1979Radrick Farms Golf Course – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Intermittent rain during the first two days of play on the University of Michigan’s tough Radrick Farms Golf Course contributed to the high 36-hole cut 161 and the highest winning score in IYC history. To add to the drama, it took a sudden-death playoff to determine the winner of the Robert Trent Jones Cup. Diminutive 16-year-old Tracy Phillips, of Tulsa, Okla., eventually prevailed, defeating Andrew Magee of Dallas, Texas on the second playoff hole. The 5-foot, 4-inch and 115-pound Phillips ducked a bullet on the first hole of the playoff when Magee missed a 4-foot birdie putt. The pair had finished regulation play tied a 300, 12 over par, and the fact that Phillips had begun the final round five strokes down made the loss even tougher on Magee. The comeback by Philips tied the IYC record for best comebacks.Somewhat overshadowed by the junior tournament’s dramatics was Forrest Fezler’s one stroke win in the pro division. He carded a 71-72-143 to edge ex-IYC juniors Peter Jacobsen and Fuzzy Zoeller by a single stroke.
1980Yale Golf Course – New Haven, Connecticut
For the second consecutive year, a beautiful, traditional college setting served as the site of the IYC. Yale Golf Course in New Haven, Conn., welcomed 163 entries from 39 states. Tracy Phillips made a solid bid at becoming the first two-time IYC winner, but the 17-year-old Tulsan couldn’t hold on after leading Billy Andrade, of Bristol, R.I., by two strokes heading into the final round. The 16-year-old Andrade overtook Phillips with a 1-over-par 71 n the final round and finished at 8-over-par 288. Phillips settled for second at 291, six strokes in front of the next group of players. Five members of the 22-player pro division were former IYC juniors. Pat McGowan, Eddie Pearce and Morris Hatalsky, Craig Stadler and Peter Jacobsen all trailed pro winner Mark McCumber, who prevailed with a 138.
1981Forest Hills Golf Club & Augusta Country Club – Augusta, Georgia
The name changed, the winner remained the same, and one name became a part of both sections of the record book. If that wasn’t enough, for the first time in the history of the tournament, the championship was held on two courses. The tournament’s name was changed to the Big “I” Insurance Youth Golf Classic as it was played at Forest Hills Golf Club (first round) and Augusta Country Club (2nd-4th rounds). The two storied Augusta, Ga., courses hosted 160 entries, with defending champion Billy Andrade coming out on top again. The 17-year-old from Bristol, R.I., became the first two-time junior winner of the tournament. He built a 36-hole lead of six strokes and expanded it to 11 after 54 holes. Andrade’s 6-under-par 282 was good for an eight-stroke win that tied the record for biggest winning margin. n a banner year, former IYGC junior champion Bobby Clampett, the then-youngest winner in the tournament’s history, became the first former IYGC junior to return and capture the professional title. His 12-under-par 136 was good for a three-stroke win.
1982Bear Creek Golf World – Houston, Texas
Texas rains swept in and out of Houston during the first three days of the 1982 tournament at Bear Creek Golf World, causing a number of delays and plenty of frustration for players and tournament officials alike. Stuart Hendley, a 17-year-old Houston native who played Bear Creek on a regular basis, carded a 1-under-par 287, the only sub-par total of the tournament, for a three-stroke victory. Hendley grabbed the lead at the halfway point with second-round 67 for a 141 total. The best round of the tournament, however, belonged to Todd Hamilton of Oquawka, Ill., who shot a 6-under-par 66 in the third round. The 154-player field featured one Canadian – Matt St. Louis of Windsor, Ontario, made the cut along with 65 other players and finished tied for 42nd at 313. The professional win went to Keith Fergus of nearby Sugar Land, Texas. Fergus finished at 8-under-par 136.
1983Vista Country Club – Vista, California
A Texan won the IYGC title for the second straight year as the nation’s largest junior golf tournament, celebrating its 15th birthday, visited Vista Country Club in Vista, CA. Blaire Manasse, a 17-year-old from Plano, Texas, survived a near-loss on the final hole of regulation play and then defeated Tripp Davis of Decatur, Ga., on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to claim the Robert Trent Jones Cup. The Texas left-hander scored a birdie on the par-3 first playoff hole to frustrate Davis, who lipped out what would have been the winning putt on the 72nd hole. Manasse and Davis finished 72 holes tied at 287. For the second year in a row, Todd Hamilton of Oquawka, Ill., shot the best round of the tournament (a 68 shared with three others) and closed out four years of IYGC competition with a sixth-place finish. The pro field included just-crowned PGA Champion Hal Sutton and five other 1983 PGA Tour winners. The pro division was reduced to an 18-hole competition, with the pros playing with the juniors during the third round. Larry Mize won the pro division with a 5-under-par 66.
1984Jackson Country Club – Jackson, Mississippi
For the second consecutive year, a playoff was needed to determine the winner of the Robert Trent Jones Cup. This time around, a pair of good friends locked horns in the duel. From a starting field of 151, the championship came down to the first playoff hole, where 17-year-old Doug Martin of Van Buren, Ohio, made par to defeat his buddy, Bill Lundeen of Findlay, Ohio. Lundeen had led at the tournament’s halfway point with a 1-underpar 143-Martin led after 54 holes with a 219 total. Lundeen made up a two-stroke deficit to tie Martin at 6-over-par 294 after 72 holes, forcing the playoff. The gallery at Jackson Country Club in Jackson, Miss. watched Morris Hatalsky and Pat McGowan become the second and third former IYGC players to win the pro division, as they tied for the title at 4-under-par 68.
1985Otter Creek Golf Course – Columbus, Indiana
For the first time in the 17-year history of the IYGC, the tournament returned to a course that had previously hosted the event. Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Ind., hosted the inaugural tournament in 1969. The growth of the tournament since the first event, when 135 juniors from 18 states comprised the field, was clearly evident. The 1985 championship drew 156 entries from 42 states. For the second consecutive year, a left-hander captured the Robert Trent Jones Cup. Kevin Wentworth, a 16-year-old from Mateca, Calif., fired a 4-over-par 292 for a six-stroke runaway win over runner-up Dudley Hart of Miami Beach, Fla. Late entry Steve Liebler, who joined the field when Mike Holland had to withdraw, won the pro division, becoming the fourth ex-IYGC junior to return for a win in the professional division. Liebler carded a 5-under-par 67 for the win, one of his final competitions before accepting the head golf coach position at the University of South Carolina.
1986Springfield Country Club – Springfield, Ohio
In a tournament steeped with innovations, the 18th annual Big ‘I’ Insurance Youth Golf Classic added the only long drive championship for juniors. The winner of the first annual National Junior Long Drive Championship was Pat Cannon of Barrington, R.I., whose winning shot traveled 286 yards, 9 inches. Tragically, Cannon later died in a 1989 automobile accident. Chris Smith, a 17-year-old from Rochester, Ind., chipped in a 24-footer on the 72nd hole of the IYGC to win a thrilling battle with runner-up Brett Quigley. Smith’s chip-in completed a three-stroke comeback over Quigley, with Smith finishing at 9 over-par 297 and Quigley at 298. In addition to the long drive competition, the 1986 tournament also featured another first.An estimated 160,000-plus juniors had attempted to qualify for the IYGC since its inception, and for the first time, one of those reaching the championship was a girl. Heidi Burns of Missoula, Mont., played the first two rounds of the championship, but missed the cut with a 96-98—194 total. The pro win went to Willie Wood, who tied J.C. Snead at 3-under-par 69 and was named winner based on tiebreaker criteria.
1987Pinehurst Resort No. 7 – Pinehurst, North Carolina
The No. 7 Course at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C., played host to the 19th annual IYGC, which sported the largest finals field—169—in tournament history. Home-state star Brian Craig captured the championship. The 17-year-old from Gastonia, N.C., nabbed the Robert Trent Jones Cup with the second highest over-par win in history. His 10over-par 298 edged Bill Hoefle of Ames, Iowa, by a single stroke. Craig’s win was even more dramatic when he opened the final round with a triple bogey-bogey combination on the first two holes. Craig and Hoefle had entered the final round tied for the lead at 224. The difficulty of Pinehurst No. 7 was evidenced by a 36-hole cut of 163. In addition to the prestige of winning the nation’s largest junior golf tournament, Craig also received an exemption to play in the following spring’s Independent Insurance Agent Open at The Woodlands TPC, the PGA Tour’s stop in Houston. Jeff Collett of Ottumwa, Iowa, belted a spectacular drive of 302 yards, 6fi inches to win the second annual National Junior Long Drive Championship, held in conjunction with the IYGC. The busy four days also included another former IYGC junior winning the pro division. Robert Wrenn shot a 5-under-par 67 to claim that prize.
1988The Woodlands TPC – The Woodlands, Texas
The ever-growing IYGC, the nation’s largest junior golf tournament, reached another milestone in 1988, as the 20th annual event was staged at The Woodlands TPC in The Woodlands, Texas. A new record of 47 states were represented as a field of 166 juniors started the tournament, with 60 making the cut at 155 or better. Cade Stone, a 17-year-old from Paris, Texas, became the third Texan in the decade to win the Robert Trent Jones Cup. Playing under the watchful eye of his 78-year-old grandmother (who followed all four rounds of play), the Texas State Junior Champion led after the first and third rounds and then pulled away in the final round for a three-stroke victory over runners-up Chad Ginn of Clinton, Miss., and Jean-Paul Hebert of Houston. Hebert, the son of former PGA Champion Jay Hebert, got in the winner’s circle in the IYGC’s co-event, winning the third annual National Junior Long Drive Championship with a shot of 279 yards, 2 feet, 5 inches. The pro winner was another former IYGC junior and another Texan. Bob Estes shared the best round among the pros with a 3-under-par 68.