Phillips, Thompson win DJ; MI’s Knaffle takes second

golf-djwinnersTrent Phillips and Skylar Thompson each led wire-to-wire en route to winning the second annual Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship at TPC Myrtle Beach.

Phillips entered the final round with a one-stroke lead and left little doubt about who the best player in the boys field was this weekend, besting second place finisher Teddy Tetak by six strokes. Phillips birdied the par 4, second hole and was never seriously challenged.

After playing the front nine in even par, he birdied the 11th, 12th and 14th holes, making the event’s final holes a coronation for the University of Georgia verbal commitment. Phillips shot a one-under 71 Sunday and finished the event at 5-under.

Thompson, a South Carolina commitment, never relinquished her third round lead as her two closest competitors heading into the final round – Canada’s Emily Zhu and Natalie Petersen of Holly Springs, N.C. – struggled. Thompson earned an 8-shot win over Smith Knaffle, the Murrells Inlet resident whose round of 4-over 76 was the second best of the day on the girls side.

Thompson shot 77 in the final round but closed with flourish, playing the back nine in one-under par to insure a comfortable margin of victory.

The event’s 104-player field, which included boys and girls divisions, was comprised of the game’s next generation of stars. Players from 19 states and five countries are participating in the 54-hole tournament.

Newly minted World No. 1 Dustin Johnson was on hand to welcome players to his event and the hit Golf Channel show Morning Drive is broadcast live from the tournament all weekend. Charlie Rymer and Chantel McCabe anchored the network’s coverage.

Eight of the top 10 junior boys and 11 of the top 12 junior girls in South Carolina played in the tournament. Twenty participants have signed National Letters of Intent to play collegiate golf this fall.

Photo courtesy of MB Golf Holiday

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