International Field showcased as players from Canada, China, Croatia, Germany, Spain & USA all hoist trophies in 26th year of championship.
Palm Harbor, FL (December 31, 2017) – The 26th playing of the CJGA World Junior Challenge at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida showcased the international flavor of the field of competitors as players from three continents raised trophies following Sunday’s final round. The starting field of 170 competitors from 26 different countries competed over the last three days on Innisbrook’s North, Island & Copperhead Courses. In total players from six different nations, including Canada, China, Croatia, Germany, Spain and the USA finished in first or second place across the six tournament divisions, with players from Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Great Britain and Italy all finishing just outside the top two.
Tournament Website – Click Here
Junior Boys Division (U19) – Copperhead / Island / Copperhead Course Rotation
Nathan Han from Somers, NY managed to make a charge on the final day of the championship, firing a closing round 5-under-par (66) on the Copperhead to take top honors in the Junior boys (U19) division. The 17-year-old, who led the tournament following round one, after posting a solid one-over-par 72 on opening day, managed to bounce back in the third round after struggling on day-two on the Island Course. His three-day total of 217 (+3) was enough to give him a narrow two shot tournament victory.
Han’s final round consisted of eight birdies and three bogies which is no small feet on the difficult Copperhead course which acts as the host venue for the PGA TOUR’s Valspar Championship. The 66 was only one shot worse then the final round 65 fired by 2018 Valspar Championship winner Paul Casey earlier this year.
Finishing in solo second place in the Junior Boy’s (U19) division was Croatia’s Lovro Horvat, who finished just two-shots back of Han at five-over-par (219) after carding rounds of 75-69-75 over the three days of competition. The 17-year-old from Donji Kraljevic, went into the final round with the lead following a second round 69 on the Island Course, but his final round of 4-over-par (75) on the Copperhead course wasn’t enough to match Han’s charge.
Sitting just one shot back of Horvat at six-over-par (220) after carding rounds of 76-72-72 was Mississauga, Ontario’s Robbie Latter. Latter, a member of Golf Ontario’s Provincial Junior squad finished as the low Canadian in the Junior Boy’s division, just three-shots ahead of his younger brother Thomas Latter who finished in a Tie for 4th place with Justin Hastings of the Cayman Islands.
Junior Boys Division Results – Click Here
Junior Girls Division (U19) – North Course
Spain’s Valentina Albertazzi claimed victory in the Junior Girls (U19) division on Sunday. The 17-year-old native of Benahavis went wire-to-wire, posting three solid rounds on Innisbrook’s North course over the competition. Her three scores of 76-74-74 gave her tournament total of eleven-over-par (224) enough for a five-shot lead over Canadian, Jennifer Gu (Vancouver, BC).
At just 15-years-old, Gu, is one of the younger girls playing in the (U19) division. Her final round 74 was her best of the week on the North course and was good enough move her into second place alone, five-shots clear of Kendall Maynard (Clarksville, Tennessee) who started the final round in a tie with Gu. Maynard finished in a tie for fifth place with Great Britain’s, Louise Burke at 21-over-par (234).
Junior Girls Division Results – Click Here
Bantam Boys Division (U15) – North Course
Braeden Sladek won the Bantam Boys (U15) division by two-shots over Canadian Beni Long. The 14-year-old from Alexandria Minnesota went into the final round in a tie for second place with Hungary’s, Bence Bertenyi at seven-over-par, two-shots back of Kevin Rodriguez (Dominican Republic), but managed to score six birdies in his final round on route to a three-under-par (68) and a three-day total of four-over-par (217) just enough to secure victory.
Toronto, Ontario’s Beni Long, who is just 13-years-old put up a good charge on the final day in his effort to claim the championship. Long birdied three of his first five holes on the front-nine and made the turn at three-under-par for the day, but a double-bogey five on the par-three 15th hole deflated his charge. He would manage to recover with birdies on the 16th & 17th hole but a bogey on the 18th hole and a final round 69 put him just short of the winner’s circle at six-over-par (219).
Second Round leader Kevin Rodriguez played solid on the final day, posting a final round one-over-par (73) on the North course, but the final round score was not enough to fend of the charges from Sladek and Long and he would finish in solo third pace with a three-day total of seven-over-par (220).
Bantam Boys Division Results – Click Here
Bantam Girls Division (U15) – North Course
Florida’s Olivia Lu went wire-to-wire to win the Bantam Girls Division, posting rounds of 80-75-76 on the North course for a three-day total of 18-over-par (231). The resident of Winter Garden, FL, a suburb of Orlando finished four-shots clear of Canadian Tina Jiang (Richmond, BC) who carded rounds of 84-78-73 on route to a tournament total of 22-over-par (235). Addison Klonowski (Naples, FL) finished just one shot back of Jiang in solo third at 23-over-par (236).
Bantam Girls Division Results – Click Here
Peewee Boys Division (U13) – North Course
12-year-old Carson Bertagnole of Germany took top honors in the Peewee Boy’s Division, stringing together three solid sub-80 rounds on the North course of 79-76-75. The three-day tournament total of 17-over-par (230) gave him a seven-shot margin of victory over Ronav Benak (Tampa, Florida) who finished in solo second at 24-over-par (237). Canadian, Chad Huber (St. Lazare, Quebec) finished alone in third place at 33-over-par (246).
Peewee Boys Division Results – Click Here
Peewee Girls Division (U13) – North Course
The Peewee Girls division saw three international born players finish first, second and third with 11-year-old Zimeng Zhang from China taking home the trophy after posting a three-day total of 21-over-par (234). Zhang who struggled on the final day of the competition, lead her division from day one after carding an opening round 78 on the North course.
Zhang went into the final round with a three-shot lead and carded a final round 80 which proved just enough to hold a one-shot victory over Cristina Albertazzi of Spain who finished the tournament at 22-over-par (235). Third place in the division went to Italy’s Melissa Cambi who finished eight-shots back of the leader at 29-over-par (242). Low Canadian in the peewee girls division went to Anna Huang (Vancouver, BC) who finished in solo fourth place at 33-over-par (246).
Peewee Girls Division Results – Click Here
About Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort
Operated by Salamander Hotels & Resorts and owned by Sheila C. Johnson, Innisbrook is situated on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and is located just 30 minutes from Tampa International Airport. The resort features 72 holes of championship golf, 550 spacious guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, the Innisbrook Golf Academy, 11 tennis courts, the luxury Indaba Spa with 12 treatment rooms and state-of-the-art Fitness Center, six heated swimming pool complexes, a nature preserve, and three conference halls with 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. Part of Salamander’s Golf Collection, Innisbrook hosts the annual Valspar Championship presented by BB&T at its famed Copperhead Course. For additional information call 727.942.2000 or visit www.innisbrookgolfresort.com
About Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
The 24 diverse communities of the St. Pete/Clearwater area cover a sun-drenched peninsula in the Tampa Bay area, from Tarpon Springs at the far north to Tierra Verde in the south. Much of the area’s appeal comes from the award-winning white sand beaches and eclectic small towns. For the fourth year in a row, St. Pete/Clearwater garnered more recognition than any other Florida destination on TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards of Top 25 U.S. Beaches. Making the honored list this year were local favorites St. Pete Beach at No. 3 and Clearwater Beach at No. 4.
In addition to the world-class beaches, the area’s thriving art scene offers a mix of local and internationally acclaimed galleries and museums, including 80+ urban murals, the Dali Museum and Chihuly Collection in St. Pete. Visit the small town of Dunedin where each year the city celebrates its Scottish heritage with the annual Highland Games. In Clearwater, Winter, the star of the famous box office hits “Dolphin Tale” and Dolphin Tale 2” calls Clearwater Marine Aquarium home.
For more inspiration and trip ideas, head to VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Canadian Junior Golf Association
The Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) is a “registered Canadian amateur athletic association” (RCAAA) not-for-profit registered federally with Revenue Canada. The CJGA is dedicated to providing Canada’s junior golfers with the necessary skills and knowledge required to lay a foundation for a future in competitive golf.
Through its six-stage competitive development program that focuses on tournaments, clinics, international competitions, and mentoring programs with PGA Tour professionals, the CJGA introduces the game to juniors as young as five and offers competitive multi-day events for the more advanced golfer. The CJGA acts as a feeder system to provincial and national competitions, collegiate and university golf, as well as professional and recreational golf. For more information, please visit www.cjga.com.
The Canadian Junior Golf Association is generously supported by its National Partner, Freedom 55 Financial, which provides financial security advice and planning for Canadians.
For Additional Information:
Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA)