2-UNDER-PAR 70 LIFTS SANDERS TO VICTORY
Thompson Captures Girls Title By One
DURHAM, N.C. — David Sanders of Mt. Laurel, N.J., fired a final round of 2-under-par 70 to secure his first-ever American Junior Golf Association title at the Aldila Junior Classic. The Girls Division also welcomed a first-time winner as Alexis Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla., recorded a tournament total of 4-over-par 148.
Conducted by the AJGA, the Aldila Junior Classic was a 36-hole stroke play event held at Treyburn Country Club. The 84-player field featured players from 20 states and Japan. The course played at 6,962 yards for the Boys Division and 6,218 for the Girls Division.
Sanders used a straight-forward strategy for the final round, and executed consistently around the greens throughout.
“I focused on hitting greens today, just putting it in the center of the green and two-putting,” he said.
Sanders did that right from the start on Sunday, making par on his first three holes and shooting even-par on his front nine. He pointed to his back-to-back birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 after making the turn as the key to his round. Sanders then nailed key par putts on Nos. 6 and 7 to save par, before rolling in another 10-footer for birdie on No. 8 for a final round of 2-under-par 70 to finish the tournament at 2-over-par 146.
Clark Palmer of Augusta, Ga., Kyle Kopsick of Lake Bluff, Ill., and Daniel Meggs of Charlotte, N.C., finished tied for second with tournament totals of 3-over-par 147. Drew Page of Waynesville N.C., Michael Muscatell of Lake Wylie, S.C., Mitchell Gray of Florence, S.C., and Lee Bedford of Cary, N.C., finished with tournament totals of 4-over-par 148 to tie for fifth.
In the Girls Division, Alexis Thompson carded her second consecutive round of 2-over-par 74 for a tournament total of 4-over-par 148. Thompson worried that her missed short putts throughout the round would cost her, but praised her other strengths for carrying her to the one shot victory.
“I know my ball striking was really good, my driver and my irons. My chipping was really good too.”
The 12-year-old Thompson was overcome with excitement after capturing her first career AJGA title, and spoke about how much she looked forward to the opportunities that come with the win, most notably a spot in the Rolex Girls Junior Championship and the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
Hannah Yun of Bradenton, Fla., and Michelle Shin of Cape Floral, Fla., finished one off the lead with tournament totals of 5-over-par 149 to finish tied for second.
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.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association¹s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information about the Aldila Junior Classic, please contact National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542.