The 30th annual Scott Robertson Memorial junior golf tournament crowned winners Sunday afternoon in four divisions in the 54-hole event at Roanoke Country Club.
Carl Yuan, a 16-year-old who moved from China to The United States two years ago to improve his golf game, fired a final-round, 3-under-par 68 to overtake the field and win by three strokes over runnerup Peter Kim in the boys 15-18 division.
Yuan made his move on the front nine Sunday, and when his approach shot to the par-4 eighteenth landed safely on the green, 30 feet to the left of the cup, it was only a formality to nurse in the two-putt for the win.
Yuan produced impressive rounds of 72-66-68 over the cloudy and drizzle-filled weekend.
“I liked playing this course and I liked the rain,” a smiling Yuan said outside the scorers tent after his win. “This is a really big tournament and I’ve worked hard to get here. I think my putting was the key to me winning.”
Locally, former Cave Spring High School star Nick Brediger was tops among area players, firing rounds of 73-70-71 to finish tied for sixth, 8 shots back.
In the girls prestigious 15-18 division, Gabriella Then made it a walk in the park Sunday. Her final round 71 followed rounds of 66 and 68 for a 3-day total of 205, good for a 6-stroke winning margin.
Then had things on cruise control Sunday when she went to the 13th tee at 10-under and eight strokes clear of her nearest challenger.
“I’m really excited, ” Then noted after the win. “I was just playing my game and not paying any attention to anyone else’s score.”
Then had flown to Roanoke after winning a women’s U.S. Open qualifier last Wednesday in California. She made herself right at home on the tight Roanoke Country Club course as well
“It was a big change for sure. The course in California was pretty wide open; here it is tight on every hole. Same for the greens- going from bent to the Bermuda here. I just made some course management adjustments and I felt good with my swing all weekend.
In the boys 14-under, Jon Pack fired a final-round 66 to win by five shots, while Lauren Kim took the girls 14-under by a six-shot margin.
– Bill Turner