Golfers Huskey, Valdes win Sea Pines Junior Heritage titles at Harbour Town

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 3, 2014 

Keenan Huskey's experience in golf playoffs, despite his youth, is deep enough that the Greenville resident has lost count.

Huskey didn't want to be in the situation at the end of the Sea Pines Junior Heritage on Sunday at Harbour Town Golf Links. But Huskey and North Carolina's Ben Schlottman ended the final round both at 1-under-par 142 and headed to the par-4 first hole for sudden death.

There Huskey placed his tee shot the same spot he had in the morning and two-putted for par and victory. The 17-year-old, who signed with South Carolina this past November, earned a spot in the Players Amateur with the win.

"I had been there before," Huskey said.

Hilton Head's Andrew Orischak, tied for the lead a 1 under to start the day, finished tied for third after a final-round 72.

Ana Paula Valdes, a student at International Junior Golf Academy on Hilton Head, won the girls division at 5-over 148. The Morelia, Mexico native came to the IJGA as a 14-year-old after a visit with a Mexican national team netted her a scholarship.

She wanted revenge at Harbour Town this week after struggling at an IJGA event there earlier in the year.

A one-hole meltdown cost her during that tournament. And after she made bogey on two of her first three holes to start the back nine on Sunday, Valdes reminded herself to remain patient.

She finished with six consecutive pars for a one-shot victory.

"That was kind of my motivation for the tournament," said the 16-year-old Valdes, who committed to Clemson this past October. "I learned to never give up."

Valdes said the first year away from home is difficult but that she has grown accustomed to visited only a few times a year. She finished third and the women's Mexican Amateur during the most recent holiday break.

She is sold on her next school and a young Tigers program, despite being only a sophomore.

"I went to Clemson, and I was like 'Yep, this is the right fit for me,'" Valdes said. "It was a really nice school."

Huskey will head to Columbia in the fall with some momentum. He won the S.C. Junior Golf Association in November in Hartsville and was medalist at his U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier in 2013.

The Junior Heritage might have been his biggest title to date. First he had to dodge Schlottman, who was playing two groups ahead of Huskey and missed a good chance for birdie on the 18th to apply more pressure.

Schlottman positioned his tee shot where he wanted in the playoff, but said he had a glob of mud on his ball. His approach missed the green left, and he couldn't get up and down.

Schlottman made birdie on three of his first five holes -- including No. 1 -- and added another on the par-3 17th to grab the lead. The Advance, N.C., native was confident in his chances in the playoff until seeing the condition of his ball in the fairway.

"My ballstriking was very good today; I can't blame it on that," Schlottman said. "I putted really well on the front 9, and the putter let me down on the back 9."

Huskey and his family sometimes traveled from their home in Greenville to Hilton Head Island to watch the Heritage.

Huskey had only played Harbour Town once before this week, when he was 8 or 9 years old, and had not watched the Heritage in person since eighth grade.

Armed with knowledge from watching the PGA Tour play here on television and a Friday practice round, Huskey plotted his away around the tree-lined Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus creation.

He found similarities between the first-round layout at Sea Pines' Heron Point by Pete Dye and Sunday's test.

"You've got to play target golf, and I was able to do that," Huskey said. "I was hitting the ball really well this week."

Sea Pines Junior Heritage

Final round at Harbour Town Golf Links; x-won in playoff

Boys

x-Keenan Huskey 72-70--142

Ben Schlottman 73-69--142

Matt Lowe 73-70--143

Andrew Orischak 71-72--143

Shota Ozaki 74-70--144

Joshua Martin 74-72--146

Andreas Halvorsen 75-72--147

Aaron Terrazas 71-76--147

Matt Cheng 77-71--148

S.M. Lee 74-74--148

Trent Phillips 74-74--148

Benjamin Griffin 73-75--148

Justin Hood 74-74--148

Austin Zoller 77-73--150

Dwight Cauthen 75-75--150

Eddie Wadja 77-74--151

Bryson Nimmer 78-73--151

Phillip Loeb 77-75--152

Thomas Walsh 76-76--152

Caleb Proveaux 79-73--152

Jonathon Keppler 80-72--152

Tennoshin Ogawa 73-79--152

Travis Mancill 77-76--153

Spencer Ralston 78-75--153

Coleman Self 78-75--153

Trevor Phillips 79-74--153

Geuntae Kim 80-73--153

Will Miles 76-78--154

Blake Fiest 78-76 --154

Trace Crowe 80-74--154

Benjamin Shipp 81-73--154

Jamie Wilson 76-79--155

Drake Cassidy 75-80--155

Andrew Alligood 74-81--155

Ryan Stachler 72-83--155

Lewis Reid 77-80--157

Kyle Mueller 78-79--157

Alex Smalley 80-77--157

Austin Harrill 78-80--158

Jerry Wall 81-77--158

Tyler Young 79-80--159

Peter Mathison 81-78--159

Josh Fickes 84-75--159

Will Voetsch 81-79--160

Gavin Lindstrom 82-79--161

Harrison Rhoades 82-79--161

Zach Ruhlin 84-77--161

Zach McLain 81-81--162

Toks Pedro 87-75--162

Sawyer Shaw 85-81--166

Daniel Wetterich 90-76--166

Bumin Choi 87-87--174

John Deganova 82-94--176

Girls

Ana Paula Valdez 73-75--148

Gina Kim 78-71--149

Clementina Rodriguez 75-74--149

Carly Burkhardt 75-77--152

Isi Quevedo 74-78--152

Ana Ruiz 74-78--152

Anna Redding 82-71--153

Alix Lowe 81-72--153

Reona Hirai 74-79--153

Natalie Srinavasan 73-80--153

Claire Hodges 82-72--154

Rei Nakatani 77-77--154

Isabella DiLisio 78-77--155

Delaney Shah 76-79--155

Thamonpat Siriko 74-82--156

Bryana Nguyen 82-75--157

Phyllis Tang 81-78--159

Shannon Brooks 79-80--159

Kelli Murphy 80-80--160

Jacqueline Twitty 87-74--161

Sydney Legacy 81-80--161

Anita Uwadia 81-80--161

Kari Bellville 80-81--161

Anne Taylor Hough 85-78--163

Samantha Huang 81-83--164

Madison Moosa 82-83--165

Annika Bovender 85-80--165

Cake Phuchanbanchob 87-80--167

Gianna Tomeo 89-80--169

Victoria Huskey 91-78--169

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