Saturday, December 16, 2017

Kumar a winner in USA junior golf tourney

 Competing in his first American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) tournament, Sachin Kumar prevailed in a three-hole playoff to win the Boys Division of the 2014 TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior All-Star  at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club over the weekend. Isabella Fierro of Mexico, rallied from four strokes back to win the Girls Division.

Kumar is the first junior male and second  junior golfer overall from Trinidad and Tobago after Monifa Sealy to have won an AJGA event. 

Conducted by the AJGA, the Junior All-Star at Innisbrook is a 36-hole strokeplay competition featuring 84 players, ages 12-15, from 23 states,  as well as golfers from China, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, and Trinidad and Tobago. The Boys Division played the par-70 Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club – North Course at 5,986 yards, while the Girls Division played at 5,426 yards.

In the Boys Division, Kumar outlasted China’s Harry Xue of Lake Mary, Florida, and Justin Kim of Rome, Georgia, in a three-man, sudden-death playoff to win the title Sunday.

“Words can’t explain what I’m feeling right now,” said Kumar in an AJGA report.

Kumar led wire-to-wire after he set the pace Saturday with a three-under-par 67. He shot a two-over-par 72 on Sunday to finish with a tournament total of 139.

Xue and Kim joined Kumar in the playoff, but neither player could match Kumar’s birdie on the third playoff hole.

“I was just thinking about making par,” Kumar said. “I didn’t hit the best shots in, but, you know, I grinded it out.”

Kim started the day six strokes behind the leader but came back to tie, fueled by five birdies and a four-under-par 66.  Spenser Slayden of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, came in fourth with a two-day total of 142, after shooting rounds of 70 and 72. Noah Goodwin of Corinth, Texas, and Brandon Wang of Bradenton, Florida, tied for fifth with a two-day total of 143.