MAIN MAINTAINS LEAD TO CAPTURE FIRST INVITATIONAL VICTORY
Hurst takes second Invitational victory of the summer at The PING Invitational
STILLWATER, Okla. - Gregor Main of Danville, Calif., and Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., were able to maintain their leads through Monday's final round to win The PING Invitational. Main claimed his first AJGA Invitational victory finishing 2-under-par, with rounds 68-71-75—214. In the Girls Division, Hurst notched her second AJGA Invitational win, finishing the tournament at 2-over-par, 73-69-76—218.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, The PING Invitational was a 54-hole stroke play held at Karsten Creek Golf Club. The 78-player field featured players from 18 states and Canada. The Girls Division played Karsten Creek Golf Club at 6,220 yards, while the Boys Division played at 7,285 yards.
Main, who captured the lead in the first round and never let go, said he had a rough start Monday, carding six bogeys and one birdie on the front nine. But he responded on the back with three birdies, one of which he fired on No. 18 in front of an anxious gallery to end the round with an eight-stroke lead and take home the championship trophy.
“Conditions were really tough today with the wind blowing a totally different direction,” Main said. “I didn't play the front well, but after the wind settled, I played really solid on the back.”
Main, who said one of his goals has been to win an invitational, said he's been practicing and working really hard at his game.
“This is a really strong field, so it feels good to beat these guys,” Main said. “It's nice to have my hard work pay off.”
Chan Kim of Chandler, Ariz., began Monday's round nine strokes back and in sixth place. Chan was able to pull into second place by sinking a hole-in-one with a seven iron on the 184 yard No. 11, and finish with a three-day total of 76-72-74—222. Taking third place was Ramsey Sahyoun of Reseda, Calif., with rounds 74-72-77—223. David Chung of Fayetteville, N.C., finished in fourth place with rounds of 71-75-78—224. And Cory Whitsett of Houston finished in fifth place with rounds of 69-80-76—225.
In the Girls Division, Hurst, who claimed the lead after posting a second round 3-under-par 69, said she felt good coming into Monday's final round. Hurst said with a course this tricky, and Monday morning's wet weather, her goal was to just make par. With this goal in mind, Hurst was able to maintain the lead throughout the final round, recording 13 pars, to take home her second invitational championship trophy.
“I knew conditions were going to be tough, so I just tried to make par,” Hurst said.
Hurst, who won the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship in July, was excited to win an event with such a strong field.
“It's really neat to play with the best players in the country,” Hurst said. “And even neater to win.”
Kimberly Kim of Pahoa, Hawaii, began the final round nine strokes behind the leader and finished five back in second place with rounds of 77-74-72—223. A three-way tie for third place was held by Stephanie Kono of Honolulu, Tiffany Lua of Rowland Heights, Calif., and Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., all with three day totals of 224.
This week's tournament title partner, PING, designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of golf equipment including metal woods, irons, putters and golf bags. The family-owned company was founded in 1959 by the late Karsten Solheim. Solheim is the only person to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as a golf club manufacturer. Today, the Phoenix-based company is under the direction of Solheim's youngest son, John A. Solheim. PING game-improvement products can be found in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.pinggolf.com.
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.
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 on The PING Invitational, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at 770-868-4200.