Liza Freed of Alexandria and Evan Katz of Washington, D.C. battled heavy rain on Saturday and howling winds on Sunday to win titles in the International Junior Golf Tour Major Championship, held on the East Course at Hershey (Pa.) Country Club.
Freed, a 17-year-old member at Mount Vernon Country Club, won the girls 19-and-under division. Katz, a 14-year-old member at Bethesda Country Club, captured the boys 14-and-under competition. It was the first IJGT title for both players. Within the previous two months, both had finished in second place in other IJGT events.
After starting the final round a stroke back, Freed (79-80 — 159) took command on the back nine. In tough conditions, her four pars to start the back catapulted her to the lead as she won by two strokes over Zora Moore of Milford, N.J. (81-80 — 161).
In a seesaw back-nine duel on Sunday, Katz (73-77 — 150) won by two strokes over C.J. Hughes of Indiana, Pa. (74-78 – 152) and Evan Johnson of York, Pa. (76-76 — 152). The title wasn’t decided until the final hole, a par five which Katz reached in two shots while Hughes had to lay up after finding his tee shot in a bad lie.
The IJGT hosts roughly 60 tournaments a year for players age 9-19. Each event provides multi-day competition. Some the venues include TPC Sawgrass, Nemacolin Woodlands, Kiawah Island, and Harbour Town.