Mizuno's Thai Delight
Eighteen-year-old overcomes adversity to win Thai title
Shinichi Mizuno held his nerve to clinch victory at the Mercedes-Benz Junior Golf Asian Masters Final in Thailand mid-June.
Discovery Bay Golf Club member Mizuno, winner of the 2011 Hong Kong Amateur Close Championship, made a par at the demanding par-four 18th hole at the Burapha Golf & Resort on the outskirts of Pattaya to claim the boys' 18 and under division by a shot from Thirwat Luangsuree.
Mizuno, a regular Hong Kong international, fired rounds of 69, 73 and 77 for a three-day total of 219 (three-over-par).
National coach Brad Schadewitz was full of praise for Mizuno, who unluckily incurred a two-shot penalty at the 6th hole after his caddie failed to remove the flagstick on a long range birdie putt that dropped into the hole. The penalty turned what would have been a birdie – and a three-shot lead – into a potentially disastrous bogey.
"Shinichi played great and dealt with some major adversity," said Schadewitz. "But he held his nerve, kept his emotions in check and pulled out the win down the stretch. I'm really proud of him."
Steven Lam, playing in the boys' 23 and under category, gave Hong Kong more reason to cheer with a solid performance that earned him the runner-up spot in the division. Nineteen-year-old Lam, the reigning Hong Kong Amateur Close champion, closed with a three-over-par 75 to finish two shots back of local talent Pongsathorn Pengboonma.
Michelle Lee also earned second place in the girls' 14 and under division thanks to rounds of 86, 79 and 77.
The tournament, which was sponsored by Mercedes-Benz for the 10th straight year, featured over 100 players from Thailand, Canada, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan and the USA.
Written by The Editors
Photography by Daniel Wong
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