REED COMES FROM BEHIND TO WIN BOYS DIVISION IN MEMPHIS
Dodson uses final-round 76 to win Girls Division at Southwind
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After finishing Wednesday's second round two strokes out of the lead, 14-year-old Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge, La., was able to make up the ground to win the Boys Division at the True Temper/David Gossett Junior Championship. Sarah Dodson overcame a one-shot deficit, posting a final-round 76, to take top honors in the Girls Division.
The True Temper/David Gossett Junior Championship, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 66 boys and 18 girls — ages 12-18 — from 19 states and Australia, including 23 from Tennessee. The event was staged on the par-71, 6,820-yard Tournament Players Club at Southwind, home of the PGA TOUR's FedEx/St. Jude Classic (Girls Division played at 6,015).
By carding a birdie and an eagle in a bogey-free front nine, Reed showed that he was ready to play. Coming into Thursday's final round two shots out of the lead, he said that he knew he had a chance before he hit his first tee shot.
“I was only two back and had 18 holes of golf to play. I made up four shots during the second round, so I knew I had the ability to do it,” Reed said referring to the 2-over 73 he shot in the second round, compared to his first-round 77.
“I just took it one shot at a time today and went for the center of the green. I trusted my putter too,” said Reed. “I knew that I really had a chance to win when I saw the scores from the leader group when we were going from No. 10 to No. 11.”
After finishing the front nine at 3-under-par, Reed struggled with the back side. He bogeyed No. 10, rebounded with a birdie on No. 11, but posted another bogey on No. 12. Three consecutive pars kept him afloat before he bogeyed No. 16, following up with a double-bogey on No. 17 after losing his tee shot.
Reed came into No. 18 one stroke behind one of his playing partners, Richard Ciombor of Anthem, Ariz. Ciombor's second shot found the lake to the left of No. 18 green while Reed landed his on the green, setting him up for the win.
Ciombor finished one stroke behind Reed at 223 to finish runner-up. Bobby Hudson of Memphis, Tenn., Will Loweth of Houston, Jordan Payne of West Memphis, Ark., Troy Sidabras of Indilantic, Fla., and Connor McHenry of Jefferson City, Mo., finished in a tie for third at 224.
In the Girls Division, 18-year-old Dodson continued her steady play to take over the lead and take the win. Her best finish in an AJGA event prior to this week was a tie for eighth at the OSSO Junior at Oak Tree.
“I feel pretty good about this,” said Dodson. “All of my hard work is paying off.”
She entered the final round one stroke behind Kellye Belcher of Bartlett, Tenn., but quickly took over the lead as she birdied two of the first three holes. She carded only one other birdie on the day (on No. 13), but it was enough to hold on to the lead.
“After I birdied Nos. 2 and 3, I knew that I was hitting it well enough to win and I just kept that drive going all day,” said Dodson of her good start.
“I was able to put it into play today, hit some greens and make some putts,” said Dodson. “”I was hitting it really good and my iron play went really well today.”
Belcher posted a final-round 80 to finish runner-up, three strokes behind Dodson. First-round leader Cara Freeman of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., carded a 77 in the final round to finish at third at 240.
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 49 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, which enters its third decade of support, 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, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about the True Temper/David Gossett Junior Championship, contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.