AJGA RICHMOND JUNIOR
Salisbury Country Club
August 16-19, 2004
GRANADA WINS AGAIN WITH FINAL-ROUND 68
O’Connell grabs victory in sudden-death playoff
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Julieta Granada of Asuncion, Paraguay, brought her tournament total to a 7-under-par 209 after firing a low final-round 68, to take top honors at the inaugural AJGA Richmond Junior. Kevin O’Connell of Cary, N.C., carded a final-round 74 to bring his tournament total to 211. Timothy Courtney of Midlothian, Va., also brought his tournament total to 211 with a final-round 70, forcing a sudden-death playoff. O’Connell secured the victory with a par-saving putt on the first playoff hole.
The AJGA Richmond Junior was a 54-stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association. The tournament featured 99 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, ages 12-18, from 18 states, Canada and Paraguay. Highlighting the field were Rolex Junior All-Americans Brian Belden of Emmaus, Pa., Taylor Bunnell of Germantown, Tenn., Stephanie Connelly of Pasadena, Md., and Granada.
Granada, 17, carded seven birdies during Thursday’s round of 4-under-par 68. Granada credited her improved putting for the low numbers.
“My putter was working well for me today,” Granada said. “I just hit the ball okay so I had to make a lot of good putts. Unlike the first two rounds, my putter made the difference today.”
The AJGA Richmond Junior is Granada’s third AJGA victory of the year. In 2004, Granada also claimed victory at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, the Randall Parker Shootout at Fieldstone, the U.S. Girls Amateur and now in Richmond.
“It feels really great to win,” Granada commented. “I’m really happy with my game and it keeps improving. I’m going to take two weeks off and then head to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior—which I’m really looking forward to.”
Michelle Grilli of Lutherville, Md., carded a final-round even par 72, bringing her three-round total to 3-under-par 213, good for second place. Grilli was followed in third place by Connelly, whose final-round 70 moved her up three places to grab third with a 218 tournament total.
In the Boys Division, O’Connell’s 2-over-par round included two birdies and four bogeys and was good enough to force the playoff.
“I didn’t drive the ball as well today as I have this week,” O’Connell said. “I really just had to hang in there all day today because Timothy (Courtney) was playing well.”
Both O’Connell and Courtney recorded a par on No. 18 to force the playoff. During the playoff, O’Connell’s drive went into the left-side bunker while Courtney’s was in the middle of the fairway. Courtney left his approach shot short of the green, which left room for O’Connell to strike his bunker shot to within eight feet of the flagstick. After Courtney’s chip put him five feet from the cup, O’Connell missed his eight-footer for birdie. Courtney then missed his five foot putt for par while O’Connell drained his short putt to seal the victory.
“It feels great to win—I never expected it,” O’Connell remarked. “I haven’t had the best summer, but I just kept on working on my game and it paid off. I now get to go to Polo (Polo Golf Junior Championship) in November and I can’t wait for that.”
In third place behind O’Connell and Courtney was Belden, who carded a final-round 74, brining his tournament total to 212. Rounding out the top-5 was Kyle Davis of Kennett Square, Pa., and Eric LeFante of Colts Neck, N.J., with three-day totals of 3-under-par 213.
Also on Thursday, Alexander Retsch-Bogart of Chapel Hill, N.C., used an 8-iron to record a hole-in-one on the par-3, 152-yard eighth hole.
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 AJGA Richmond Junior or the American Junior Golf Association, please contact our National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.