IJGA Student-Athlete Kotaro Murata Wins Hurricane Junior Tour Elite Series at The Legends, Orange Lake Resort
Two Additional Top 10 Finishes for IJGA Students
International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA), student-athlete Kotaro Murata won first-place in the Hurricane Junior Tour Elite Series at Orange Lake Resort, hosted at The Legends this weekend, October 13-14. Two other IJGA students had top ten finishes at the two-day tournament held in Kissimmee, Florida. The HJGT Elite Series is an invitational event featuring top junior players who have qualified through the HJGT points list and Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings, as well as other criteria.
Murata, a senior at Heritage Academy of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, who played in the Open Boys Division, won by three strokes, carding eight birdies over two days, shooting a 74-69 for a total of 143. This is the first win of the season for Murata, following up on two other International Junior Golf Tour (IJGT) victories within the year at the Orange Lake Open at The Reserves at Orange Lake, April 7-8, and the Island Open at Dolphin Head Golf Club of Hilton Head Island, SC, November 4-5, 2017.
“Kota is a natural winner, he loves to compete. He knows how to get the job done and make a score. He is incredibly consistent and will be a great asset to any college team in the future,” said IJGA Director of Instruction Jonathan Yarwood.
Two other IJGA students finished in the top ten, Erik Fogel and Beng Keat (BK) Lim. Fogel, also a senior at Heritage Academy, tied for sixth-place, had ten birdies, the most birdies during the 36-hole event, shot 67-81 — 148, beating out teammate Lim by one stroke, who finishing in eighth-place with a 77-72–149.
“BK is a great swinger of the golf club with a good all-around game. He has been working hard on his short game technique to bring it to tour quality, along with shallowing and sequencing his swing to hit it further and spin the ball less. He is making good progress.”
“Erik really has started to flourish into the golfer we knew he could be. He shot a career low round last year of 66 and to see him shoot 67 in this event was great to see — a testament to his hard work. He has just got to learn to be comfortable in the lead, which takes time and is part of the learning curve all great players go through, said Yarwood.
“Tremendous progress has been made early on by some of our established players. These players have been through the IJGA blueprinting process and are well versed in how their game works. They are able to self diagnose and build skills upon the great technical foundation they have created,” remarked Yarwood. “All players are a work in progress, a little like a painting that never gets finished, we are always looking for skill development so they can reach their full potential.”
What’s at Stake?
– The Junior Golf Scoreboard Ranking (JGS)
– Top 5 in each division will receive an exemption into the 2018 & 2019 National Championships (If spots are available for 2018 National Champ.)
– Top 20 finishers receive points towards year end honors which include state teams and ALL HJGT Teams.
– Top 3 from Boys and Girls qualify for the Faldo Series National Finale in Nov. 30-December 2 of 2018. The event is hosted at Bella Collina in Monteverde, FL