Howe, Hawkins take Big "I" titles in South Carolina
Emily Hawkins with her N.C. Junior Girls trophy (CGA photo)
Emily Hawkins with her N.C. Junior Girls trophy (CGA photo)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Aug. 9, 2018) – Connor Howe put the finishing touches on a wire-to-wire victory on Thursday at the Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship. Howe had a final-round 1-under 71 at Daniel Island Club for a 7-under total that left him three shots ahead of the field.

Howe, of Ogden, Utah, started the last leg of his victory with a birdie on the first hole. He turned at 2-under 34, but the back nine was a little shakier. There were bogeys at Nos. 11 and 13 before a birdie at No. 16.

Still, Howe was never really in danger of dropping from the top spot. Carter Pendley, of Dalton, Ga., was the next closest player, and he also had two bogeys and a birdie on the back nine, too.

Howe is about to enter his freshman year at Georgia Tech. He made it through local qualifying for the U.S. Open this summer, but not through sectionals. Howe is the player who shot a 62 to set a tournament record on his way to winning a Utah high school state title in 2015.

In the girls division, Emily Hawkins had a final-round 3-under 69 to secure her Big “I” victory. Hawkins was the only player to post a round under par on Thursday and was also the only player to finish the tournament under par.

Hawkins is just over a month removed from winning the North Carolina Girls Junior. The Lexington, N.C., native will play for Campbell University beginning this fall.

To win the North Carolina junior title, Hawkins had to get past Alexis Sudijanto, a Charlotte, N.C., golfer who happened to finish third at the Big “I” tournament. Sudijanto had the second-round lead, but dropped two spots on the leaderboard with closing rounds of 75-73.

Alice Hodge of Larchmont, N.Y., was second at even par.

ABOUT THE Big I National Championship

72-Hole Championship with a cut after 36 holes. Low 54 boys and 27 girls and all ties will make the cut.

Some 4,000 boys and girls attempt to qualify every year to participate in the 167 player field. The Trusted Choice Big "I" has qualifying opportunities in more than 44 states. If not exempt, you must attempt to qualify through your state of residence.

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