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August 17, 2010 > San Jose-native double-eagles to world championship

San Jose-native double-eagles to world championship

By Gary van den Heuvel

The Bay Area was well-represented at the 11th Annual U.S. Kids Golf World Championships, held at Pinehurst, N.C., over the weekend of Aug. 6-8. But none of the youth golfers repped the region quite as strongly as 11-year-old San Jose native Eddy Lai.

Lai won the Boys 11 crown, besting 150 other competitors with a three-day score of 205 (with rounds of 68-67-70).

Lai cemented his win with a double-eagle on the 431-yard, par 5, 16th hole at Legacy Golf Links. Tournament directors had to dig through their records before confirming that Lai's albatross (golf jargon for a double-eagle, which is shooting three-under par for one hole, meaning that Lai completed the par-5 hole in two shots) was the first in World Championship history.

Eddy needed the albatross to win his first World Championship title as he edged out 2009 winner Issei Tanabe from Huntington Beach, who shot a tournament total 207.

Based on the showings of many of the local competitors, the youth golf scene in the Bay Area looks very promising indeed. Palo Alto's Emily Hwang finished fifth in the girls 10-year-old competition with a three-round score of 226. In the same tournament, Simar Singh (Los Altos) finished 11th with a score of 233; San Jose's Quynn Dong finished 12th with a 234. Grace Chen (Girls 9 Tourney) finished seven strokes off the lead in fifth place. Ty Akabane (Danville) finished 22nd in the same event.

In the Boys 12 Championships, San Francisco's Justin Goh finished 16th with a score of 220. In the Boys 11, San Jose's Kengo Aomisha (221, 19th place) and Karim Richari (224, 26th) performed strongly. Fremont's Noah Woolsey shot 224.

Other notable showings included Aishvarya Bedi (San Jose, Girls 7 and Under), with a three-round score of 124, good for a three-way tie for eighth place; Fremont's Vivek Vasireddy (Boys 9) who finished 14th (226); and Priya Bakshi from Palo Alto (Girls 7 and Under), who finished 24th.




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