HOFFMANN WINS INAUGURAL JUNIOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP AT 7-UNDER-PAR
Inclement weather interrupts play for nearly two hours
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Morgan Hoffmann of Saddlebrook, N.J., continued his consistent play during the final round of The Junior PLAYERS Championship, posting a 1-under-par 71 on the TPC Sawgrass — THE PLAYERS Stadium Course to win by three strokes with a 71-67-71—209 tournament total Sunday. Josh Jones of The Colony, Texas, recorded the day's low round with Bud Cauley of Jacksonville, Fla., with a 3-under-par 69, but he was unable to make a run due to Hoffmann's steady two birdie, one bogey final round.
The PGA TOUR, in cooperation with the American Junior Golf Association, brought 78 players from 19 states and 15 foreign countries to TPC Sawgrass for a special junior golf experience. The Junior PLAYERS Championship, mirrored after THE PLAYERS, was played on the par-72 THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. The course was setup at 7,215 yards, the same as the PGA TOUR event that brings together the deepest tournament field in professional golf. Tournament participants were furnished with professional caddies, access to the TOUR locker room and tournament gifts that give this event a PGA TOUR-like feel.
Hoffmann's second-round 67 gave him a five-stroke cushion heading into the final round. Birdies on Nos. 2 and 3 gave him enough padding to play conservatively the rest of the way in. Fourteen pars and one bogey later, Hoffmann was awarded The Junior PLAYERS Championship title.
“This is a result of a lot of hard work to get myself back in the swing of things,” he said of his second AJGA Invitational title of the 2007 season. “After I shot myself in the foot at the U.S. Amateur (he shot a 78 in the second round to miss match play), I made it my goal to win this event.”
To put his outstanding play into perspective, after making bogey on No. 16 during the first round Friday, Hoffmann went 29 holes without another blemish. During that time, Hoffmann made eight birdies and 21 pars before carding a bogey on No. 10 Sunday. He ended the event with an eagle, 11 birdies, 38 pars, three bogeys and a triple bogey.
“It was unbelievable,” he described of the 29-hole stretch on one of the toughest tests in golf. “I was completely confident and trusted everything in my swing. It's as close to perfect golf as I'll ever get.”
Hoffmann, whose No. 5 Polo Golf Ranking is sure to move up a few positions, is now the only boy to hold two AJGA Invitational titles this season.
As many of Hoffmann's challengers faded throughout the final round, Jones was the lone player to remain within striking distance. Jones' 3-under-par 33 on the front nine and a Hoffmann bogey on No. 10 cut the lead to three. Jones was never able to mount a charge in the final nine holes of the tournament, however, and Hoffmann failed to falter in his last eight holes.
“On the back nine, I didn't hit the shots I needed to,” Jones said of his one birdie, one bogey closing nine. “I like to watch where my opponents stand, so I knew what I needed to do. Things just didn't go as I wanted.”
Taylor Travis of Fremont, Calif., and Cauley tied for third with even-par 216 tournament total. Anders Kristiansen of Hafslundsoy, Norway, and Pontus Widegren of Danderyd, Sweden, finished tied for fifth with 1-over-par 217 tournament totals.
For more information about The Junior PLAYERS Championship or any AJGA event, contact the AJGA National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.
About the PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Its primary purpose is to provide competitive earnings opportunities for past, current and future members of the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour; to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world.
In 2007, the three Tours will compete in approximately 110 events for approximately $340 million in prize money. Tournaments are being held in six countries outside the U.S. and in 36 states.
In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, TOUR events also generate significant funds for local charities. In fact, the three Tours have surpassed the $1 billion mark in overall charitable contributions. The PGA TOUR's web site address is www.pgatour.com and the company is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
About the American Junior Golf Association
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.
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, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.