WESTFIELD TWP. â€” Turns out, there was an international field at the Westfield Junior PGA Championship after all â€” at least where Andrew Yunâ€™s clubs are concerned.
Yunâ€™s clubs were lost in Delta Airlines transit on May 29 before he competed in the Rolex Tournament of Champions. What Yun was worried about was his ever-important Odyssey Tri-ball No. 3 putter, a defunct model the 16-year-old has used for seven years.
The tools of Yunâ€™s trade eventually surfaced in Paris and his mother, Gloria, and sister, Christy, drove to Columbus to pick them up, only to find they had been shipped to Cleveland.
In the end, the clubs ended up going from Paris to Phoenix to Columbus to Cleveland.
â€œItâ€™s just been real stressful,â€ said Christy Yun, who participated in the 2003 Westfield Junior PGA. â€œ(Delta) never contacted us. We never got an update and after five days they consider (the clubs) lost. When we did get to them, there was nothing we could do.â€
Westfield Group Country Club general manager Autumn Keller took Yunâ€™s father, Paul, to the airport and the clubs were finally reacquired at 9 p.m. Friday. Andrew teed off at 8:20 a.m. Saturday and finished his final round with a 4-over 75, his worst of the tournament.
â€œI feel really grateful,â€ Andrew Yun said. â€œBut Delta didnâ€™t treat us too well. I guess you can call it a blessing in disguise.â€
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REPEAT REPEALED: Joe Monte and Brittany Altomare found themselves at the podium on the 18th green as champions of the Westfield Junior PGA Championship last year, but couldnâ€™t find the magic in 2007. Monte, who entered the day at even-par, struggled with a 6-over 77. The Georgia Southern recruit dug a rut early and played the front nine 6-over. The 18-year-old wrapped up his final junior event in a tie for 19th place at 6-over. â€œMy game has changed a lot,â€ the Chantilly, Va. resident said. â€œMy game no longer fits the scores here. It was a grind the first couple days and it was tough to do what Iâ€™ve done in past years.â€ Altomare ran away with the girls title last year, but had problems around the green and limped to a 21st-place finish at 16-over. â€œI thought I hit the ball great,â€ said Altomare, who checked in Saturday with a 3-over 74. â€œThe only difference was last year I made putts and this year I didnâ€™t.â€
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COLT PRIDE: Westfield Center resident Parker Hewit finished up his final Junior PGA Championship in his hometown with a 1-under 70. With â€œParkerâ€™s Peopleâ€ following him every step of the 6,602-yard course, the Cloverleaf senior kept them on their toes with six birdies, five bogeys and seven pars. â€œI played solid and hit the ball real well,â€ said Hewit, who finished in a tie for 15th place at 5-over. â€œI missed a few putts down the stretch, but overall I played solid.â€ Starting with a birdie on No. 4, Hewit alternated bogeys and birdies for the next six holes. He concluded the tournament owning par 5s at 6-under. On the flip side, he was 7-over on par 3s. To Hewit, the cheers he received from the local crowd were priceless. â€œWestfield made it an awesome tournament and all the support was great,â€ he said.
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THE HEART OF IT ALL: Recent Hudson graduate and Kent State recruit John Hahn shot a 77 to finish behind Hewit in the Buckeye State standings. Hahn, who finished third in last yearâ€™s Westfield Junior PGA, ended up taking a tie for 19th. â€¦ Lancaster resident Allie White played out of her mind en route to a 3-under 68. The score tied Katie Detlefsen for the lowest girls round of the day and skyrocketed White into fifth place.
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EASY ON, HARD OFF: Participants started their back nine holes smiling, but ended up frowning. The par-5, 10th hole wrapped up its title as the easiest hole, finishing as the only one in the tournament with an average under-par. Players averaged a score of 4.85 on the 474-yard hole and five of the eventâ€™s seven eagles came there. â€¦ The par-4 18th ended up running away with the award for hardest hole. The 424-yard hole was a brutal one, playing 0.83 over par.
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TAP-INS: Immediately after the tournament, the top three finishers received invitations to compete in the Harder Junior German Masters on Aug. 7-9. Luke Guthrie, Alexis Thompson and Kimberly Kim politely declined, making the three boys and three girls Detlefsen, White, Cassandra Blaney, John Popeck, Mark Johnson and Chris Deforest. â€¦ The event is the same week as the U.S. Womenâ€™s Amateur, where Kim is the defending winner. â€¦ Attendance was estimated at 2,200 to bring the four-day total to roughly 5,000. â€¦ Jason Chun was disqualified because he didnâ€™t show up at his 7:40 a.m. tee time. It turned out the 17-year-old Virginia Beach resident overslept, leaving playing partners Craig Kublin and Brady Keegan waiting behind other three-member groups to finish each hole all day.