes 10 players who won their age division at this event in 2012, and six of those players grabbed the lead after Saturday’s first round.

Beni Long (Ontario) leads Boys 8 by two strokes after an opening-round 35, while Jackson Van Paris (Illinois) carded a 1-over-par 73 and leads Boys 10 by one stroke. Joseph Pagdin (Florida) is the third boys winner from 2012 to take a first-round lead, as his 3-under-par 69 has given him a three-stroke cushion in Boys 11.

On the girls’ side, three-time defending champion Alexa Pano (Florida) has put herself in position to repeat again, as her bogey-free round of 31 is six shots clear of the field in Girls 9. Mimi Chen (Florida), the 2013 U.S. Kids Golf National Player of the Year, also opened with a bogey-free round and she has a four-stroke lead in Girls 11 after carding a 68. In Girls 12, Amy Zhang (Florida) began her title defense by shooting a 75, which has given her a four-stroke lead heading into Sunday’s final round.

A shootout seems to be brewing in Boys 9, as the top two players, Allan Kournikova (Florida) and Luke Clanton (Florida), combined to post 11 birdies and an eagle on Saturday. Kournikova went bogey-free and carded a 6-under-par 66, while Clanton sits just one stroke back at 5-under-par.

Coming off a win at the Seaview Open, Ben Kablach (Virginia) took a one-stroke lead in Boys 6 & Under after a 2-under-par 34, while six-time U.S. Kids Golf winner Sihan Sandhu (Virginia) leads Boys 7 by two strokes after shooting 3-under-par 33. Seeking her third U.S. Kids Golf win of the season, Chloe Kovelesky (Florida) carded a 1-over-par 37 and leads Girls 7 & Under by two strokes.

Boys 6 & Under
-2…Ben Kablach (Virginia)
-1…Eric Nguyen (Florida)
E…Dean Muratore (New York)
E…Matthew Pollak (Florida)

Boys 7
-3…Sihan Sandhu (Virginia)
-1…Bryce Wylie (Florida)
+1…Michael Nardone (Florida)

Boys 8
-1…Beni Long (Ontario)
+1…Alex Heard (Florida)
+2…Alexander Hall (Florida)
+2…Jack Usner (Texas)

Boys 9
-6…Allan Kournikova (Florida)
-5…Luke Clanton (Florida)
+2…Logan Zurn (Wisconsin)

Boys 10
+1…Jackson Van Paris (Illinois)
+2…Frankie Harris (Florida)
+4…Manuel Rexach (Puerto Rico)

Boys 11
-3…Joseph Pagdin (Florida)
E…Connery Meyer (Georgia)
E…Benjamin Warian (Minnesota)

Boys 12
-1…Yunhe Zheng (Florida)
+2…Joey Burke (Florida)
+2…August Meekhof (Michigan)

Boys 13-14
-1…Clay Gibbs (Florida)
+2…Christian Chapman (New York)
+4…Lukas Clark (Pennsylvania)
+4…Carson Yates (Florida)

Girls 7 & Under
+1…Chloe Kovelesky (Florida)
+3…Isabella Dovhey (Florida)
+3…Charlie Whorton (Arkansas)

Girls 8
+4…Tynley Cotton (Tennessee)
+5…Jordan Chantale Fischer (Florida)
+5…Sara Im (Georgia)

Girls 9
-5…Alexa Pano (Florida)
+1…Ashley Shim (Georgia)
+2…Jane Custer (Florida)

Girls 10
E…Xin Cindy Kou (Florida)
+1…Alice Hodge (New York)
+3…Ariel Gonzalez (Mexico)

Girls 11
-4…Mimi Chen (Florida)
E…Anne Yu (Florida)
+1…Soona Lee-Tolley (New York)

Girls 12
+3…Amy Zhang (Florida)
+7…Sarah Scott (Florida)
+8…Caroline Jordaan (Colorado)
+8…Daniela Spillert (Florida)

Girls 13-14
+3…Alicia Cappellaro (Florida)
+3…Ami Gianchandani (New Jersey)
+10…Faith Hopkins (Oklahoma)

// Chris Richards, USKG Senior Manager of Communications

The pitching wedge that traveled 8,000 miles


Austin Jet and a fellow-competitor’s mom celebrate his hole-in-one during the Phoenix Fall Local Tour event at Wigwam Resort.

Austin Jet’s ace on the Phoenix Fall Local Tour was truly a shot heard – and seen – around the world.

Austin’s father is in the military and stationed more than 8,000 miles from Wigwam Resort’s Heritage Course. As Austin approached the 12th hole, his mom held up her phone so her husband could watch their son play the par 3 via Skype.

The “click” of the ball being struck was followed by the “ping” of the ball hitting the flagstick, and finally the ball went “clink” as it found the bottom of the cup.

The ball only traveled 71 yards, but the moment traveled 8,000 miles. Congratulations, Austin…we’re happy you could share this memory with your family!

// Chris Richards, USKG Senior Manager of Communications