HURST COMES FROM BEHIND TO DEFEND TITLE AT MIRASOL
Barber takes home his first title in Boys Division at Birks & Mayors Junior Championship at Mirasol
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., carded the low final-round score of 3-under-par 69 to win the Girls Division with a 10-under-par 66-71-69—206 at the Birks & Mayors Junior Championship at Mirasol for the second straight year Friday. In the Boys Division, Blayne Barber of Lake City, Fla., fired a 2-under-par 70 to take home his first ever American Junior Golf Association championship with a 9-under-par 68-69-70—207.
Conducted by the AJGA, the Birks & Mayors Junior Championship at Mirasol was a 54-hole stroke play event held on the Sunset Course at The Country Club at Mirasol. The 82-player field featured players from seven states, the Cayman Islands, Japan, Poland and South Korea. The Girls Division played the Sunset Course at 6,048 yards, while the Boys Division played it at 6,873 yards.
Hurst, in second place after the second round, was able to separate herself from the rest of the field after a competitive day.
“On No. 15 when I was only 1-up I was a little nervous and I knew I had to do something to be able to come out on top,” Hurst said. “It was tough since we weren't really playing the course, we were playing each other. The entire week all of us just played amazing.”
She credited her comeback to making shots consistently and executing her usual game. Hurst carded four birdies and only one bogey en route to her fourth AJGA victory.
“Today I was just playing safe and letting shots drop when they wanted,” Hurst said, who recently finished second at the Thunderbird International Junior last week. “When you are out there it's all momentum and I was able to get it there at the end.”
Andrea Watts of Bradenton, Fla., finished at 5-under-par behind Hurst posting rounds of 69-67-75 — 211. Elisa Aoki, of Nagoya-City, Japan, shot 1-under-par in the final round to finish 72-72-71 — 215 to take home third.
In the Boys Division, Barber was able to take home top honors in his second AJGA tournament appearance. He sank four birdies and only two bogeys in his final round.
“It feels incredible to finally put three solid rounds together,” Barber said. “I was just trying to keep the ball down the middle and take it one shot at a time. I was controlling my ball pretty well this week so I was able to do that.”
Similar to the Girls Division, the boys' leaders were close all day with the round coming down to the final holes.
“On No. 13 I was able to get a lead on Andrew [Colvin] and on No. 14 I got a big lead on Justin [Dorward],” he said. “But I knew they were both going to come back and they did. I just stayed focused and tried not to focus on what they were doing. I wanted to make them come to me.”
Finishing in second behind Barber was Andrew Colvin of Longwood, Fla., with a 68-70-71 — 209, good for 7-under-par. Justin Dorward of Port St. Lucie, Fla., finished third at 6-under-par 67-70-73 — 210.
Rounding out the Boys Division in a three-way tie for fifth are Chris Piumelli of Bradenton, Fla., T.J. Vogel of Cooper City, Fla., and Connor Arendell of Cape Coral, Fla., who all ended at 3-under-par 213.
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 49 states and 25 foreign countries.
Birks & Mayors operates 67 luxury jewelry stores across Canada, Florida and Georgia. The company posted annual sales of $274.3 million in 2006 and employs more than 1,100 employees in Canada and the United States. The company operates 38 stores (Birks brand) across most major metropolitan markets in Canada and 29 stores (Mayors brand) across Florida and Georgia. Birks & Mayors also designs and manufactures fine jewelry, timepieces, sterling and plated silverware and gifts under the Birks brand, which is currently sold through Birks & Mayors retail channels.
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 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.
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, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information on the Birks & Mayors Junior Championship at Mirasol, please contact National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542.