Polo Ralph Lauren #InspiredPerformances

Polo Ralph Lauren #InspiredPerformances: April 24, 2018

  • Akshay Bhatia of Wake Forest, North Carolina, fought off a final-round charge from Frankie Capan of North Oaks, Minnesota, for the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club title. Bhatia gained a share of the lead after a first-round 4-under-par 68 that included six birdies. That round matched the lowest of the tournament. The 2017 Rolex Junior All-American followed that up with a 2-under-par 70 that featured five birdies on the front nine and was enough for a four-stroke lead entering the final round. Bhatia managed to hold onto a one-stroke victory despite a late push from Capan who finished the day at 1-under-par 71. Bhatia owns four AJGA victories, the most recent being the 2017 Davis Love III Junior Open. The sophomore is No. 7 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.

Natachanok Tunwannarux of Bangkok, Thailand, topped the Girls Division at the Junior Golf Tour of Asia's Phuket Junior Open for her first victory on the tour. The JGTA is comprised of a series of events across Asia for junior golfers dedicated to the pursuit of playing in AJGA tournaments and receiving college scholarships. The 13-year-old found herself four strokes off the lead after a first-round 3-over-par 74. Tunwannarux would bounce back however, carding consecutive under-par rounds with a second-round 1-under-par 70 and a final-round 2-under-par 69 for a three-stroke victory. She was the only junior in the Girl’s Division to post consecutive under-par rounds. Tunwannarux finished the tournament at even-par 213.


Bhitchayoot Sima-Aree of Nonthburi, Thailand, claimed the Boys Division title at the JGTA Phuket Junior Open in a playoff over YuYu Chen of Taoyuan, Taiwan. Sima-Aree carded a first-round 4-over-par 75 that left him six strokes off the lead. The 17-year-old bounced back with a 5-under-par 66 that was the lowest of the tournament and enough to provide a one-stroke lead heading into the final round. Sima-Aree’s final-round 1-over-par 72 wasn’t enough to hold off Chen, who forced the first sudden-death playoff in JGTA history with his even-par 71. Even so, Sima-Aree would emerge as the victor with a par on the second playoff hole. Sima-Aree finished T20 at the 2017 Folds of Honor Junior Championship hosted by Bob Estes.


Annabelle Pancake of Zionsville, Indiana, outlasted MacKenzie Neal of Richmond, Kentucky, in a five-hole sudden-death playoff for the Girls Division title at the Golfweek Junior Tour at Miami University. Pancake posted the lowest round of the tournament with her first-round 2-under-par 70. Pancake managed two birdies in the final round but left the door open for Neal with a 3-over-par 75. Neal took advantage, erasing a two-stroke deficit with a final-round 1-over-par 73 and forcing a playoff. Both players parred the first four holes, but it was Pancake who emerged victorious with a par to Neal’s bogey on the fifth hole of the playoff. Pancake finished fifth at the 2017 AJGA Junior at The Legends presented by Mid America Chevy Dealers.