All six of the 2016 Teen World Champions were first-time winners!
Boys 13: Pinehurst No. 8
Due to inclement weather, Boys 13 was the only age group not to finish the tournament. The boys were forced to count only the front nine of their final round when the greens became unplayable. Mateo Fuenmayor was crowned champion after firing a 34 on the front nine in his final round. Fuenmayor’s last appearance was in 2014 when he finished tied for 59th in the Boys 11 age group of the World Championship. He’s come a long way since then as he finished the tournament at -2.
Boys 14: Pinehurst No. 9
Jack Heath continued his dominance of Boys 14 on Saturday, carding a 71 en route to a three stroke lead in the age group. Heath recorded five birdies on the day on the challenging Pinehurst No. 9. The USKG veteran won his first event since the 2013 Jekyll Island Cup, and cemented his name in history as a world champion.
Boys 15-18: Pinehurst No. 2 & No. 4
AJ Beechler epitomizes the term “USKG Veteran.” Beechler is the only player out of the six Champions to win both the World Championship and the Teen World Championship. He won the 2011 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship at the age of 11 after posting rounds of 69, 68 and 69. AJ also won the European Championship in 2008 after carding rounds of 35, 36 and 33. With rounds of 69 and 70 at Pinehurst No. 4 and 74 at Pinehurst No. 2, Beechler has now conquered the triple crown of U.S. Kids Golf major championship events.
Girls 13: Mid Pines Inn & Country Club
Panama native, Ana Raquel Sanson Leon followed up on her strong round of 70 in round two with a 73 in her final round at Mid Pines. The thirteen-year-old had two birdies on Saturday, leading her to a five shot victory. Prior to 2016, Sanson Leon’s best finish in Pinehurst came back in 2011 at the age of eight when she finished just outside the top five. Now, she’s a world champion.
Girls 14: Mid Pines Inn & Country Club
Chloe Schiavone reclaimed her lead in her final when she shot the low round of the day — 74. The Jacksonville native carded two birdies and finished the tournament with a commanding five stroke lead. Like the rest of this year’s champions, Schiavone was crowned a world champion for the first time and showed a drastic improvement from her previous experiences.
Girls 15-18: Pinehurst No. 6
Ling-Jie Chen refused to share her lead throughout the three days of the Championship. Chen stole the show at the Awards Ceremony when she spoke from the heart in her champion’s speech. The sixteen-year-old posted a 76 on Pinehurst No. 6 to win her age group by four strokes.
Team USA won the Teen Van Horn Cup 5.5 — 3.5!