Ben Wong wins Junior Players Championship in playoff

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Ben Wong wins Junior Players Championship in playoff

Junior

Ben Wong wins Junior Players Championship in playoff

Final scores

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Ben Wong needed some extra time to do it, but he ended up on top at the Junior Players Championship.

Wong fired a 2-under 70 Sunday at TPC Sawgrass’ Players Stadium Course to come from four behind to reach a playoff. In the extra-holes session – a three-hole aggregate involving Nos. 16-18 – Wong parred all three to defeat Logan McAllister and Jake Beber-Frankel.

This is the first AJGA win for Wong, a 2018 SMU commit, and it comes in a week where he wasn’t even sure that he’d tee it up.

Wong, of the Woodlands, Texas, was one of those who wasn’t sure if he would compete in the Junior Players due to the devastation back home unleashed by Hurricane Harvey.

Ultimately, the Houston-area kid decided going to the event was best – especially with the AJGA pledging to donate $10-per-birdie at the Junior Players and TaylorMade-adidas Golf doing the same.

“It’s been such a hectic week with Hurricane Harvey and I was debating if I was going to come to the tournament,” Wong said. “Monday morning I said I needed to go because I wanted to play TPC Sawgrass and in Junior Players. The AJGA and TaylorMade-adidas Golf giving $10 for every birdie or eagle means the world to me. I think it means a lot to people in Houston, especially the players in the field from Houston. It was motivating and inspired me to keep going and never give up.”

It showed Sunday.

Wong began the day four behind McAllister, a 2018 Oklahoma commit, and didn’t help his cause when he bogeyed No. 2 and doubled the fourth. Now 3 over for the round and seemingly out of it, Wong birdied six of his last 11 holes (mixing in just a single bogey) to give himself a chance.

He jarred a 15-footer for birdie at the last to get into the playoff. McAllister, who posted a tournament-record 63 on Saturday, faltered to a final-round 74. Beber-Frankel, a 2020 prospect from Miami, came from seven back to get into the playoff thanks to a closing 67.

Wong and McAllister were deadlocked after the first two playoff holes, but McAllister made a double at the third extra hole to see his chances fade.

Travis Vick and Joe Highsmith finished in a tie for fourth at 3 under. Karl Vilips closed in 69 to boost himself to T-8 at 1 under. Cole Hammer dropped to a tie for 42nd at 9 over after a final-round 79.

With the $10-per-birdie pledge from two places, a good deal was raised in three days. Players combined for 686 birdies and eagles over the 54 holes, meaning $13,720 will be donated to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief.

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