Terrazas, Nakayama, Schneider win IJGT titles at Dolphin Head

The International Junior Golf Tour made its second trip to the famed Hilton Head Plantation this season for the Hilton Head Open at Dolphin Head Golf Club on Jan. 26-27. The 36-hole, nationally ranked junior event featured some of the top junior golfers from around the world gathering together to compete on the Gary Player design course.

Aaron Terrazas from Veracruz, Mexico has only competed in six IJGT events so far this season, but in those six he has come away with four victories and two more top five finishes, so he is no stranger to the top of the leaderboard on Sundays. Terrazas actually found himself in somewhat of an unfamiliar position coming into the final round at Dolphin Head, as he was trailing the leader, Chris Magi from Montreal, Canada, by two strokes due to a rough stretch of holes to finish his first round, after going 5-under-par on his first 14 holes on Saturday.

 “I just didn’t worry,” said Terrazas. “I had a plan and I just did what I had to do to catch the other player.”


Terrazas’s plan was put to the test on Sunday with chilly temperatures and a strong wind, but he was able to erase the deficit left from Saturday, and gain a one-stroke lead in the first nine holes. From there he was able to play conservatively and hold on to his lead down the final stretch, as his final round 75 (+3) was enough to give him the Boys 15-19 Division title by two strokes over Charlie Spencer-White, from Bluffton, S.C., while Magi’s final round 8-over-par 80 left him in third place in the division.

Magi’s opening round of 3-under-par 69 earned him the KENTWOOL Socks Lo-Pro Low Opening Round award.  Mickey Werenski of South Hadley, Mass. and Spencer-White’s final rounds of 2-over-par 74 earned them the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award on Sunday.

Ayaka Nakayama from Kanagawa, Japan found herself trailing Rei Nakatani from Tokyo, Japan by five strokes at the end of the first round of play on Saturday. Nakatani, who has three victories on tour this season, was able to post a 2-over-par 74 to set the tone for the division.

Nakayama was not going to be intimidated by her friend, and fellow competitor, Nakatani’s impressive opening round score. She was able to start off her round by going 2-under-par on her first three holes of the day, and never looked back. Nakayama’s final round of 2-under-par 70 was enough to not only erase the five-stroke deficit from Saturday, but also to surpass Nakatani for the Girls division title by a single stroke.

“I’ve been waiting for this for so long,” said Nakayama. “This is sort of a dream come true.”

Nakayama’s impressive final round left Nakatani with her third runner-up finish on the season, while Kasidy Beckel from Bluffton, S.C. rounded out the top-three with her consistent rounds of 78-78--156 on the weekend.

Erlangen, Germany native, Jan Schneider, made the trip over to Dolphin Head for his first ever event on U.S. soil.  He is a new student to the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy (HHIJGA), who was looking to make a name for himself in unfamiliar territory. Schneider showed no signs of intimidation in his opening round as an HHIJGA student, as he was able to set the mark to beat on Saturday with a very impressive round of 3-over-par 75.

Schneider’s opening round left him with a four-shot cushion going into the final round of play, which appeared to have sparked a few nerves for him to start his round on Sunday. He struggled to find his stroke to begin the final round, going 5-over-par in his first six holes, but soon found his groove as he rolled to the Boys 14 & Under Division title in his first event in the states.

Schneider said he was a little nervous competing in his first event after being in a new country for a mere three weeks, but everything seemed to be working well for him all weekend as he cruised to victory.

Andre Becerra from Zapopan, Mexico, who was an early favorite coming into the event with two victories already this season, and never finishing worse than eighth, was able to put together an impressive final round 4-over-par 76  to give him the runner-up finish in the division, adding yet another top-five finish to his resume. Alejandro Santibanez from San Luis Potosi, Mexico rounded out the top-three in the division by posting a 79-85-164 total on the weekend.

Nakatani’s opening round of 2-over-par 74 earned her the honor of the KENTWOOL Socks Lo-Pro Low Opening Round award. Nakayama’s final round of 2-under-par 70 gave her the Clazic Belts Low Final Round Award on Sunday.

The next IJGT event will be the Shootout at Colleton River Plantation. The tournament, which will take place on February 9-10, 2013, will be played on the Dye Course at Colleton River Plantation.  The famous Dye Course will host the 2015 U.S. Junior Championship.

To sign up for this event or others, or for more information call (800) 792-9143 or visit www.IJGT.com.


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