Ankita Kedlaya of Bangalore, India, and Geuntae Kim of Daegu, South Korea, earned medalist honors at the Sea Pines Junior Heritage qualifier on Jan. 31, 2015. The 18-hole qualifier was contested on the Heron Point Golf Course in Sea Pines Resort and featured 56 players in the Boys Division competing for three spots, and 12 players in the Girls Division competing for five spots in the Sea Pines Junior Heritage on Feb. 7-8, 2015. The prestigious event has been held for 23 years with past champions including Charles Howell, Kyle Stanley, Lexi Thompson and Paula Creamer.
Kim earned his spot in the Sea Pines Junior Heritage after recording a 1-over-par 73. Battling a wrist injury, Kim was able to make three birdies on a day which featured cold weather and strong winds at times. This was the second straight year Kim has qualified for the tournament.
The last spot was decided in a playoff among six IJGA students, who all carded 4-over-par 76. In the playoff was Kanata Irei of Okinawa-shi, Japan, Nick Russell of Hilton Head Island, S.C., Jason Stokes of St. Brelade, Jersey (UK), Ritwik Jain of New Delhi, India, Chandler McDowell of Springbrook, Canada, and Tennoshin Ogawa of Ichinomiya-shi, Japan. The players went out in one group and were battling, the setting sun, as well as each other. Ogawa had a chance to win the playoff on the first hole at Heron Point, but his four-foot birdie putt missed its mark. Ogawa, Stokes and Jain all advanced to the second playoff hole after making par. All three competitors had quality birdie opportunities on the second playoff, but none were able to convert. At that point, it was too dark to continue play, and the Committee awarded the final qualifying spot via a scorecard playoff. The front-nine score was used to determine the winner, giving Stokes, who carded a 37 on the front nine, the final spot in the qualifier .
In the Girls Division, Kedlaya earned co-medalist honors with Anita Uwadia of Hilton Head Island, S.C., after she carded a 6-over-par 78. This was Kedlaya’s first attempt at qualifying for the Sea Pines Junior Heritage.
Other IJGA students qualifying in the Girls Division were Kayla Kozak of Bluffton, S.C., Chomchana Phuchanbanchobof Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Gabriela Teran of Managua, Nicaragua.
These six students will join seven other IJGA students competing in the Sea Pines Junior Heritage on Feb. 7-8, 2015.
For photos from the Junior Heritage qualifier, please see the IJGA Facebook page.
The International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) is the premier destination for middle and high school golfers as well as graduates seeking a competitive advantage amongst their peers. IJGA’s unique programs deliver customized golf training, tour competition, performance training, character building and an elite college preparatory education – in a close, family environment in Hilton Head, South Carolina.