ORLANDO - Christina Surcey's par on the second playoff hole lifted her to a victory over Jessica Guiser in the girls division of the Golfweek International Junior Invitational at Eagle Creek Golf Club.
Surcey, a high school junior from Cartersville, Georgia, fired rounds 66-70-136 on the par-73 layout, but still needed to sink a 15-foot downhiller for birdie on the final hole of regulation to force the playoff. Guiser, who trailed Surcey by four shots with 10 holes to play before mounting a furious rally, finished with rounds of 68-68-136. Both players bogeyed the first playoff hole, and when Guiser failed to get up-and-down for par on the second playoff hole, Surcey notched the victory.
On the 18th green, Surcey admitted she did not know for sure where she stood.
"I thought it might be for second place. If I would have known, I probably wouldn't have made it."
After Guiser bogeyed the eighth, she fell four shots back of Surcey, then she followed that up with an eagle at the par-5 ninth. She then engineered a 3-shot swing in her favor at the 13th and 14th thanks to a birdie of her own and back-to-back bogeys by Surcey, putting the two in a deadlock. Guiser's birdie at the 17th gave her the one-stroke advantage which set up the drama on 18.
"We were back in forth all the time, and I just kept keeping track (of the score) in my head," Surcey said.
Sabrina Kim finished alone in third with rounds of 68-70-138, followed by Hsin Tai Lin (70-70-140) and Logan Hale (71-69-140) who tied for fourth place.
Surcey, coached by Bill Hassell at Cartersville Country Club, is keeping her college search open with many options she chooses not to reveal now. "I'm really just trying to get as many good tournament scores in as possible. But I am looking at a couple specific schools."
In the boys division, Zhengqian Li followed up an opening round 3-under 69 with a 68 to finish at 7 under and one shot clear of JP Odland at Celebration Golf Club. Li was the only player in the filed to post both rounds in the 60s.
Zhengqian Li won the boys division of the 2022 Golfweek International Junior Invitational. (Photo: Golfweek)
Li gave credit to his coach for a good game plan that he executed well enough to win.
"Play to the safe sides and if I make birdie, that's a birdie. If it does not, it's a par. And I did pretty well with that," said Li.
Li, who is ranked No. 49 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, came into the week with the goal of a top-three finish.
"My irons were really good, I hit a lot of greens, but my putting was not that great," said Li, who is a 2025 high school graduate.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek