Terrazas Holds On For Third IJGT Win

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The International Junior Golf Tour traveled to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. to mix in a little golf with Thanksgiving this year for the AB Golf Designs Thanksgiving Day Classic on Nov. 23-25. The 54-hole, nationally ranked junior event featured some of the top junior golfers from around the world taking aim at the famous island green at TPC Sawgrass.

 Aaron Terrazas from Mexico City, Mexico came to TPC Sawgrass with two victories to his name already this season and looking for one more. Terrazas got off to a fairly slow start on the Pete Dye designed Valley Course, going three-over on his first six holes of the tournament, but was able to get things going with two straight birdies and never looked back.

 Terrazas rolled to a very impressive even-par showing through his first two rounds on Dye’s Valley Course to give him a two-stroke lead over last year’s champion Tiger Lee from Howey in the Hills, Fla.

 The final round on the famous Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass turned out to be a battle between Terrazas and Lee from start to finish. Lee and Terrazas traded momentum all day, but Lee was unable to overcome the two-shot cushion he had already given up to Terrazas, who fired rounds of 72-72-75 for a tournament total of 219 (+3). It was enough to give him the Boys 15-19 title by three strokes over Lee (73-73-76), while Austin Morrison from Charlotte, N.C. rounded out the top three in the Boys 15-19 Division with a tournament total of 227 (+11) on the weekend.

“I just wanted to take it one shot at a time,” said Terrazas. “I didn’t even realize that I won until I pared that last hole.”

Phimnipha Wongwaiwate from Chiang Mai, Thailand started out the Thanksgiving event with a very impressive even-par 72 on the first day of play on Dye’s Valley Course, with Rei Nakatani from Tokyo, Japan leading the pack of girls chasing her on the leaderboard.

Wongwaiwate’s second round 75 (+3) was enough to give her a three-stroke lead heading into the final round on the Stadium Course on Sunday.

She said she just concentrated on keeping her focus and playing her game during the final round, and she was able to do just that as she coasted to a final round of 77 (+5) to give her a 224 (+8) total and the Girls Division title. Nakatani, Wenny Chang from Taipei, Taiwan, Thamonpat Siriko from Bangkok, Thailand and Clementina Rodriguez from Caracas, Venezuala all tied for the runner-up position in the division with a 227 (+11) total on the weekend.

Rij Patel from Hunt Valley, Md. came out firing on the first day of play in the Boys 14 & Under Division on Friday. His opening round 73 (+1) left him with a two-stroke cushion over defending champion Daulet Tuleubayev from Almaty, Kazakhstan heading into the weekend.

Tuleubayev’s experience at the top of the leaderboard showed through during the weekend, as his second round 77 (+5) was enough to take over the lead by two strokes over Patel going into the Stadium Course for the final round of play on Sunday.

Tuleubayev said he knew from his experience that the leader usually plays with too much pressure during the final round and gets too conservative. He was determined to not let this happen to him, as he continually told himself to keep playing aggressive to try to extend his lead.

He was able to do just that as he took home the Boys 14 & Under Division title by an impressive six strokes over local junior Graydon Kent from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Kent shot rounds of 79-76-78 on the weekend. Patel battled hard on Sunday, but his final round 82 (+10) left him in third place for the division.

Morrison’s final round 73 (+1) on the Stadium Course was good enough to earn him the Clazic Belts Low Final Round honor for the boys, while Ana Ruiz from Chihuahua, Mexico, Rodriguez, and Nakatani all posted a 74 (+2) on Sunday to capture the honor in the Girls Division.

The IJGT will be heading back to Bluffton, S.C. next weekend for the IJGT at Old South Golf Links on Dec. 1-2, followed by the finale of the fall season at Sea Pines Golf Resort for the 5th Annual Hank Haney Invitational on Dec. 8-9.

To register for these IJGT events or for more information please visit www.IJGT.com or call (843) 785-2444.


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