FCWT Junior Golf Tournament at Innisbrook: Final Recap


Vicente Benitez won the FCWT junior golf tournament at Innisbrook in the boys 13-15 division

Vicente Benitez , winner of boys 13-15 division in playoff

On Saturday, October 29, 2011, Round One of the FCWT junior golf tournament at Innisbrook Resort, the Highlands North Course, got underway after a 30 minute weather delay.  By the afternoon, things had cleared to a beautiful day.  As the scores were posted for Round One, there was a three-way tie in the Boys 13-15 divsion.  Vicente Benitez of Mexico (2015), Julian Rippert of Munich, GERMANY (2015) and Salvador Rocha of Mexico City, MEXICO (2015) had all opened with a round of 73 (+1).  By the end of 36 holes, two remained tied for the lead:  Benitez and Rippert, each having shot a 74 on Sunday.  A playoff ensued.  Benitez won the playoff with a birdie on the 14th hole.  Fourteen year old Julian Rippert, who was playing in his first FCWT tournament, led the 13-15 division in birdies with 7 for the tournament.  Finishing in a tie for 3rd were:  Evaristo Rubio of MEXICO (2015) and Camilo Mexsen of MEXICO (2016), who led this division in pars for the tournament with 25.  Salvador Rocha finished in 5th place.  Tiger Lee of CHINA finished in 6th place at 151 and Luis Garza of Mexico (2016) and Ryoto Furuya of GUAM (2016) finished tied for 7th, 5 strokes off the pace.

FCWT junior golf tournament winner Karen Arimoto

Karen Arimoto, Girls division winner

The second round of the FCWT junior golf tournament at Innisbrook, started a bit cool for Florida at 53, but quickly became warm and windy with an ending time temperature of 82.  In the Girls division, Karen Arimoto of JAPAN (2015) who began the day in 2nd place, one stroke back of the lead, carded a final round of 74 to capture the title. Miss Arimoto had already earned a 6th place finish at the FCWT junior golf tournament at TPC Tampa in October.  Her 21 pars for the weekend along with a handful of birdies was enough to hold off a charge from Mai Dechathipat of THAILAND (2015)Fourteen-year-old Mai, who earned Low Round honors on Sunday for her 71, led the girls division in birdies with 8 and earned her top finish so far this season with 2nd place, having previously finished T8 at Tampa.  Yingzhou Yun of CHINA (2012), a student at the Gary Gilchrist Academy with Miss Arimoto and Miss Dechathipat, earned third place this weekend with consecutive rounds of 77.  Seventeen-year-old Yingzhou is in her third season of play on the FCWT junior golf tour.  Meng Xuan Gai earned the only eagle in the girls division during Sunday’s round on the par 4, 18th hole.  Congratulation, Meng!  Overnight leader Kari Bellville of Granger, IN (2014) and Caroline Quamme of McLean, VA (2013) finished tied for 4th at 155, five strokes back of the winner, Miss Arimoto.

Jose Hernandez of Santo Domingo, DR (2013) , another student at the Gary Gilchrist Academy, began the final round of the FCWT junior golf tournament at Innisbrook in 5th place after an opening round of 72.  Jose knew the competition was tough as 11 players started the final round within five strokes of the leader.  On Sunday, Jose fired the Low Round for the 16-18 division, a two under par 69 that included only one bogey.  Not only did that score earn him Low Round honors, it also allowed him to capture the title in his first FCWT junior golf tournament with a total of 141.  Statistically speaking what gave Jose this win was his consistent play.  He led the field in most pars or better as well as best par 4 performance.  Overnight leader Takashi Murayama of Okinawa, JAPAN (2013), who opened with a 69 on Saturday, held onto 2nd place with a final round of 143.  Sixteen year old Luis Enriquez of MEXICO (2014), who was named one of two Boys 13-15 division Players of the Year last season on the FCWT junior golf tour, finished in 3rd place.  Luis led the field in par 3 and par 5 performance and was one of three players to card an eagle in the Boys 16-18 division.  The other two were Murayama and Hon Lam Ng of Hong Kong (2013).  Keith Burkard of Ramsey, NJ (2013) had the second best round of the day with a 1 under par 70 that allowed him to finish tied for 4th with Tamas Herr of Hungary (2012) and Enrique Jaramillo of Colombia.