Schlottman Earns Comeback Victory

The Port Royal Plantation Barony Course played host once again for the annual 36-hole International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) Family Weekend event.  Numerous family members flew in from across the globe to watch the tournament action and take part in event festivities.

Among those festivities were a Last Man Standing putting competition (won by Moe Numpituckchaikul of Bangkok, Thailand), donations for Bunkers in Baghdad, and a presentation from Matt Cuccaro, Director of Mental Training for the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy (HHIJGA). When the dust finally settled from a great weekend of golf a group of familiar faces were atop the divisions. 

In the Boys 15-19 Division, Ben Schlottman of Advance, N.C., came out of the gates with a first round score of 77. Entering the final round, Schlottman was four strokes short of the leader, Chad Gehres (HHIJGA) of Brighton, Mich. An impressive final round of even-par 72 gave him a tournament total of 149 and first place honors.

This was Schlottman's second victory of the 2011-2012 IJGT season - he also won the IJGT event at Oldfield Golf Club. Schlottman had a solid first nine holes in the second round, including three of his five birdies during his final round.

When asked about how he was able to maintain his composure and piece together his rounds, Schlottman replied "I tried to keep the ball low and under the wind.  I also made a long putt on hole #17 that forced me to dig deep and keep the nerves under control."

Carding a final round score of 78, Chad Gehres finished in a tie for second place with a tournament total of 151. Sun Wongwaiwate (HHIJGA), from Chiang Mai, Thailand also finished with a tournament total of 151 (73-78).

In the Boys U-14 Division Shogo Ito (HHIJGA) of Tokyo, Japan, also took home his second victory of the 2011-2012 IJGT season after posting scores of 79-80 for a weekend total of 159. This was also Shogo's fifth top-5 finish in as many IJGT events this season.

Ito credited his win to his ability to hit fairways during both rounds: "I hit my driver very well and was able to keep the ball in play."

Rounding out the top three were Elliott Johnson from Bluffton, S.C., and Michael Pfeifer of Pforzheim, Germany. Johnson carded rounds of 79 and 83 while Pfeifer shot rounds of 82 and 80, giving both a tournament total of 162 and the tie for second place.

In the Girls Division a familiar face was once again on top of the leaderboard. Moyu Sasaki (HHIJGA) of Tokyo, Japan, fired impressive rounds of 77 and 77 to earn a total score of 154

This is Sasaki's second IJGT victory in as many weeks, after having won the IJGT Major championship at Kiawah Island. This victory also allowed Sasaki to take over the top spot in the Merit Points race for the Girls Division, putting her in the driver's seat for IJGT Player of the Year honors.

After trailing by 5-strokes heading into the final round, Ana Paula Valdes (HHIJGA) of Morelia, Mexico, made a late charge that put some pressure on Sasaki down the stretch and earned her the second place trophy. Valdes carded rounds of 82 and 75 to finish the tournament with a total score of 157. Rounding out the top three was Nicole Okada (HHIJGA) from Manhattan Beach, Calif. Okada posted rounds of 85 and 78 to post a tournament total of 163.

The IJGT will travel to Badlands Golf Club in Las Vegas, NV for a two-day tournament on March 3-4, 2012.  The winners of the Boys 15-19 Division, the Girls Division, and the winner of the Boys U-14 Division will qualify for entry for the season ending Tournament of Champions at Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, FL.


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