Canberra’s Adam Thorp has pulled off a remarkable victory in the IMG Junior World Championships in San Diego, California.
Thorp, who will turn 18 on July 22nd, has finished with a final round 73 for a four-round total of four under par 284 to win the coveted prize by a shot from fast-finishing American, Chase Sienkiewicz.
The final round was a drama-charged affair. Thorp, who had said overnight his plan was to be patient on the first six hole then attack, was cruising when he reached the turn at six under the card. The pressure of the lead soon began to tell on the 17-year-old and a string of bogeys on the back nine saw his lead diminish to just one shot with only three holes left to play.
Another bogey on the 17th saw Thorp fall back into a share of the lead and all of a sudden the tournament was anyones. The Federal Golf Club representative saved his best for last though, and he finished it off in style with a stunning birdie from about 4 metres on the par 5 18th, his second birdie on the hole in as many days, to grab the Championship by a shot.
"It feels soo good!" an ecstatic Thorp said.
"I struggled with my swing all round, but I ground it out.
"To be able to make that up and down on the last and to win by one, it's an experience I'll never forget."
Thorp joins a list of champions who have won the world Junior that includes Tiger Woods (1991), David Toms (1984), Nick Price (1974). Current wonderkid on the US PGATour, Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, won back to back titles in 2015 and 2016. Thorp was almost speechless when he saw some of the names on the trophy.
"Tiger and Jason are by far my two biggest sporting idols, so for me to join them is just unreal," he beamed.
Four Australians have also lifted the championship, Ryan Ruffels ( 2014), Matthew Giles (2006), Jason Day (2004) and Andrew Buckle (2000,1999).
Next up for Canberra junior is a well erned break in Las Vegas, followed by The Boy's Amateur in Northern Ireland in August.
"I can't wait to test my game in Europe, especially if it gets windy.
"It's one step at a time, so hopefully I go well."
Following the Boy's Amateur it's study time for Thorp. He's hoping to head to College in the US, and a number of coaches already talking about his future.
"I'm not sure yet, I'll make a decision in a few weeks.
"I want to do something with Mathematics, maybe statistical analysis or something," he smiled.
Choi upbeat about second place finish
Doey Choi has turned in another impressive sub par round of 70 to finish in second place in the girls division of the IMG Junior World Championships at Torrey Pines early this morning ( AEST).
Choi finished the tournament with a four under par 284 total, four shots behind the winner, Tzu-Yi Wang of Taiwan.
The 18-year old was upbeat about her performance and looking forward to next week’s US Junior Girls at Poppy Hills.
“It was a long day I hung in there
“I played pretty good today, I holed a few putts.
“ I leave for Monterey tomorrow, and I;’m confident about next week,” Choi said.
Choi also combined with her NSW State team mate, Stephanie Kyriacou, to take out the Girls teams event by an impressive six shots.
“We are both pretty honoured to represent our country and to come home with a win,” she smiled.
DAY THREE: Thorp one back at IMG Jnr
Canberra’s Adam Thorp is just a shot back after the third round in the Boys division of the IMG Academy Junior World Championships at Torrey Pines Golf Resort in California.
The 17-year-old who is in his final year of high school carded a third round 70 and finished his day with back-to-back birdies. He would have been holding a share of the lead, however, had his eagle putt on the last dropped.
“I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t take advantage of the finishing holes yesterday, so it was a good feeling to get it done today.
“I had 198 metres out of the bunker on the 18th today. I was reasonably close to the lip to a front left pin with water front left. I decided to attack it, and I hit the green which helped.”
“My eagle putt stopped just short in the heart; still It was nice to finish strong,” Thorp said.
Thorp said he would take the same approach to the course for tomorrow’s final round that he has been using all week. His plan is to be patient over the first six or so holes and then attack.
“I’ve been letting the birdies come the last two days, and It’s been frustrating with the putter. Just letting the birdies come has been the key.
“Hopefully, I can get to the sixth hole at even or better tomorrow and then start attacking as there are lots of good birdie opportunities after that.
“I’m pretty keen to take it as deep as I can tomorrow,” he said.
DAY THREE: Choi gains on the leaders
Doey Choi has moved into third place at the IMG Academy Junior World Championships at Torrey Pines Golf Course.
The ever consistent 18-year old carded a bogey-free two under par 70 today. She made a nice birdie on the first, then proceeded to rattle off 15 straight pars before grabbing her second birdie of the day on the par four 16th.
“It must be one of my longest par streaks ever.
“I reckon my coach Dean (Kinney) got bored after watching me have nine straight, so he left,” Choi grinned after the round.
Choi was upbeat about her performance today, saying the key to her form was remaining focused on the tough ball strikers course.
“I’m feeling great, I probably haven’t been putting well, but I'm staying patient.
“The conditions here at Torrey Pines are tough,” she added.
Despite the move into third place, Choi remains four shots behind the new leader, Taiwan’s Tzu-Yi Chang, who carded a tidy four under par 68 to finish the third round at six under par.
Choi said she would take the same approach into the final round she has had over the last few days.
“I’m pretty much going to try and do the same things. Hopefully, a few putts will drop in,“ she smiled.
DAY TWO: Choi, Thorp still in mix at Torrey Pines
Doey Choi and Adam Thorp are still flying the flag at the IMG Academy Junior World Championships under way at Torrey Pines in California.
Choi has moved up from 10th to a tie for 6th position after another even-par round on day two.
The consistent 18-year-old from Concord Golf Club managed two birdies and two bogeys in her round today and sits just five shots from the lead, held by Japan’s Kano Nakamura.
Of the other girls, Stephanie Kyriacou could only manage a 76 in her second round and now sits in a tie for 38th. Amy Chu added a 77 to her first round 74 and sits a shot behind Kyriacou in 45th place.
South Australian Jin Young Yun added a disappointing 81 to her first round 73 to finish at 10 over and a long way back in 65th place.
In the boys' division, Federal Golf Club’s Adam Thorp couldn’t replicate his spectacular opening round 68, only managing a one over par 73 to drop into a tie for 3rd place, two shots form the lead at three under par.
Thorp's round was a mixed bag, a double-bogey six on the fourth hole was quickly erased with three birdies in the next five holes fort he Federal Golf Club member to turn one under par for the round.
Three bogeys on the back nine, however, saw him drop down the leaderboard. He now sits two shots behind the leader, American Nathan Petronzio.
Thorp leads at Torrey Pines
Canberra’s Adam Thorp has a share of the lead alongside American Ben Lorenz in the boys division of the IMG Junior World Championships being played at Torrey Pines just outside of San Diego.
Thorp, from the Federal Golf Club, carded a sensational four under par 68 on the renowned South Course at the Torrey Pines complex.
He started his round slowly, with a bogey on the par-three third. He birdied the 8th, 9th and 10th to put himself into red figures before adding two more birdies on the 13th and 15th.
A bogey on the 16th didn’t slow his momentum by much as he quickly recovered with a birdie on the 17th. A simple par on the last was all the 17-year-old needed to complete his four under par round.
Of the other Aussies in the field, Jack Buchanan carded a 77, Tyler Duncan a 79, while Jack Tanner shot an 83.
Girls start well in San Diego
Doey Choi is the best of the Aussie girls after round one of the IMG Academy Junior World Championships being played at Torrey Pines in California.
Choi carded an even par round of 72, to sit in a tie for 10th position, four shots behind American Therese Warner, who leads after four under.
South Australian Jin Young Yun is tied for 17th at one over, while the NSW duo of Stephanie Kyriacou and Washington State University bound Amy Chu carded matching two over par rounds of 74.
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