2013 Junior Orange Bowl International Golf ChampionshipChampionship Dates: December 26-30, 2013 | Qualifier Dates: December 16-17, 2013
Junior Orange Bowl at The Bilmore
The Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. The championship is an International invitational for boys and girls amateur golfers. The top amateur golfers from around the world are invited to compete in one of the most competitive amateur tournaments in the world. The International Golf Championship boasts an impressive alumni list including current professional players Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, and Lexi Thompson.
Canada’s Brooke Henderson and Italy’s Renato Paratore fulfilled their maximum ambitions for the week, newly crowned Junior Orange Bowl champions.
Henderson posted a final round 67, a four-day total of 280, 4-under par. The Canadian Ladies Amateur champion, 9th in world amateur rankings, put together a dominant performance, almost as if during the first three days she’d been in test mode.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” she said with a huge smile. “I came here with this in mind and I’m really pleased. Today I was finally able to get my putting working, compared to the first three days. I felt very comfortable on the greens all day.”
The 16-year old from Smith Falls, Ontario, birdied four of her first six holes, setting the tone of the day. Consecutive bogeys at 8 and 9 allowed playing-partner Sweden’s Strom to draw within three strokes at the turn, but that was as close as it would get.
Henderson piled on the pressure with a clutch birdie at the long par-four 13th and when she added another at the 17th, she could finally relax and enjoy the finish.
“On the 17th, which I double-bogeyed yesterday, I was just trying to play smart. That birdie was just a nice bonus.”
USA’s Megan Khang finished with her best round of the week, 68, edging Strom for second spot. Soyoung Lee, tied overnight with Henderson, carded 76 for a 4th place tie with USA’s Bailey Tardy.
The Boy’s Division was a thrilling three-way battle that went down to the wire, where Paratore’s tap-in birdie at the par-five 72nd hole secured the trophy, joint runners-up Dominic Foos and Jorge Garcia unable to hole putts that would have sent the championship into playoff.
“I knew it would be hard. Dominic and Jorge are such good players. I just had to work all day and hope it would be enough.”
Paratore said the key moment in his round came halfway thru the back nine. “I had a really difficult putt to save par on the 13th, and when that went in I felt I could breathe again. But it was really tough and I was glad the putt to win was so close.”