Kim prevails in playoff at IJGT Shamrock Shootout

The International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) hosted the Shamrock Shootout at Palmetto Hall Plantation March 16-17. Held on the Robert Cupp Course, the IJGT Event featured elite junior golfers representing 10 states and 16 countries competing for national recognition and IJGT Merit Points. The competition was tough, and the Boys 15-19 Division ended in an exciting two-hole playoff.

Warm weather welcomed participants to the first round of the IJGT Shamrock Shootout at Palmetto Hall where GeunTae Kim of SuSeong-DaeGu, South Korea carded a 2-over-par 74 to take the lead in the Boys 15-19 Division. Kim had back-to-back birdies on Nos. 2 and 3, as well as 8 and 9 in the first round. On the back nine he carded birdies on Nos. 11, 13 and 17 to level out some of his trouble holes.

Although he was leading the division heading into the final round, Kim was not without competition. Saravit Kerdsinchai of Nonthaburi, Thailand finished the first round with a 3-over-par 75, one stroke back of Kim. Oliver Lehman of Bern, Switzerland was just three strokes back of Kim with 5-over-par 77.

Kim began the final round with a bogey on No. 1, but rebounded with three straight pars before his next bogey on No. 5 to shoot 2-over-par 38 on the front.  Kerdsinchai, however, made a statement starting with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 to take the lead. With a bogey on No. 4 and another birdie on No. 9, Kerdsinchai took the outright lead over Kim with a 2-under-par 34 on the front nine.

Kerdsinchai then struggled on the back nine with four bogeys and a double bogey on No. 14. Meanwhile, Kim played even on the back nine until he doubled No. 14. With another double bogey for Kim on No.16, no one could be sure who would come out victorious. Kim birdied Nos. 17 and 18 and Kerdsinchai also birdied No. 18 to send both players into a playoff at 6-over-par 150 for the Event.

The playoff started on the par-5 15th hole where both players got up-and-down for par. On No. 16, the champion was decided when Kerdsinchai knocked his first shot into the hazard just short of the par-3 16th green and Kim hit it within 10 feet of the hole. Kim won the playoff and the Boys 15-19 Division title at the IJGT Shamrock Shootout. This was Kim’s first IJGT win.

“I was very nervous for my playoff,” Kim said. “I was fortunate to win.”

Finishing behind Kim and second-place finisher, Kerdsinchai, was Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award winner, Peter Cho of Koyang, South Korea. Cho carded a 1-over-par 73 in the final round to finish the Event at 7-over-par 151.

In the Boys 14 & Under Division, Tennoshin Ogawa of Ichinomiya-shi, Japan took an early lead as the KENTWOOL Lo-Pro Award Winner with a 1-over-par 73. His closest contender was Taisuke Ono of Tokyo, Japan who carded a 6-over-par 78 in the first round.

Ogawa continued his success into the final round with a solid front-nine, 1-under-par 35. The back nine was more challenging for Ogawa who had bogeys on Nos. 10 and 14, and a double bogey on No. 13. Birdies on Nos. 11 and 17 propelled Ogawa to another 1-over-par 73, for a tournament total of 146, which won him his fifth victory of the season and the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award.

“I played very well,” Ogawa said. “Everything felt very good and I was comfortable with my swing.”

Finishing behind Ogawa was Kevin Ying of Shanghai, China with 18-over-par 162. Ono finished in third place with a tournament total of 165.

Ceha Lee of Bundang-Gu, South Korea took home the title in the Girls Division after impressive rounds both days of the IJGT Shamrock Shootout. Lee led the division after winning the KENTWOOL Lo-Pro Award in the first round with a 7-over-par 79.

During the final round, Lee carded three birdies on the front nine on her way to a 2-under-par 34. She struggled on the back nine with four bogeys and three double bogeys, but her front nine score was strong enough to get her the victory with a 14-over-par 158. This is Lee’s second IJGT victory this season.

“I was putting really well,” Lee said. “I am looking forward to playing in the next event at Oldfield.”

Lee was awarded the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award along with Moyu Sasaki of Tokyo, Japan for carding 7-over-par 79s.  Sasaki finished second with 15-over-par 159. Finishing in third place was Isidora Quevedo of Santiago, Chile with 18-over-par 162.

The IJGT will make the next southeast tournament stop at Oldfield Golf Club for the Low Country Junior, March 23-24. The Greg Norman design will test all aspects of the golf game and provide breathtaking views of South Carolina’s Lowcountry. 


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