Jeffrey Guan has added to his ever-growing resume with a wire-to-wire win in the American Junior Golf Association Junior Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Florida.
At the same venue where world number two Cameron Smith blitzed the field to win this year’s Players Championship, Guan, from the Australian Golf Club, carded rounds of 67, 69, and 64 to win by four shots from North Carolina’s Jackson Koivin.
The three-round total of 16 under also shattered the previous tournament record by an incredible six shots.
“It’s really special,” Guan told the online paper Jacksonville.com after a nine-birdie, one-bogey round in which seven of his birdies came during a nine-hole stretch.
“This is a PGA Tour course, and I’m pretty proud of myself. I loved it. I wanted to win and I played well.”
“The course was sensational=, and set up exactly how they had it during the p[layers Championship.
“Winning here feel’s pretty special.”
The victory caps off a remarkable run for the 18-year-old Bexley sensation after his quarter-final result in the US Junior Amateur at Bandon Dunes in August and his 4th place finish in the historic Trans-Miss Championship at Denver Country Club in July.
Asked about the influence of Smith’s Players win as he tracked his way through the final round, Guan admitted it was very much on his mind.
“It definitely did.”
“Smith is a class player and will no doubt attract plenty of people to the game.”
Earlier, Guan began the final round tied for the lead with Koivun but, by the seventh, had edged out to a one-shot lead. He pulled away with four birdies in a row from the 8th in a sublime display of stroke-making, all with putts of 10 feet or less.
A par on 12 followed, but with storms rolling through, Guan and his group had to wait over an hour to finish.
The break proved fruitful, and Guan promptly birdied his next two after the break to establish what was eventually the tournament-winning lead. His only bogey of the day, on the Par-four 15th, might have given his opponents a sniff, but Guan bounced back with a bride on the next to re-establish his big lead.
Guan’s Junior Players win is the second in the United States this year after picking up the Adam Scott invitational in California back in February and augurs well for his debut in this month’s Junior Presidents Cup at the Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.