Champions Crowned By USKG
Titles in 13 age divisions competing on nine area courses were decided Saturday on the final day of the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship.
Playing on Pinehurst No. 4, Brad Dalke, of Mansfield, Texas, shot 68 in each of the world championship’s three rounds to win the Boys 12 division and card the tournament’s low score of 12-under-par 204. It was his first world championship win, after finishing as runner-up in his age division last year and posting three third-place finishes in the years prior to that.
Bryan Humphreys, of Washougal, Wash., shot a 71-69 68—208 to finish second, followed by Sahith Theegala, of Chino Hills, Calif., at 68-70-72—210.
In the Girls 12 division contested at Pinehurst No. 3, Sierra Brooks, of Sorrento, Fla., took control from the get-go and never relinquished her lead, finishing at 68-69-74—211 to win by a single stroke over three-time World Champion Allisen Corpuz, of Waipahu, Hawaii, who carded 69-72-71—212.
The U.S. Kids Golf staff was forced to dig through the record books when it was learned Eddy Lai, of San Jose, Calif., double-eagled the par-5, 431-yard 16th hole at Legacy Golf Links, where the Boys 11 competition was held. Sure enough, Lai’s double-eagle was the first in world championship history.
It would prove to be invaluable, as Lai carded 68-67-70—205 to win his first world championship by two strokes over 2009 winner Issei Tanabe, of Huntington Beach, Calif., who shot 69-70-68—207.
In the Girls 11 division contested at Talamore, Clare Amelia Legaspi, of the Philippines, captured her fourth world championship title by a stroke over Haley Moore, of Escondido, Calif. Legaspi carded 75-68-71—214 to Moore’s 71-70-74—215.
In its 11-year history, the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship has never had a five-time winner.
In the Boys 10 division contested at Little River, Bryan Terlesky, of Youngstown, Ohio, avenged his 2006 second-place finish to Kyle Cox, of Carrollton, Texas, by shooting 72-69-68—209 to win the age group by two strokes over Cox, who shot 68-75-68—211.
A.J. Beechler, of Pinehurst, carded 71-75-76—222 to finish tied for fourth place.
In the Girls 10 division, contested at Talamore, Youngin Chun, of Korea, put on a clinic by shooting 71-73-68—212 to beat any finisher behind her by at least nine strokes.
The 9-year-old boys played at Pinehurst No. 8, where Wen Liang Xie, of China, shot 72-70-67—209 to win the division by four strokes over Tyler Lipscomb, of Carrolton, Ga., who led after both of the first two rounds and finished at 70-69-74—213.
Meanwhile, Isabella Fierro Saul, of Mexico, can finally call herself a world champion after winning the Girls 9 division by carding 35-34-33—102 (nine-hole rounds) at Talamore. Saul was a runner-up in 2009 and finished third in 2008.
In the Boys 8 division contested at Mid Pines, Andrew Jung, of San Diego, Calif., won his first world championship by carding 35-35-36—106 to overcome several names that are familiar to U.S. Kids Golf championships, including Digraj Gill, of India, who finished second at 37-35-35—107, and Dylan Fritz, of Las Vegas, Nev., who shot 36-37-35—108.
Playing at Longleaf, Emilie Alba Paltrinieri, of Italy, overtook two-day leader Karah Sanford, of Escondido, Calif., in a sudden death playoff to win the Girls 8 division. Both girls carded regulation scores of 104.
Juan Camilo Vesga Solano, of Colombia, shot 38-34-32—104 at Mid Pines to win the Boys 7 division over Wolfgang Glawe, of Germany, who carded 33-38-36—107.
In the Girls 7 and Under division contested at Longleaf, Elle Nachman, of Boca Raton Fla., shot 34-39-37—110 to finish one stroke better than Arlene Faye Salvador, of Palmdale, Calif., who carded 38-38-35—111.
Meanwhile, at Midland, the world championship’s youngest division, the boys 6-year-olds, was decided in a playoff, where Jackson Van Paris, of Lake Forest, Ill., defeated Jed Dy, of the Philippines, after both players carded three-day totals of 97.
The World Cup, which pitted U.S. and international teams consisting of the top finishers in the boys’ and girls’ 12-year-old divisions against each other in match play competition, was contested on Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2.
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