SUBARU OPEN AT ANDOVER
Andover Golf & Country Club
June 28 â€“ July 1,2004
GLADSON GARNERS FIRST CAREER AJGA VICTORY
Hong continues successful summer
LEXINGTON, Ky. â€“ Marc Gladson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, shot a final-round even-par 72, capturing his first AJGA victory by four strokes. Gladsonâ€™s tournament total of 4-under-par 212, made him the only individual to finish the tournament under par. Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla., was able to overcome a three-stroke deficit in the Girls Division, to earn her second AJGA victory this summer.
The Subaru Open at Andover is a 54-hole stroke-play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Andover Golf & Country Club. The tournament includes 99 boy and girl junior golfers, ages 12-18, from 18 states, Canada, and Japan. Four Rolex Junior All-Americans and 29 Kentucky natives highlight the field.
Gladson entered the round just one stroke ahead of his nearest competitor, Justin Perry of Franklin, Ky., but was able to pull away from the field and his nerves early in the day. After bogeying No. 2, he came back and birdied the difficult par-4 third, when his approach shot finished to within three feet of the hole. The birdie, combined with some early trouble by his playing partners, gave him a four-stroke lead through three.
â€śI was really nervous on the first couple of holes this morning,â€ť Gladson commented. â€śI missed a three-foot par putt on the second hole purely because of nerves. However, I was able to settle down and hit two great shots on No.3.â€ť
From there, Gladson was able to stay consistent making pars and staying out of trouble. â€śI know the best way to put pressure on your opponents is to consistently hit greens and fairways. I was able to do that all day and just keep myself in position to win this tournament.â€ť For the round, he made pars on 13 of his last 15 holes including his last seven holes on the back nine.
Gladson credits his solid ball striking and the ability to keep himself out of the numerous trouble areas at Andover, as the reason he was able to capture his first AJGA victory in just three career starts.
â€śThe win feels really great, I have known that I can compete with these guys, it was just a matter of staying in position, and today I did a good job of that,â€ť Gladson said.
Finishing second was Jesse Massie of Louisville, Ky., who finished with a tournament total of even-par 216. Low round of the day went to Teddy Collins of Prospect, Ky., with a 3-under-par 69 and a total of 217, to finish in third place. Kyle Hodges of Hamilton, Ohio, and Noah Goldman of Longwood, Fla., tied for fourth, seven strokes behind Gladson at 219.
Hong was able to take advantage of second round leader Ashley Freemanâ€™s early troubles, and then hold her off at the end to garner the Girls Division crown. After pars on the first two holes, Hong was able to take the lead after bogeying the third hole and a birding on No. 4. Freeman in the mean time struggled and made double bogey on both Nos. 3 and 4.
â€śThe birdie on No. 4 was really key because I was able to make up three strokes and take the lead,â€ť Hong explained. â€śAshley is a great player and I knew how difficult it was going to be to catch her, so I had to make up stokes early.â€ť
Hongâ€™s front nine 35 gave her a three stroke lead at the turn. After playing the first three holes of the back nine 1-under-par, Hong found some trouble on the par-5 13th making a double bogey and lost the half of the four-stroke cushion she enjoyed. On No. 17 Hong made a clutch 15 foot par putt and then managed a bogey on the par-4 eighteenth from the fairway bunker.
â€śThe putt I made on the seventeenth hole was huge,â€ť Hong commented. â€śOn 18, I played safe by chipping out of the bunker and just trying to make a bogey at worst.â€ť
The win is Hongâ€™s second this summer as she won the AJGA Windy City Junior in Chicago, Ill.
Finishing second was Freeman of Belleville, Ill., with a tournament total of 219. Yuki Sakurai of Kyoto, Japan, finished at 221 in third place, three strokes behind Hong.
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 AJGAâ€™s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Associationâ€™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 Subaru Open at Andover, please contact AJGA headquarters at (770) 868-4200.