In the inaugural Players Tour Open Championship at Bunker Hills Golf Course in Coon Rapids, Minn., Ben Hicks and Leah Herzog held off competitors in day two to claim the title. After a strong first day score of 5-under par 67 for Hicks, he fired a 2-over 74 (67-74-141) on the second day to create an 8-stroke cushion and secure the victory. In the girls division, Herzog finished the day with an even-par 72 to finish one-over on the weekend (73-72-145).
Competition was tight across the leaderboard with both the boys and girls facing a playoff for 2nd and 3rd place. Aayushi Sarkar and Emma Welch battled for positioning with Sarkar claiming 2nd and Welch following behind in 3rd after two playoff holes. Likewise, Payton Miller and Nate Stevens split points with Stevens claiming the 2nd place trophy with a 20-foot birdie on the second playoff hole.
Hicks and Herzog have been no stranger to success in recent Junior PGA tournaments with Hicks coming off a 2nd place finish in the 2018 Minnesota Boys Junior PGA Championship Qualifier at the Ridges at Sandy Creek course in Jordan, Minn. and Herzog finishing as runner-up at the 2018 Girls Junior PGA Championship at Minnewaska Golf Club in Glenwood, Minn. which secured her spot in the national tournament.
As for claiming the title in the first ever Players Tour Open Championship, Hicks and Herzog are both humbled by the opportunity to be the first competitors to have their name on the title. Hicks described winning the inaugural event as something irreplaceable, stating, “It’s cool to see that my name will be the first ever on the trophy at this tournament.” On the other hand, Herzog said, “I enjoyed the last couple days. I played pretty well and it was a fun time–overall I am glad that I did good enough to win it.”
The Players Tour Open Championship was a two-day, 36-hole competition that gave players the chance to battle for Player of the Year points.