WHITSETT RUNS AWAY WITH 10-STROKE VICTORY AT NIKE GOLF JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Brown held on to take the trophy in Oregon at Langdon Farms Golf Club
AURORA, Ore. — Cory Whitsett of Houston, took an early lead and never looked back to claim the Nike Golf Junior Championship by 10 strokes while setting a new 54-hole tournament record at 15-under-par 198. Sarah Brown of Stewartsville, N.J., held on for victory in the Girls Division by carding a 2-over-par 215 tournament total.
The Nike Golf Junior Championship was a 54-hole stroke-play Invitational conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Langdon Farms Golf Club. The 72-player field consisted of juniors from 21 states, Canada, Japan and Mexico. The Nike Golf Junior Championship was the final event of the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series. The Nike Golf Junior Championship featured the top-5 boys and top-3 girls from the past 10 Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series events.
Whitsett came into the day with a comfortable lead and looked to play safe and avoid trouble. By hitting the fairways and aiming at the middle of each green, Whitsett was able to avert mistakes and finished the final round at 2-under-par 69. After watching his closest competitors aggressive play he began to play conservatively. He credited much of his play to the confidence he built up during the first two rounds, which included setting the competitive course record in Saturday's first round at 64.
“I got off to a great start today and once I saw some of the other guys get into trouble I began to play more conservative,” Whitsett said. “It was a goal of mine coming into the summer to win this tournament and it really means a lot to me to do so.”
Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash., and Anton Arboleda of La Canada, Calif., finished tied for second with tournament totals of 5-under-par 208. Sam Smith of Turlock, Calif., carded a 3-under-par 210 to take fourth, while Jordan Rumora of Houston, finished in fifth with a tournament total of 2-under-par 211.
In the Girls Division, Brown, who finished third at last year's Nike Golf Junior Championship, came into today's final round with a similar mindset as Whitsett. Brown used the confidence she built during Saturday's round where she set a new Langdon Farms Golf Club competitive course record round of 7-under-par 64 to carry her through her inconsistent final round.
“I got up and down a lot, which saved me,” Brown said. “It means a lot to me that I was able to redeem, last year and go home with a trophy.”
Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif., finished second with a tournament total of 5-over-par 218. Ani Gulugian of Irvine, Calif., took third at 6-over-par 219.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 foreign countries.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel.
For more information about the Nike Golf Junior Championship, please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.