13 October 2013

2013 U.S. Kids Golf World Championships

Japanese players Yano and Takagi prevail among world’s best in Pinehurst, N.C.

The ancestral home of championship golf in the U.S. since 1898 and the site of more championships than any other golf course in the country, Pinehurst Resort is set to welcome "the" U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open and the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships in 2014!

This year I had the privilege of accompanying team Japan to the World Championships in North Carolina. It was by far the best experience I have ever had at a golf tournament and was a class act from beginning to end! All the participants and their families experienced famous southern hospitality, elegant accommodations, spa facilities, family recreational activities, and of course one or more of their eight pristine world-class golf courses.

The U.S. Kids Golf World Championship is the largest and most prestigious event in the world for players 12 and under. This three-day tournament is held in the home of golf in the U.S. amongst tall southern pines and famed Donald Ross designed masterpieces. The event attracts over 1,400 participants from across the United States and more than 40 countries worldwide. Players, ages 6 to 12, qualify for the World Championship through World Championship Qualifiers, Local Tours, European, Asian and Regional Championships, along with performance in previous World Championships.


Jinki Yano (Aichi, Japan) and Leon Takagi (Tokyo, Japan) became World Champions by winning their age divisions at the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Yano carded an 11-under-par total in the 27-hole tournament for Boys 6 & Under, while Takagi won Girls 9 with a 6-under-par total. The 14th-annual U.S. Kids Golf World Championship was played Aug. 1-3 in Pinehurst, N.C. Nine of the best courses in Pinehurst hosted nearly 1,300 players, ages 5-12, from 46 states and more than 40 countries. World Champions were crowned in 13 age divisions for boys and girls.

Over the course of three rounds, Yano carded 10 birdies and one eagle against just one bogey. In the second round, he recorded the best round of the week, a bogey-free 5-under-par 31, and took a two-stroke lead heading into the final day. A final-round 34 gave him an 11-under-par total (32-31-34 – 97) and a two-stroke victory over Max Thomas (Modesto, California).

After two rounds in Girls 9, Takagi was 3-under-par and trailed Annyka Chanel Cayabyab (Philippines) by one stroke. Four birdies in a final-round 33 helped Takagi claim the World Championship, as her 6-under-par total (34-35-33 – 102) was one stroke better than Cayabyab and Sky Sudberry (Spring, Texas).

2013 U.S. Kids Golf World Champions Results

World Champion (home state/country)…Division (Course)
Alexander Pak (California)…Boys 12 (Pinehurst No. 8)
Michael Thorbjornsen (Massachusetts)…Boys 11 (Talamore)
Benjamin James (Connecticut)…Boys 10 (Little River)
Jed Dy (Philippines)…Boys 9 (Pinehurst No. 1)
Allan Kournikova (Florida)…Boys 8 (Pine Needles)
Daniel Zou (Texas)…Boys 7 (Pine Needles)
Jinki Yano (Japan)…Boys 6 & Under (Midland)
Brooke Seay (California)…Girls 12 (Pinehurst No. 3)
Karah Sanford (California)…Girls 11 (Southern Pines)
Elle Nachmann (Florida)…Girls 10 (Longleaf)
Leon Takagi (Japan)…Girls 9 (Longleaf)
Alexa Pano (Florida)…Girls 8 (Pine Needles)
Sofia Temelo (Mexico)…Girls 7 & Under (Midland)

This tournament is so big in the world junior golf scene that even Hollywood has taken note by creating the short feature film THE SHORT GAME that follows the lives of eight of the best 7-year old golfers in the world as they train for and compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf. Check out the trailer here!

About U.S. Kids Golf
U.S. Kids Golf, LLC is based in Atlanta and manufactures equipment and related golf products designed for kids. It was created in 1997 when Founder/CEO Dan Van Horn found that his children were losing their interest in golf due to not having the proper equipment. In addition to more than 4,000 golf shops and retail locations in the United States, the company's products also are available in over 75 countries worldwide.

The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, a Georgia non-profit recognized as a 501(c)(3) charity, was created in 2001 and provides services that include competition and instruction. The Foundation organizes more than 750 golf tournaments for kids each year with over 10,000 individual players ages 5-18. These tournaments include Local Tours in more than 50 cities, 10 Qualifiers across the nation, seven Regional Championships, a European and Malaysia Championships and the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship and Teen World Championship, which are held each year in Pinehurst, N.C.

The vision of the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation is to provide kids and their families the opportunity participate in the game of golf through instruction and competition. They believe that family interaction is critical in the development of young golfers and encourage parents to serve as caddies for their kids during tournaments and to develop positive coaching techniques.

Connect with U.S. Kids Golf USA
Contact: Chris Richards,
crichards@uskidsgolf.com, 770-441-3077, ext. 642

Website: www.uskidsgolf.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/USKidsGolf
Twitter: www.twitter.com/USKidsGolfFDN
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/USKidsGolfFDN
Blog: www.uskidsgolf.wordpress.com

To connect with U.S. Kids Golf Japan or for more information about qualifying for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship here in Japan and other local tour events, please contact:

Craig Craven
U.S. Kids Golf Japan
e-mail: craig@uskgj.com
Tel: +81-072-981-4010
Fax: +81-072-987-8962
Website: www.uskgj.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/uskgj

Bennett Galloway, 13 October 2013    

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  • About Bennett
    Bennett is a long time resident of Japan and the Director of Golf for Gotemba Golf Club and Belle View Nagao G.C., in Shizuoka near Mt. Fuji. Member of the Golf Writers Association of America and a teaching professional, providing lessons for all ages and abilities, in English or Japanese. He also specializes in in-bound golf tours to Japan with Golf Shizuoka and Golf Hakone.

    Contact Bennett »