KROPP CLAIMS FOUR-SHOT VICTORY IN WICHITA
Song drives her way to the championship at Crestview Country Club
WICHITA, Kan. — Windy conditions turned into a familiar ending for William Kropp and Christine Song at the Rand Graphics-Wildcat Golf Wichita Junior Championship. Kropp of Edmond, Okla.,and Song of Fullerton, Calif., took home top honors in the same event for the second time after winning the OSSO Junior at Oak Tree in Edmond, Okla., in 2005.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Rand Graphics-Wildcat Golf Wichita Junior Championship was a 54-hole stroke play event held at the Crestview Country Club-North Course in Wichita, Kan. The tournament featured 63 boys and 21 girls — ages 12-18 — from 15 states including five Rolex Junior All-Americans and defending champions Brianna Do of Lakewood, Calif., and Kevin Tway of Edmond, Okla.
Windy conditions were no match for Kropp, who carded a 3-under-par 69 in the final round to take top honors. Kropp is used to the conditions being from Oklahoma and said the wind was not a factor in today's low round.
“The wind wasn't a factor as it was for the others,” Kropp said. “I'm used to it, so I was able to just play the course and focus on my game.”
Kropp, who was playing against three fellow high school teammates all in the top five, said seeing them birdie some holes kicked his game into high gear.
“I saw a kid from my high school team make a few birdies and I thought I had to do that too,” said Kropp. “I then birdied three holes on the back nine.”
Coming into the final round, Kropp said he just wanted to have fun, play a good round and hoped things worked out for the best.
“I thought if I played my own game and had fun, I would have a chance at the end,” Kropp said.
Geoff Shaw of Edmond, Okla., and Connor McHenry of Jefferson City, Mo., ended the tournament tied for third place with 3-under-par 213s. Defending champion Tway finished alone in fourth place with even-par 216. Max Do of Lakewood, Calif., rounded out the Boys Division top five with a 1-over-par 217.
Song finished with two birdies on the round, which were back-to-back on the front nine. The two front-nine birdies got Song started, where she remained at 2-under-par into the back nine.
“I stuck it to six feet on No. 3 and within ten feet on No. 4,” Song said. “Starting off with those helped carry me through the round.”
Consistency on the fairway and greens kept Song alive and in the lead.
“I hit the fairway a lot today and made a lot of putts,” said Song. “Getting the birdie on No. 3 got me started and the next one helped carry me.”
Hannah Yun of Bradenton, Fla., rounded out the tournament in second place after carding a three-day total of 6-over-par 222. Caitlin Bliss of Katy, Texas, and In-Ah Park of Las Vegas, finished the top three, both tied for third place after carding 223s.
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 an annual 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, which is in 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
For more information on the Rand Graphics-Wildcat Golf Wichita Junior Championship please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.