GRANITEVILLE, S.C. — Marcus Kinhult, an 18-year old from Sweden, became the first international winner in the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley's five-year history, claiming a one-stroke victory on Saturday over Davis Shore of Knoxville, Tenn.
Heavy rains saturated the golf course overnight and into the morning, but conditions improved for the tournament's final round as Kinhult posted 69 to overtake 36-hole leader Viraj Madappa of India. Madappa, who bogeyed his first two holes en route to a 78, tied for fourth place.
Kinhult, who decided last summer to skip college golf and likely turn professional sometime in 2016, had a superb start to his round, making four birdies in his first 11 holes. Riley, a high-school sophomore, kept pace with Kinhult thanks to a four-under 32 on the front nine, but went one-over his last seven holes to finish in the runner-up position.
“It could be the (biggest) one of my whole career,” Kinhult told the Augusta Chronicle about the win. “I think it means more.”
Kinhult said he appreciated the rain and cold conditions because his native country of Sweden experiences similar weather. His 54-hole total of 209 showed that clearly.
Chandler Phillips, a high-school senior from Huntsville, Texas who has committed to Texas A&M, finished in third place with rounds of 70-70-72. Kinhult, Shore, and Phillips were the only players under par through the conclusion of the tournament.
The Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, in just five years, has became one of the most elite junior championships in the nation, with past winners including 2014 U.S. Junior Amateur champion Scottie Scheffler and University of Georgia senior Nick Reach.
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