The competitors in the 2009 Optimist International Tournament of Champions battled it out November 7 and 8 on the Crooked Cat course at Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge in Winter Garden, Florida. All three playing fields finished with close scores as some of the most talented young golfers around aimed for the top spots.
Jason Roets of Johannesburg, South Africa (pictured right), went 2-under for the day and 3-under for the tournament to jump ahead of the field and claim the championship in the boys 16-18 division. With 71-70—141, Roets finished two strokes ahead of the competition. Finishing in second were Hayden Squadrito of Oviedo, Florida, with 74-69—143 and Joshua Lee of Orange Park, Florida, with 70-73—143. One stroke back and finishing in fourth place was Stephane Dubois of Brantford, Ontario, with an even 72-72—144.
Longtime Optimist participant Clancy Waugh of North Palm Beach, Florida (pictured center), shot a 75-74—149 to take first place in the boys 14-15 division. The championship comes a year after Waugh competed in a sudden-death playoff and finished in second place at the 2008 event. Waugh earned this year’s championship with two rounds of steady golf and finished one stroke ahead of the field. Coming in second was Sheldon Statkewicz of Mobile, Alabama, with 77-73—150. Finishing in a tie for third were Austin Eoff of Benton, Arkansas (76-75—151), and Evan Deroche of Key West, Florida (73-78—151).
Local golfer Nicole Quinn of Windermere, Florida (pictured left), scored the low round both days to capture the girls 14-18 division title. Quinn, another familiar name in Optimist golf tournaments, shot 71-75—146 to claim the championship. Also shooting 75 for the day and finishing in second place was Katie Petrino of Fayetteville, Arkansas, with 72-75—147 for the tournament. Finishing the tournament in a tie for third were Juliana Herrera of Weston, Florida (75-78—153), and Kailey Walsh of Boca Raton, Florida (75-78—153).
For overall tournament results, hole-by-hole scores for all players and photos of all tournament participants, click on the links below.