FORE!KIDS JUNIOR AT TPC OF LOUISIANA
TPC of Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
FAST RUNS AWAY FROM FIELD TO WIN FORE!KIDS BY EIGHT STROKES
Hines wins Girls Division title in two-hole sudden-death playoff
NEW ORLEANS – Matt Fast of Hattiesburg, Miss., shot the low round of the tournament Thursday with a 4-under-par 68 to win the Fore!Kids Junior at TPC of Louisiana. In a two-hole sudden-death playoff, Caney Hines of San Antonio scrambled to defeat Christie Reed of Oak Ridge, Tenn., for ownership of the Girls Division title.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Fore!Kids Junior at TPC of Louisiana was held at TPC of Louisiana in New Orleans. The 54-hole stroke-play event featured 82 of the nation’s premier golfers from 13 states and Paraguay.
Entering the final round at even-par, Fast said he “got off to a good start.” After a par at No. 1, Fast hit his second shot on No. 2 into a bunker but placed his third shot within five feet of the green to putt in for birdie.
“I was hitting it pretty close,” he said. “And I putted well from 10 feet in.”
On the par-4 465-yard No. 4, Fast carded an eagle that took him to 3-under-par for the tournament.
“I holed out from 150 yards,” he said.
The win, Fast’s first AJGA championship title, came after a win last week at the Cleveland Golf Joe Durant Southern Junior held in Pensacola, Fla.
Thomas Hugghins of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., finished in second place, eight strokes behind Fast, with a tournament total of 220. Kyle Kelley of Houston, Morgan Landry of Lafayette, La., and Weldon Martin of Houston finished tied for third at 221.
In the Girls Division, Hines and Reed were tied at the top with 54-hole totals of 222, setting up a playoff.
On the par-4 tenth, the first playoff hole, Hines had a rocky start, placing her tee shot in a fairway bunker while Reed placed her own shot in the center of the fairway. However, Hines knocked her ball out of the bunker to within 10 feet of the hole.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it over the lip of the bunker,” she said. “I just hit it as hard as I could.”
Both Hines and Reed made par at No. 10 and continued the play-off on the 495-yard, par-5 eleventh. While Reed placed her tee-shot center-fairway, Hines found herself behind a Cyprus tree over 30 feet tall on the left side of the fairway. Once again, Hines scrambled, punching her second shot around the tree to within 10 feet of the hole. Hines two-putted for par but Reed’s second putt lipped-out to leave her with a bogey.
“It’s tough to win that way,” said Hines about her second AJGA win. “I watched that happen to Christie all day.”
Hines’ final-round score of 73 was highlighted by birdies on Nos. 4, 8, 9 and 17 balanced out by five bogies.
“Nos. 8 and 9 really helped a lot,” she said. “On No. 8, I had a 15-foot putt for birdie, and on No. 9, I had a 25-foot putt for birdie.”
Brittany Nelson of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. finished third, three strokes behind Hines and Reed. Nelson shot a personal-low competitive-round score of 69 in the final round of the tournament, highlighted by birdies at Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 7 to finish with a 33 on the front nine.
“I was playing very consistent,” Nelson said. “I hit 16 greens and 12 fairways.”
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information about the Fore!Kids Junior Classic at TPC of Louisiana or any of the AJGA’s events, contact AJGA National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542.