Hilton Head Island, SC – With one of the strongest contingents in recent history, representing multiple states and countries, the 2017 Sea Pines Junior Heritage is sure to provide an exciting kick-off to the junior golf season. The tournament field includes players from 12 states and three countries that will compete for the title, playing the newly renovated Sea Pines Plantation Atlantic Dunes and the well-known Harbour Town Golf Links.
Among some of the players vying for the title, a few are familiar faces looking to capitalize on previous experience. Shiso Go from Bluffton, South Carolina, finished in the top five in last year’s event and hopes to start his final junior golf season on the right foot before he heads to East Tennessee State University in the fall. Go looks to build on his 2016 season, racking up two top five finishes and three top 20 finishes. Looking to make his mark on the tournament is 14-year-old Joseph Pagdin of Orlando, Florida. Pagdin, a University of Florida verbal commit, enters the 2017 season ranked 53rd in the Polo Golf Rankings. Last season his stroke average was 71 in competitive rounds, while accumulating six top ten finishes in 2016. Other notables in the boys division include: US Junior qualifier Crosby Guercio from Frisco, Texas; 2016 Virginia State Champion Curtis Grant from Herndon, Virginia; 2016 South Carolina Junior Golf Association Player of the Year, Trent Phillips from Inman, South Carolina; and 2016 Optimist Runner-Up Thomas Allkins from Lake Mary, Florida.
In the girls division, Claire Hodges and Kathleen Sumner, will look to build on their junior career and 2016 finishes. Sumner, a Daniel Island, SC native, should give Hodges a run for the title, as her solo third place finish last year provides a big advantage heading into next weekend. Hodges, who hails from Sorrento, Florida, will aim to build on her strong 2016 season, never finishing outside the top 20 in a major event. Hodges will attend the University of Virginia in the fall of 2017, but will hope to add more to her junior resume. Georgia standout and 2019 graduate, Carolina Craig (Sautee Nacoochee, GA) seeks a spot in the winner’s circle as she has recorded numerous top finishes including the Optimist Tournament of Champions and Georgia State Junior. Other notables in the girls division include: Ohio State Girls Champion, Abby Kiefer from Dublin, Ohio; George Holliday Memorial Junior Champion and Runner-Up in 2016 Sea Pines Junior Heritage, Gracyn Burgess from Lexington, South Carolina; and local talent, Anna Eddy from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Competition will gear up February 4th, first round of competition being played at Atlantic Dunes and February 5th, congratulating a champion at the lighthouse on the astounding Habour Town Golf Links. The event is conducted by the South Carolina Junior Golf Association and the Sea Pines Resort. Vital partners of this championship include: Titlest, Foot Joy, the Heritage Classic Foundation and Coca-Cola.