The inaugural Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship crowned its first victors on Monday following three days of competition at TPC Myrtle Beach.
Cape Fear Academy senior Blake Taylor (Atkinson, N.C.) opened the day with a three-shot lead and pulled away from the field on the back nine, finishing the tournament at a winning two-over par. Mt. Pleasant’s Jamie Wilson finished four strokes back in second place.
Taylor, who led wire-to-wire, started the day with five consecutive pars and was in command until consecutive bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes and a double on nine, a stretch that saw his lead over Wilson reduced to one.
As he did throughout the week, the East Carolina University commit answered the challenge, birdieing the 12th and 13th holes to push his lead back to three. He made par on the next four holes and drained a long birdie putt on No. 18 to complete his final round 74.
The Dustin Johnson World Junior Golf Championship attracted 90 youth players from 12 states and eight countries to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for the 54-hole event.
Taylor was recently named to the 2015 North Carolina All-State Golf First Team by the Tarheel Youth Golf Association (TYGA) and the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA). He is third in the N.C. Boy’s Junior Rankings, and posted four wins during 2015, including a win at the Carolinas PGA Junior Championships. Taylor competed in 22 events and recorded 12 top-10 finishes with a scoring average of 73.25. A native of Atkinson, Taylor was a third-team all-state player in 2014.
Among the countries represented at the event were Canada, China, England, Japan, Philippines, Scotland and Sweden. Nearly a quarter of the field was comprised of international players.
With the support of Johnson, one of the top 10 players in the world, the tournament provided participants a PGA Tour-like experience and the chance to challenge themselves against their peers from others parts of America and the world.
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.