Americans Cruise to Victory at Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship

Trent Phillips (L) and Skylar Thompson (R) show off their hardware for winning their respective divisions at the 2017 Dustin World Junior Golf Championship (Photo Courtesy; DJWJGC)

Myrtle Beach, S.C. – Trent Phillips and Skylar Thompson each led wire-to-wire en route to winning the second annual Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship at TPC Myrtle Beach. The event wrapped up on February 26th.

Phillips entered the final round with a one-stroke lead and left little doubt about who the best player in the boys field was this weekend, besting second place finisher Teddy Tetak by six strokes. Phillips birdied the par 4, second hole and was never seriously challenged.

After playing the front nine in even par, he birdied the 11th, 12th and 14th holes, making the event’s final holes a coronation for the University of Georgia verbal commitment. Phillips shot a one-under 71 Sunday and finished the event at 5-under.

The top Canadian on the boys’ side of the draw was Chandler McDowell of Springbrook, Alberta. He tied for 22nd place.

Thompson Takes Girls’ Division

Skylar Thompson, a University of South Carolina commitment, never relinquished her third round lead as her two closest competitors heading into the final round – Canada’s Emily Zhu and Natalie Petersen of Holly Springs, N.C. – struggled. Thompson earned an 8-shot win over Smith Knaffle, the Murrells Inlet resident whose round of 4-over 76 was the second best of the day on the girls side.

Thompson shot 77 in the final round but closed with flourish, playing the back nine in one-under par to ensure a comfortable margin of victory.

Zhu, who is from Richmond Hill, Ontario, could not maintain her second place position after two rounds and ended up in a share of fourth place.

The event’s 104-player field, which included boys and girls divisions, was comprised of players from 19 states and five countries participated in the 54-hole tournament.

Newly minted World No. 1 Dustin Johnson was on hand to welcome players to his event and the Golf Channel show, Morning Drive broadcast live from the tournament all weekend. Charlie Rymer and Chantel McCabe anchored the network’s coverage.

Eight of the top 10 junior boys and 11 of the top 12 junior girls in South Carolina played in the tournament. Twenty participants have signed National Letters of Intent to play collegiate golf this fall.

With the support of Johnson, who secured the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Rankings with his win at Riviera Country Club on Sunday, the tournament provides participants a PGA Tour-like experience, and the chance to challenge themselves against their peers from others parts of America and the world.

The Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship is sponsored by Founders Group International, the Dustin Johnson Golf School, and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.

Johnson’s involvement with the tournament reflects his long-time commitment to junior golf, particularly in South Carolina, where he grew into one of the world’s best players. Through the Dustin Johnson Foundation, which is headquartered in Myrtle Beach, Johnson has donated more than $250,000 to junior golf, sponsoring numerous events throughout the state and helping cover entry costs for kids who need financial assistance.

(Complete Leaderboard: Boys, Girls)