LO RECOVERS FROM FOUR-STOKE DEFICIT TO WIN AT WETHERSFIELD
Lendl seals first AJGA victory with birdie on No. 18
WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — Tom Lo of Los Angeles, carded a 1-under-par 70 in the final round to win the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers, his second American Junior Golf Association victory. Isabelle Lendl of Bradenton, Fla., won her first AJGA tournament with consistent rounds of 72 for a three-day tournament total of 3-over-par 216.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers was held at Wethersfield Country Club. Ninety-nine junior golfers from 14 states, including 28 from Connecticut, competed in the 54-hole stroke play event.
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.
Lo, coming off a AJGA tournament win at the Hanmi Bank Junior Open July 11 — 14, 2005, said the win gave him confidence heading into this tournament. Lo said he did not think he would win because he was four strokes off the lead heading into the final round.
“I just tried to play my game,” he said. “I did not think I would have a chance to win.”
Lo posted four birdies on the round — two on the front, two on the back — bringing him to a 1-under-par 70, 3-under-par 210 tournament total.
David Lipsky of La Canada, Calif., was second with a 2-under-par 211. Morgan Hoffmann of Wyckoff, N.J., Samuel Kim of Cerritos, Calif., Cody Paladino of Kensington, Conn., and Carl Santos-Ocampo of Naples, Fla., tied for third with 1-over-par 214s.
In Girls Division play, Lendl stuck her 130-yard approach shot on No. 18 to three feet from the hole for the birdie putt that clinched the win over second-round leader, Natalie Sheary of West Hartford, Conn. Lendl and Sheary were tied heading into No. 18, but Sheary three-putted for bogey causing a two-stroke swing.
Lendl said, although she had the same score all three rounds, she was disappointed after yesterday's round, but felt better after her final-round front nine. She birdied Nos. 2, 3 and 4 to start the round.
“Today, I pulled it together on the front nine,” she said. “That created a lot of momentum for me. I just told myself to stay calm — anything was possible.”
Lendl won her first AJGA tournament with family and friends cheering her on in the leader-group gallery.
“I got to show off a little bit,” she said, laughing about her family watching. “I felt like there was someone out there to support me, which is really important to me.”
Sheary finished two strokes behind Lendl in second place with a 5-over-par 218. Michelle Grilli of Lutherville, Md., ended the final round in third place with a tournament total of 224, after sinking a 50-foot birdie putt on No. 18.
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 on the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers, call AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.