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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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!