In Week 11, Sweden’s Jesper Kennegard overcame blustery conditions at the Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, to take the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters by one stroke. The Arizona State University junior fired rounds of 71, 72 and 76 round the imposing 7,510-yard, par-72 layout, which had an overall average score of 78.47 for the week.

 

This latest victory, the third of Kennegard’s collegiate career, lifts him 26 places up the WAGRanking to 16th. Florida’s Tyson Alexander and TJ Vogel of USC, who shared second place behind the Swede, advance 24 and 384 places to 65th and 141st respectively.

 

Down in Australia, 20-year-old Korean Jin Jeong won the rain-disrupted Riversdale Cup by three strokes from fellow Victorian Luke Bleumink. Jeong, who won last month’s Tasmanian Open, shot a closing round of seven-under-par 65 to reach his winning four-round total of 14 under par, ensuring his second major Australian amateur title in as many starts.

 

“I’ve been more conservative with my game of late,” said Jeong, now ranked 51st after an 33-place jump. “This is my biggest win ever. I was a little lucky with my tee times and was able to get all of my second round in before the weather delays. I’ve played a few times in these conditions back home in Korea, so I felt kind of comfortable during the final round with dealing with the conditions.”

 

Back in the USA, LSU junior Andrew Loupe earned his first individual collegiate victory at the 25th-annual Louisiana Classics, held at Oakbourne Country Club in Baton Rouge. After making a slow start to the 54-hole, two-day event, Loupe shot back-to-back five-under-par 67s for a total of 208, eight under par, and a one-stroke win. The 21-year-old is rewarded with an 21-position leap to WAGRank 88.

 

Finally, The Faldo Series Asia Grand Final was won by Japan’s Masamichi Ito at Mission Hills Golf Club in China, last weekend (12 March). Ito closed with a three-under-par 69 on the Faldo Course, one of 12 at Mission Hills, before defeating Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Chi-Hsien on the first play-off hole.

 

Having started the day five strokes off the lead, the 14-year-old from Kanagawa reigned Hsieh in over the course of 18 holes, both players registering 54-hole totals of two-under-par 214. At the first extra hole, the 486-yard par-five 18th, Ito put his second shot to within 12 feet before calmly two-putting for a birdie and the victory.


Ito, who is up 216 to WAGRank 829, will now look forward to a place in the Faldo Series European Grand Final at Lough Erne, Ireland. In addition, he will receive an invitation to compete in a major event on this year’s Asian Tour.

 

“It’s a big moment for me,” said Ito, the youngest-ever golfer to make the cut on the Japan Golf Tour. “It’s a great honour to win a trophy with Sir Nick Faldo’s name on it and I know it will open a lot of doors for me.”

 

Italy’s Matteo Manassero remains WAGR Number One.

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