Evan Sun, of the Saddlebrook Resort Golf Academy in Wesley Chapel, Florida, walked off the 18th green a winner after shooting a final round 74. His first round 71 left him tied for the lead coming into the final round with WoCheng Ye. Sun had a quiet first round, firing birdies on the 10th and 17th holes and only dropping two over par scores, including a double bogey on hole 18, which proved to be one of the hardest holes of the weekend. He followed up his 71 with the second round 74, this round proved to be a bit more difficult for Sun. A front nine 34 had him lined up for a large victory, but the back nine struck back with 3 bogeys on 15,16, and 18, as well as a double bogey on the par 4 13th. Despite his back nine score of 40, he won the Instagolf Tampa Bay Junior Challenge by 3 strokes over Dante Davis, of Brandon, Florida. Davis shot 74 both days giving him a two day total of 148. After a double bogey on hole 5, Davis fired back with his only birdie of the round, leaving his front nine score at 36. Hole 16, a dog-leg left with a green surrounded by water proved to be his most challenging hole, with a bogey on the hole both days. In third place, Alex Gibson, of Saratoga, New York, shot a two day total of 149, falling just short of Davis. Gibson’s Sunday 73 was highlighted by 3 birdies on the back nine. Boys 11-14
In the Boys 11-14 year old division, Johnny Bai of Lake Mary, Florida recorded a landslide victory shooting a two day total of 149, highlighted by a weekend low score of 70. In his second round, Bai carded an impressive 6 birdies during the second round, but his chances of breaking into the 60’s were halted after he shot a frustrating pair of double bogeys on holes 3 and 5. He powered through these mistakes to score three more birdies, making the difficult Saddlebrook course look quite easy. Bai won the event by 5 strokes over Germany’s Lorenz Poerings, whose first round 76 and second round 78 proved insufficient to catch up with Bai’s impressive play. Poerings outlasted the streaky Vano Krecklau, of Howey-In-The-Hills, FL, who had an up and down two days at the Saddlebrook Resort. While Krecklau did card 7 birdies over the two days, the courses numerous water hazards and heavily sloped greens proved to be too much and the tournament ended with a calm and collected Bai smiling, with a trophy in hand. Girls 15-18
In the girl’s 15-18 division, a small field played into the hands of Huize Lain, of Lake Mary, Florida, who outlasted her talented opponent, Mao Young, of Orlando, Florida. The ladies played 36 holes together, allowing them to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The strengths of Lian proved to be enough as she carded a final score of 150 (+10) compared to the 157 (+17) of the older Young. Entering Sunday, both Lian led Young by one stroke after finishing with a 77, highlighted by her birdie on hole 9. Like most of the competitors, the back nine was hard on Lian after she ended her Saturday with a back nine 40. Lian’s Sunday was much more impressive, as she ended her round with a 73, with two birdies, three bogeys, and an unfortunate double bogey on wet 16th holes. Young stayed consistent scoring first round 78 and second round 79, highlighted by back to back birdies on 12 and 13 during her second round. The water was too much for Young though as she fell behind the surging Lian.