Mathias Schjoelberg of Norway was victorious at the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship, held Dec. 27 – 30, 2008 at Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables, Fla. Schjoelberg won by one stroke over Stiggy Hodgson of England. Matteo Manassero of Italy, Pedro Figueiredo of Quinta do Conde, Portugal, Romain Wattel of France, Emiliano Grillo of Resistencia, Argentina, Jorge Fernandez Valdes of Cordoba, Argentina, Rafael Becker of Brazil, Stephan Wolters of Germany, Joachim Hansen of Denmark, Oliver Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Ga., and Jake Shepherd of England all finished in the top 10.
2008 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Victoria Tanco of Bradenton, Fla., won on the girls’ side of the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship. Tanco won in a five-hole playoff over Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla. Yu-Ri Kim of Korea, Kristina Wong of Bradenton, Fla., Stephanie Kim of Orlando, Fla., Jessica Korda of Bradenton, Fla., Emilie Alonso of France, Victoria Kiser of Orlando, Fla., Alexandra Stewart of Peoria, Ariz., and Diana Fernandez of Paraguay all rounded out the top 10.
Kristen Park of Buena Park, Calif., took top honors at the Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship, held at Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz., Dec 28 – 30, 2008. Katrina Hegge of Seattle, finished one stroke behind in second. Jane Chin of Huntington Beach, Calif., Lee Lopez of Whittier, Calif., Kimberly Kim of Pahoa, Hawaii, Cheyenne Woods of Phoenix, and Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., rounded out the top five.
Six of the 14 first-time participants in the current Masters field are AJGA alumni, Ryuji Imada, Anthony Kim, Drew Kittleson, Danny Lee, John Merrick, and Jack Newman are all scheduled to compete at Augusta National Golf Club, April 9 – 12.
Kim won two events in 2008 and was a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Lee won the 2008 U.S. Amateur Championship over Kittleson, 5 and 4, while Newman is the defending U.S. Amateur Public Links Champion.
*Current AJGA members and alumni denoted in bold