Recently, the IMG Academy golf program's annual East/West Team Challenge took place at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club, May 9. It was the second year for the event, which pits the top golfers at IMG Academy against one another in greensomes and singles match-play format. Players were chosen based on their College Format Series stroke average and were placed on either the East or West team based on what country they call home.
The East team was captained by coaches Malcolm Joseph and Grant Price, while the West team was under the captained by coaches Nathan Bertsch and Scott Bettger. The rosters for the 2013 East and West teams included:
East Team - Drive Bunmark, Billy Zhao, Kaito Onishi, Newport Laparojkit, Ayaka Suzuki, Hadas Libman, Vivian Chen, Hoyeong Kim, Symba Xu, Jakob Van de Flierdt, Qi Wen Wong and Mario Beltran.
West Team - Jacob Lehman, James Leadbetter, Diego Schiffino, Kavan Eubank, Vitoria Teixeira, Esteban Castro, Camilla Serrano, Felipe Hsu, Jenny Buchanan, Pedro Junqueira, Robbi Howard and Rodrigo Munoz.
The players and coaches enjoyed the uniqueness of the format, with greensomes in the morning and singles match-play in the afternoon. Strong play required more strategy than the players are accustomed to seeing in competitive junior golf, and execution was critical.
However, at the end of the day, the competition ended with the East and West teams arriving at a tie. As a result, the East team was declared winners by a tiebreaker, determined by their status as reigning champions of the event.
Full results from East/West Team Challenge:
Morning Matches – Greensomes
Jakob Van de Flierdt/Mario Beltran (EAST) defeated. Kavan Eubank/Camila Serrano(WEST) 3 & 2
James Leadbetter/Jacob Lehman (WEST) defeated Billy Zhao/Hoyeong Kim (EAST) 1 up
Rodrigo Munoz/Esteban Castro (WEST) defeated Ayaka Suzuki/Symba Xu (EAST) 6 & 5
Kaito Onishi/Vivian Chen (EAST) defeated Vitoria Teixeira/Diego Schiffino (WEST) 3 &2
Pedro Junqueira/Robbi Howard (WEST) defeated Drive Bunmark/Hadas Libman 2 & 1
Qi Wen Wong/Newport Laparojkit (EAST) defeated Felipe Hsu/Jenny Buchanan 2 & 1
Morning Matches 3-3 (tied entering singles)
Afternoon Matches – Singles
James Leadbetter (WEST) defeated Mario Beltran (EAST) 2 & 1
Kaito Onishi (EAST) defeated Rodrigo Munoz (WEST) 3 & 2
Vivian Chen (EAST) defeated Robbi Howard (WEST) 2 & 1
Felipe Hsu (WEST) defeated Hoyeong Kim (EAST) 5 & 4
Symba Xu (EAST) defeated Jenny Buchanan (WEST) 2 up
Pedro Junqueria (WEST) defeated Qi Wen Wong (EAST) 3 & 1
Vitoria Teixeira (WEST) defeated Hadas Libman (EAST) 1 up
Newport Laparojkit (EAST) defeated Diego Schiffino (WEST) 3 & 2
Drive Bunmark (EAST) Tied Jacob Lehman (WEST)
Ayaka Suzuki (EAST) Tied Kaven Eubank (WEST)
Billy Zhao (EAST) defeated Camilla Serrano (WEST) 3 & 2
Esteban Castro (WEST) defeated Jakob Van de Flierdt 6 & 5
Afternoon Matches 5 ½ - 5 ½
Total East 8 ½ -West 8 ½