LOPEZ HOOKS ‘EM IN AUSTIN
McCloskey takes Girls Division by one stroke
AUSTIN, Texas— Lance Lopez, 17, of Missouri City, Texas, won his second consecutive Stars of Texas Junior championship with a 1-under-par 70 in Friday’s final round at The University of Texas Golf Club. Lisa McCloskey, 13, of Montgomery, Texas, took home the Girls Division by one stoke.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Stars of Texas Junior is held at The University of Texas Golf Club. The 54-hole event features 99 of the nation’s premier junior golfers from 10 states, including 77 Texans. The University of Texas Golf Club, which opened in 2003, played host to the 2005 Big XII Women’s Golf Championship.
Starting out the day at 3-under-par, Lopez continued to dominate the field throughout the round, eventually capturing his second straight final by eight strokes. Lopez’s tournament total was 209, nine stokes better than his championship score in the 2004 tournament, held at Austin Country Club. After going into a sudden-death playoff in 2004, Lopez said he wanted a better showing in 2005.
“I was more focused on what I had to do this year,” Lopez said. “I knew what I had to do to get the job done.”
Carding three birdies on the day, Lopez, who has given a verbal commitment to the University of Texas, got the job done in commanding fashion on the course that he will call home in 2006.
Recording a 3-over-par 74 on the round, Aaron Bradshaw of Allen, Texas, earned the second-place spot with a 217 tournament total. In a two-way tie for third, Lanto Griffin of Blacksburg, Va., and Cody Gribble of Dallas both ended the tournament at 5-over-par 218. With a three-day total of 6-over-par 219, Johnathan Schnitzer of Houston, Texas, and Geoff Howard of San Antonio, Texas tied for fifth place. Schnitzer also took home the low-final round award after firing a 2-under-par 69.
This will be the first win to add to McCloskey’s resume, as she had previously tied for fifth at the Fidelity Investments Junior Championship. After going 7-over on Friday’s round, McCloskey’s three-day tournament total of 228 won the Girls Division by one stroke over Jenny Lee of La Canada, Calif.
“I’m pretty excited,” McCloskey said of her win. “She was there the whole time though, especially the last five holes.”
Entering Friday’s round with a two stroke lead, McCloskey dealt with the heat—both Lee’s and that of West Texas—as she carded two birdies on the round to secure her spot on the top.
One stroke behind McCloskey, Lee recorded a 6-over-par 77, making her three-day total 229, earning her second place for the tournament. Brooke Goodwin of Fuquay Varina, N.C., rounded out the top three in the Girls Division after carding a 5-over-par 76 during Friday’s final round.
The low-final round award in the Girls Division was given to Raelyn Smith of Odessa, Texas, who scored a 3-over-par 74.
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, the largest Association of its kind, 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 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.
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, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about the Stars of Texas Junior at The University of Texas Golf Club or other AJGA events, please contact AJGA headquarters at (770) 868-4200.