HADLEY PICKS UP HIS FIRST AJGA WIN
Kim wins Girls Division with five-stroke victory
BLUFFTON, S.C. — Chesson Hadley of Raleigh, N.C., carded a 5-under-par 67 in the final round of the 12th annual Hargray Junior Classic to pick up his first AJGA win Friday. In the Girls Division, In-Kyung Kim of Hilton Head Island, S.C., picked up a five-stroke victory in her first AJGA tournament.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Hargray Junior Classic featured 84 players, ages 12-18, from 13 states and Peru. The event was held at Hampton Hall Club in Bluffton, S.C.
Hadley fired rounds of 67-68-67 en route to a tournament total of 14-under-par 202. The 18-year-old carded six birdies in the final round, while hitting 13 fairways and 17 greens in regulation, and his lone bogey of the tournament came on No. 13 when he three-putted. He hit his shots close to the hole all day, with his longest putt coming on No. 6 when he hit it to eight feet and made his birdie putt.
“I was nervous at the start,” Hadley said. “I had been in that position before [with the lead], but never in an AJGA tournament. I just tried to do what I did all week and I made more putts today. Everything just seemed to go my way this week.”
The win marked Hadley's first with his previous best coming at the 2003 Nike Golf Junior at Jacksonville where he tied for third.
“I knew I could do it [win an AJGA tournament],” he said. “For me to play this well with this level of competition shows that my hard work is paying off.”
Alan Lee of Lima, Peru, finished second, four strokes back of Hadley, with a 10-under-par 206 tournament total. Tied for third at 7-under-par 209 were Lion Kim of Lake Mary, Fla.; Jackson Beindorf of Vero Beach, Fla.; Jay Vandeventer of Bristol, Va.; Spencer Cole of Greer, S.C.; and Will Bowman of Greensboro, N.C.
In the Girls Division, In-Kyung Kim made her first AJGA tournament count in a big way as she walked away with the victory. She fired rounds of 68-67-71 to finish with a tournament total of 10-under-par 206.
The 17-year-old played consistently during the final round as she made par on her first nine holes. Her first of two birdies came on No. 10 when she drained a putt from five feet.
“I just tried my best today,” Kim said. “I was trying to make birdies but I lipped out a couple of times. I couldn't make birdies and it was a quiet day with nothing special happening.”
Finishing second was Srixon Qualifier co-medalist Alexandra Bodemann of Palm City, Fla., who finished with a tournament total of 5-under-par 211. Rounding out the top three was Brooke Pancake of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Rebecca Durham of St. Simons Island, Ga., with a 215 total.
Hargray Communications Group, a leader in the telecommunications business, was title sponsor of the Hargray Junior Classic for the 11th year. Hargray is actively involved in supporting a variety of sporting events on Hilton Head Island.
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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 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 Hargray Junior Classic or the AJGA, contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.