The 10th Annual FCG NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP started off its two week tournament play last week. Over 300 players signed up for the event, making it FCG’s most successful National Championship ever! Players from all over the world flocked to Sycuan Golf and Tennis Resort where greens are lightning fast and fairways are quite hard to find. The girls 15-18 age division had over 50 players sign up for the event, the boys 13-14 age division had over 50 as well and the boys 9-10 age division had over 20 participants. FCG is proud to host this event we believe in creating tournaments that have a professional environment with the best junior golfers across the world in order to provide a platform for college coaches to find a perfect fit for their college teams.
The girls 15-18 year old division had more than 50 players sign up for the tournament. The National Championship provides players the opportunity to feel what a professional LPGA tournament is like with a two day cut and only 30 players advancing to the final round. The top 10 players would receive an invitation to play the prestigious FCG World Championship at Mission HIlls Resort in Palm Springs, CA. Mina Yoon of San Diego, CA had herself a week to remember, with scores of 69, 75 and 73 her (+1) par total for three days was good enough to claim the top spot by the minimum margin. Mina had Karah Sanford who placed second in the event on her heels the entire third day and the two were actually tied up for the championship with 7 holes to go. After they both birdied the par 4th 13th only five holes were left for one player to distance themselves from the other and on the par 4th 17th Mina Yoon dropped a birdie that would eventually win her the championship. Karah Sanford fought valiantly all day but could not convert a birdie try on the final hole in order to tie up the lead and have a chance at her FIFTH consecutive National Championship title. Euna Han of Coquitlam, British Columbia had plenty of birdies throughout her rounds but some costly bogeys and double bogeys on the back nine cost her some strokes and ended up in third place with a (+5) total for the three day Championship. Gabriela Ruffels of Melbourne, Australia and Brianna Navarrosa of San Diego, CA ended their three day championship with a (+6) total and a T-4 finish. Gabriela shot rounds of 73, 77 and 72 while Brianna shot rounds of 75, 72, and 75.
The boys 13-14 year old division had more than 50 players sign up for the event. A two day event that provides junior golfers the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of more than 15 college coaches looking to fill up their roster. The boys were ready to go in the freezing tempertatures of El Cajon, CA withstanding a weather delay on the first day of competition when frost showed up at the golf course. When play finally resumed an opening round 68 placed Ray Xiong in first place after the first day his round included six birdies, 2 on the front and four on the back nine. The second day of play saw Ray Xiong back off the throttle a bit and allowed the field the come back to him. Luke Potter of Encinitas, CA and Ian Maspat of San Diego, CA took advantage of the situation with Luke shooting rounds of 70 and 73 while Ian Maspat shot 73 and a blistering 70 to place themselves in tie for the championship. The two players lined up on the first tee for a playoff hole, Luke striped one down the middle while Ian hooked a drive into a free relief area. As Ian was taking his drop, Luke hit a magnificent low draw that landed 20 feet in front of the pin and rolled up to about 3 inches from the cup. Ian with his back against the wall and tree trouble hit a low punch that managed to land on the green and roll of the back, with Luke in tight he had to try to make the chip shot and very nearly did! Congratulations to Luke for amazing performance and the same for Ian for his valiant effort in the face of adversity. Eric Doyle of San Diego, CA had a great final day shooting five birdies in the process and ending the day up at (-2) which catapulted him into third place missing the playoff by only stroke. Caden Fioroni of La Jolla, CA had only five birdies for the Championship but rarely made a mistake and ended the championship with a two day total of (+2) with was good enough for a T-4. Ray Xiong had a magnificent first day but could not find the same rythym and tempo on the second day and struggled a bit coming home. Ray Xiong takes home a solid T-4 finish and a great learning experience in shooting the low round of the tournament at 68 strokes.
The boys 9-10 age division had over 20 boys sign up for the event all of them ready to take on a golf course that has proven to be a challenge for every golfer over the years. It is a great learning experience for these boys as pins were tough and greens were rolled lighting fast which makes positioning your ball on the green a major factor. William Ma of San Diego, CA played steady eddie golf throughout the two day tournament shooting rounds of 73 and 72 in order to blow away the field by 11 strokes and take home first place honors. Colin Li tried his very best to keep up with William but just could not find any consistency on the back nine and eventually wound up in second place with a two day total of 156 strokes. Michael Riebe of Encinitas, CA had a couple of birdies on the card for the two day tournament and ended up with a solid third place finish with a two day total of 160 strokes. Jojo Gutierrez of Whittier, CA had a rollercoaster ride of a final day and ended up the tournament with a two day total of 165 good enough to place him at 4th. Logan Kim of Los Angeles, CA had a rough first day but came storming back on day two improving his original score by six strokes and catapulting him into a fifth place finish.
Stay tuned folks for this weeks recap of the second week of competition at the FCG National Championship. The boys have over 180 players registered and should make for an exciting couple of days. It is always amazing to see the turnout for these events and we hope to provide junior golfers with a great experience that they will always remember. One more week to go before a brand new year of golf.