Rancho Santa Fe’s Andrew Burgess claims crown at La Costa tournament
La Costa Resort & Spa recently hosted a talented field of junior golfers for the 36-hole International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) tournament. The South Course, which will play host to the 2012 LPGA Kia Classic, proved to be a tough test for all participants.
Rancho Santa Fe resident Andrew Burgess won the Boys 15-19 Division after carding a tournament total of 154. Burgess created some breathing room after a score of 4-over-par 76 on Saturday. His round was highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 17th hole. On Sunday, Burgess knew he would need to avoid the big number on his scorecard to take home the title. He did not make worse than bogey all day, even with the windy conditions. Burgess’s victory is his first this season with the IJGT.
Going into the final round with a six stroke lead did not affect Burgess’s attitude towards Sunday’s round. “I wanted to play the same way I was and keep the ball in play,” said Burgess.
Finishing in second place with a tournament total of 157, which included a 2-over-par 74 in the final round, was Taylor Bibbs of San Diego. Dane Casaga of Murrieta took third place with a tournament total of 162.
In the Girls Division, Avery French of Laguna Niguel claimed her second tournament victory with the IJGT after firing scores of 79 and 81. On Saturday, French made back-to-back birdies on the front nine to swing momentum in her favor. During the final round, French used superb play off the tee to put herself in good position to attack the greens at La Costa Resort & Spa. She hit all 14 fairways en route to her victory.
Playing on the South Course was extra special for the Girls Division given the fact it will host the LPGA Kia Classic in 2012. The IJGT setup of 6101 yards provided a great opportunity for the juniors to showcase the skills they will need at the college level. “The course was tough and the scores might not reflect how well we played,” commented French.
Finishing in second place with a tournament total of 179 was Jamie Huo of Kent, Wash.
Samuel Schwartz of San Clemente was crowned Champion in the Boys 14 & Under Division after firing a solid tournament total of 154. He displayed great consistency firing back-to-back 77’s on the challenging South Course at La Costa Resort & Spa. Schwartz had a four stroke lead going into the final round, but he did not put any added pressure on himself. The round did not get off to a great start, but he responded well making two birdies on the front nine en route to 1-over-par score of 37. His fellow competitors could not summon a comeback, giving Schwartz his second IJGT title this fall season.
Schwartz credited his victory to his short game during the weekend. “I was able to get up and down and save some strokes,” said Schwartz.
Ryan Hicks of Santa Monica finished in second place after rounds of 81 and 86. Rounding out the Boys 14 & Under Division in third place was Cade Casaga of Murrieta, who recorded a tournament total of 171.
Many of the competitors will look to showcase their skills one more time in 2011 when the IJGT travels to Temecula Creek Inn the weekend of Dec. 10-11. The event will be an IJGT Major Championship with players earning double merit points for their respective finishes.
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