Julian Perico accepts congratulations after his Junior World victory
SAN DIEGO, California (July 14, 2017) -- Julian Perico of Peru has added another junior victory to his record this weekend in San Diego. The 2017 South American Junior Champion took home the title of Junior World Champion on Friday, shooting a tournament total of 8-under-par on the Torrey Pines South Course, besting California resident and recent SCGA Amateur champion, Sam Choi.
Perico posted a very impressive score of 4-under-par in his final round. Like Choi, Perico also started strong, posting 33 on the front nine, making birdies on Nos. 5, 6, and 9. He managed to scratch together a 1-under-par back nine, good enough for 8-under-par for the tournament, and a 1-shot advantage over Choi who finished in second place.
Choi entered the day tied with Devin Bling of Ridgecrest, Calif. for first place at 7-under- He played solidly on the front nine, going out with 2-under-par 34 on the heals of a fast start --making a 30-footer for birdie on No. 1 and draining another long one for birdie on No. 3.
Unfortunately for the Korean native (who resides in Irvine) a less than superb back nine would end his hopes of winning the tournament. It might have been a big ask for Choi to go 72-holes in 120 degree desert heat last week in winning the SCGA Amateur, only to follow with another 72-hole tournament in San Diego (at another brutal course) just days later. Even Tour players don't turn it around that fast.
The momentum really started to turn in Perico's direction on the 15th, when Choi three putted.
Perico took advantage of his opportunity on the 18th hole.
"I bombed one down the middle there," he said, noting that he took an extra club from 200-yards out to make sure he cleared the famous pond called Devlin's Billabong.
"I gave my chance a good look for eagle there," he continued. "And Sam had unfortunately found trouble in the sand."
The Peru native attended a golf academy in Florida and will head for University of South Florida this fall.
Japan’s Nao Ohbayashi of Japan made some fireworks in the girls 15-18 division, posting a 6-under-par 66 in her final effort. Her stellar play would be more than enough to overcome a three shot deficit entering the final round earning her the championship over third round leader Yuka Saso.
Saso, who was hoping to cap off a wire-to-wire victory at Torrey Pines wasn’t able to continue her torrid pace (with three straight rounds in the 60s), posting a round of 1-over 73 for a tournament total of 10-under-par. She would finish four shots short of Ohbayashi, who finished at 14-under-par for the tournament thanks to that final round effort.
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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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