HUDSON: Life can be full of surprises.
Need an example?
Fai Khamborn entered the 33rd annual Hudson Junior Invitational girls golf tournament as a virtual unknown 12-year-old to many at the Country Club of Hudson.
On the other end of the spectrum, Jessica Porvasnik, 16, who will be a senior at Highland High School, came into the event as the defending champion and appeared ready to claim her second consecutive tournament title following solid rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thursday, however, belonged to Khamborn who overcame a 3-stroke deficit to defeat Porvasnik by 3 strokes and win the girls title.
Khamborn, who is going into the seventh grade in Khon Kaen, Thailand, speaks limited English and was accompanied at the tournament by her uncle, Pat Boonsin, and aunt, Chang Boonsin.
“I am really glad and really happy that I could make it and win,” Khamborn said through interpreter Pat Boonsin.
Boonsin said Khamborn has come and visited his family in Cincinnati during the past four summers and plays summer tournaments in the United States.
Khamborn shot 4-over-par 76 Thursday after rounds of 78 and 74 the first two days. Her 12-over-par 228 topped Porvasnik’s 231. Porvasnik, a Hinckley resident and Ohio State University recruit, carded 82 Thursday following rounds of 74 and 75 the first two days.
Porvasnik said she triple-bogied No. 16, which proved costly coupled with Khamborn’s eagle on No. 18.
“I hit the ball really bad,” Porvasnik said. “I did scramble on some holes, but I was unlucky on others. I hit a car path and the ball went in the water. . . . Things just didn’t go my way.”
Country Club of Hudson golf pros Jeff Camp Sr. and Jeff Camp Jr. each said they believe Khamborn is the youngest champion in tournament history.
Xavier University recruit Matt Gerard, a 2012 Cleveland St. Ignatius graduate, won the 34th annual Hudson Junior Invitational boys golf tournament with a 1-over-par 217.
Gerard, an 18-year-old Rocky River resident, shot 1-over-par 73 Thursday following rounds of 74 and 70. He made birdie on No. 10.
“I just knew I had to remain calm and make pars,” Gerard said. “I just let the other guys make mistakes.”
Walsh Jesuit junior-to-be Chase Johnson and Canadian Nicolas Crozier of Unionville, Ontario, finished tied for second at 219.
Johnson, a 16-year-old Barberton resident, shot a 2-under-par 70 Thursday and made birdies on Nos. 9, 11, 17 and 18. He shot 73 and 76 the first two days.
“I was making some putts, big putts on the back nine [Thursday],” Johnson said. “I made a really big putt from 20 feet on 11 from the left side of the pin. Then on 18, I almost dunked it for eagle from 140 yards out. It hit three inches right of the pin and it spun back to about six inches.”
The girls played from the gold tees on a course that measured 5,944 yards. The boys played from the blue tees on a course that spanned 6,725 yards.
Canadian Jake McNulty of Port Perry, Ontario, tied for fourth on the boys side at 221 with Dublin’s Brady Bohl and Seth Sweet of Madison, Maine.
Stow junior-to-be Ian Holt (82-70-71) tied for seventh at 223 with Ryan Troyer of Dover and Brett Rinker of Slippery Rock, Pa.
Avon Lake’s Nikolette Schroeder placed third on the girls side at 232, and Jackson sophomore-to-be Landrie Grace (77-79-77) finished fourth at 233. Emmie Pietila and Hannah Pietila of Brighton, Mich. tied for fifth at 234 with Ailin Li of Windermere, Fla.