Michael Zeng, a Downingtown resident and a freshman at Episcopal Academy, came up just short in the boys (ages 13 to 18) division Sunday as the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour staged a Junior Golf Scoreboard event at Back Creek Golf Club in Middletown, Del.
Zeng struggled in Saturday’s opening round of the 36-hole event, carding a 79 over the 6,286-yard, par-71 Back Creek layout. When the stubborn cloudiness that’s affected the region finally broke for sunshine Sunday, it brought with it gusty winds and many of the players had a tough time dealing with the conditions.
But Zeng tied for the day’s best round, a 2-over 73, and his 10-over 152 total was matched by William Haskell of Middletown, Del. Haskell had opened with a 77 and his second-round 75 in the windy conditions was also an outstanding round.
Unlike regular Junior Tour events which usually break first-place ties with a matching of cards, the JGS events go to a playoff. Haskell finally prevailed with a par on the third hole of the playoff.
Carson Bach of York had fired a 2-over 72 to take the opening-round lead, but had a tough time in Sunday’s winds. Still, his 81 left him alone in third place at 153.
Kevin Smith, an eighth-grader at Strath Haven Middle School and a member at The Springhaven Club, was one of four players tied for fourth at 156. Smith had rounds of 77 and 79.
Joining him at that figure were Richard Kline III (83-73) of Kennett Square, Jonathan Gimbalvo (76-80) of York and Andrew Gallagher (76-80) of Mount Laurel, N.J.
Stephen Lorenzo (78-81) of Lower Gwynedd and Akhil Giri (76-83) shared eighth place at 159 and Nikita Romanov (79-81) of Wilmington, Del. rounded out the top 10 at 160.
It took a playoff to decide the girls division as well as Genesis Diaz of Elkton, Md. caught first-round leader Haley Quickel of Middletown, Del. at 163.
Quickel held the overnight lead with an 80 Saturday and came back with an 83. Diaz trailed Quickel by two shots after her opening-round 82 and added an 81 Sunday.
Quickel dropped a seven-foot par putt on the first hole of the playoff to take top honors.
Chichester junior Caprian Kan (84-87) finished third at 171, Christina Carroll (81-96) of Bear, Del. was fourth at 177 and Casey Oppenheimer (88-94) of Conshohocken placed fifth at 182.