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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 18, 2008)--The boys 15-17 year-old division of the Callaway Junior World Golf Championship was a dramatic affair, with the lead bouncing between Canada's Eugene Wong and Australian Daniel Nisbet. The tension built until the 18th hole, the scene of quite a few memorable moments a month ago at the U.S. Open, when Wong sunk a 10-foot putt to make birdie and take a one-stroke victory over the Aussie.
The birdie finished off a two-shot swing on the final hole, and gave the University of Oregon-bound Wong a long-awaited victory in a tournament he has participated in since he was 10. His final score was 4-under-284 over four rounds at Torrey Pines South Course.
"He made his bogey putt so that means I have to make my birdie putt to win or we're in a playoff," said Wong of the last hole dramatics. "So I just rolled it right in the hole to win. My heart was pounding right in my chest, I was trying to just get that putt in. It happened and I did the Tiger fist pump cause I was so into it."
Wong had to shake off a tough stretch of holes coming off the turn when Nisbet made birdie to cut his lead to one stroke, then chipped in from the bunker on the next hole to draw even. That shot seemed to rattle Wong a bit, as he put his approach shot on the next hole in a boggy area next to the green, chipped into the the slope before the green and eventually made double bogey. In the span of three holes, he went from two strokes up to two strokes down.
After both players rattled off a string of pars, Wong hit a brilliant approach shot on the 17th hole, sticking a 180-yarder to within three feet. He made the easy birdie, which seemed to put Nisbet on tilt.
Both golfers were errant with their tee shots on 18, Wong going into a fairway bunker and Nesbit into the trees. Wong was able to lay up to 80 yards on the par-5, but Nisbet never got fully out of trouble, and his third shot found the water.
Wong chipped to within 10 feet, as did Nisbet after taking a drop. Nisbet drained his downhill bogey putt, putting the pressure on Wong, who deftly rolled it home.
The only American in the final grouping, Chris Williams of Idaho, finished third at 3-over 291.
In the girls 15-17 division, Thailand's Patcharajutar Kongkraphan bogeyed the final three holes, but had built up plenty of leeway and took a three-stroke victory at 4-under 284.
Local golfer Danielle Frasier of Encinitas, who only had to travel about half an hour for her rounds at Carlton Oaks, finished second at 1-under 287. Laura Camila Blanco of Columbia and Miho Mori of Japan tied for third at 291.
View results for IMG Junior World Golf Championships
ABOUT THE IMG Junior World
Age Divisions: 15-17, 13-14, 11-12, 9-10, 7-8,
6-under. 72 hole stroke play event for 15-17
division, 54 holes for other divisions. Qualifying
required for 15-17, other divisions. Played at
multiple courses in the San Diego area. Online
application process begins approx. Feb 1.
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