Exciting finishes at Junior Orange Bowl in Florida
Germany's Max Rottluff outlasted American Curtis Thompson on the first hole of a playoff to win the 47th Junior Orange Bowl International boys title, while Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn cruised to a 4-shot girls victory over Slovenia's Ursa Orehek at the Biltmore Country Club in Coral Gables, Fla.
Jutanugarn proved why she is atop Golfweek's rankings, finishing with a solid and methodical even-par round of 70.
“It was a good round, and I’m very pleased with the way I played,” said Jutanugarn, a 15-year-old from Bangkok. “I wanted to do this for my country, for Asia, but even more important, for me. Last year, I had a chance to win and did not take it. I’ve been thinking about winning this event a lot during the year, and I’m so happy I was able to fulfill my wish.”
The boys championship was a tighter affair.
Rottluff led for most of the day, but a series of missed birdie opportunities put Thompson back in contention. The American, playing in his hometown, failed to take advantage, also missing birdie chances. Thompson did make a long par save on No. 17 to send the tournament into a playoff.
In the playoff, Thompson three-putted the first extra hole, giving the 17-year-old Rottluff the title.
“I’m very happy,” said Rottluff, the Orange Bowl's first German champion. “I’ve lost two playoffs this year, so to win this one is very sweet. I had a lot of chances and I treated each as if it might be the winning putt, but none dropped. Still, it all worked out, and it has been a great week. I have one more year’s eligibility, so I’m hoping I’ll be back to defend the title.”
Argentina’s Jorge Fernandez Valdes shot a tournament-best 65 on the final day to tie for sixth.
280 – Max Rottluff, Germany; Curtis Thompson, Coral Springs, Fla. Rottluff won with par at 1st extra hole
283 – Julien Brun, France
286 - Gudmundur Kristjansson, Iceland; Emanuele Sesia, Italy
287 – Adam Strom, Sweden; Jorge Fernandez Valdes, Argentina; Pierre Tilement, France; Gary Stal, France
286 - Ariya Jutanugarn, Thailand
290 – Ursa Orehek, Slovenia
291- Celine Boutier, France
292 - Nicole Morales, South Salem, N.Y.
296 – Su-Yeon Kim, South Korea, Margaux Vanmol, Belgium