GREATER HARTFORD JAYCEES JUNIOR PRESENTED BY ST. PAUL TRAVELERS
Shuttle Meadow Country Club
August 2-5, 2005
CURRAN GOES LOW ON THE BACK NINE TO WIN IN HARTFORD
Lee rolls in par putt on No. 18 for one-shot victory
KENSINGTON, Conn. â€“ Jon Curran of Hopkinton, Mass., and Tim McKenney of Scottsdale, Ariz., began the final round of the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers tied for the lead, and after 13 holes they still remained deadlocked.
But a birdie on No. 14 and another at No. 16 was enough to propel Curran into a lead he would never relinquish. Making a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 18, Curran shot a final-round 69 for a tournament total of 4-under-par 209, three shots ahead of McKenney.
In the Girls Division, Kasi Lee of Paramus, N.J., dueled Megan Grehan of Mamaroneck, N.Y., to the final hole before rolling in a 12-foot putt for par to give the 17-year-old her first American Junior Golf Association victory.
The Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers was a 54-hole tournament conducted by the AJGA at Shuttle Meadow Country Club in Kensington, Conn. The tournament featured 99 of the nationâ€™s premier junior golfers, ages 12-18, from 14 states and three countries, including 31 from Connecticut.
Curran began his final round with a bogey, but stayed patient and was able to make up the lost stroke with birdies on Nos. 5 and 7. Patience, he said, was the most important factor in the final round.
â€śI was hitting a lot of greens but just didnâ€™t make many putts on the front nine,â€ť said Curran, who putted for birdie on 15 of the 18 holes. â€śI started off kind of slow.â€ť
Things picked up on the back nine for the second-team Rolex All-American. After quietly stalking McKenney for the first four holes, the birdie at No. 14 gave him his first lead of the day â€“ a lead that would turn out to be for good.
â€śIâ€™ve never been tied for the lead like that, going into the last day,â€ť said Curran, who, along with McKenney, was tied with Mu Hu of Shen Zhen, China, after two rounds. â€śBut those were great guys to play against.â€ť
The win is Curranâ€™s third AJGA victory and his second at the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers. His other win came at the 2002 Kroger Junior Invitational.
In third behind Curran and McKenney was Maki Kobayashi of Newington, Conn., who had the dayâ€™s low-final round of 68 to finish four strokes back. David Holzworth of Chapel Hill, N.C., finished fourth at 2-over-par 215, and Davis Brown of Stamford, Conn., was fifth at 216.
Lee began the final round two shots ahead of Mayule Tomimbang of Kissimmee, Fla., and three ahead of Grehan. But after starting with back-to-back bogeys, Lee played her final 16 holes in just 2-over-par.
â€śI was kind of nervous from the beginning,â€ť Lee said. â€śI knew a two-shot lead wasnâ€™t going to be enough.â€ť
Grehan also bogeyed the first hole, but was able to offset it with four birdies on the front nine and another at No. 10. But trailing by two after No. 11, Lee began making her move. A birdie at No. 12 sparked her rally, and another at No. 16 gave her the confidence she said she needed to win her first AJGA title.
â€śThe most important part of the round was the 16th,â€ť Lee said. â€śI felt I could actually win.â€ť
After both players played short of the par-5 18th hole, they each chipped to within 12-feet. Lee putted first, ringing her putt in for the par. Then Grehan, with a chance to tie, saw her attempt slide past the hole.
â€śIâ€™m blacked out,â€ť Lee said after her round. â€śI donâ€™t know what to say.â€ť
Tomimbang shot a final-round 79 to hold onto third place, six shots off the pace.
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 largest association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior 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.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Christie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers, please contact AJGA headquarters at (770) 868-4200.
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