If you wanted to witness high-performance golf, the Junior Orange Bowl International Championship was the place to be on Saturday.
If you wanted drama, not so much so.
Jerry Ji of the Netherlands finished with a total of 16-under-par 268 at Biltmore Golf Course by shooting a super-safe 70 in the final round and beating second-place Pierre Pineau by seven shots.
The margin of winning was even bigger on the girls’ side as Lily May Humphreys of England shot a final-round 73 for a 9-under 275 total and a nine-shot triumph over Gato Miyu.
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The victories came on a cool day, but neither of the winners had anything to sweat about in their final rounds.
Ji did admit that the victory in the 54th year of the Junior Orange Bowl was “my biggest victory.”
The easy triumph seemingly gave Ji, 17, a boost in his confidence, not that he particularly needs it. When asked what he wanted to accomplish in golf, he said with a smile, “To be the best golfer in the world. That’s the dream.”
Asked if he has any fallback plans, he said, “To be honest, I don’t see myself working. I just want to keep grinding at golf.”
This was the second time Ji has competed in the Junior Orange Bowl, finishing eighth a year ago. He said he will be back for a final try and a repeat title next year.
Also more than likely to be back next year is girls’ winner Humphreys.
She rightfully stated, “I am very happy with the way I played in this tournament. I was tired in the final round, so having a good lead helped a lot.”
At age 15, Humphreys does something that makes your average golfer feel, well, lacking.
“My average drive is about 260,” she said without boasting, “and a good one is 285 or so.”
This was Humphreys first visit to Miami — actually to the United States.
“It has been great,” she said. “I have really enjoyed it. It’s so much nice weather and so many nice people.”
Girls’ top finishers: Lily May Humphreys, England, 69-67-66-73—275; 2. Goto Miyu, Japan, 72-68-72-72—284; 3. Cory Lopez, Mexico, 71-69-73-72—285; 4. Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, France, 70-74-71-71—286; 5. (tie) Anne Yu, United States, 73-70-72-75—290; Valeria Pacheco, Ponce, Puerto Rico, 74-67-73-76—290.
Boys’ top finishers: 1. Jerry Ji, Netherlands, 64-65-69-70—268; 2. Pierre Pineau, France, 65-70-68-72—275; 3. Adrien Dumont de Chassart, Belgium, 69-64-72-71—276; 4. (tie) Hiroshi Tai, Singapore, 68-69-73-67—277; Rasmus Hojgaard, Denmark, 67-71-68-71—277.