PICCIO SETS NEW AJGA GIRLS MARGIN-OF-VICTORY RECORD AT CALLAWAY GARDENS
Shepard takes top honors in Boys Division at Medicus Preseason Junior Event
PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Maria Piccio of Bradenton, Fla., fired a final-round score of 3-under-par 69 on her way to a record-setting victory in the Girls Division of the Medicus Preseason Junior at Callaway Gardens Wednesday. Dylan Shepard of Crestwood, Ky., finished with a tournament total of 2-under-par 142 after carding a final-round score of 72 to claim medalist honors in the Boys Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Medicus Preseason Junior at Callaway Gardens was a 36-hole stroke play event held at Callaway Gardens — Mountain View Golf Course. The tournament field consisted of 72 boys and 17 girls, ages 12-18, from 20 states, Canada, China and Bermuda. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,936 yards, while the Girls Division played it at 5,941 yards.
Piccio's tournament total 9-under-par 135 gave her an 18-shot victory, setting a new AJGA Girls Division margin-of-victory record. The old record of 16 shots was held by seven other players, with the most recent being Morgan Pressel's victory over Casey Hines in the 2004 Valero Texas Junior Open.
Piccio's round featured three bogies and six birdies. She felt that both her iron shots and putting were strong. Piccio made a bogey on No. 16, but then followed it by a birdie at No. 17 with an iron shot that fell within a few feet of the hole.
“I only hit 28 putts all day, which made me very happy,” Piccio said. “Winning a tournament with such low scores gives me confidence going forward that I am able to actually shoot low.”
Rounding out the Girls Division, Jennifer Yang of Coquitlam, British Columbia and Lauren Cate of St. Augustine, Fla. tied for third with tournament totals of 9-over-par 153.
In the Boys Division, Shepard carded three bogeys and three birdies to complete his round. He said his best hole was No. 17. He hit a perfect drive and then his best wedge shot of the day to make it within five feet of the hole. Shepard said his short game was strong throughout the entire tournament.
“This tournament gave me a lot of confidence. I have never won a tournament as big as this,” Shepard said. “I was three over going into No. 9 and then made a birdie on Nos. 10 and 11. I played well today.”
John Skeadas of Savannah, Ga., finished the tournament with a 1-over-par 145 to place second behind Shepard. Patrick Thomas of Farragut, Tenn., finished in third place with a 2-over-par tournament total of 146. Alec Pakzad of Bellevue, Wash., and William Sigg of Augusta, Ga., tied for fourth with two-day totals of 3-over-par 147.
Medicus Golf and The Medicus Golf Institute are dedicated to enabling all golfers to “Live Their Vision” in reaching their potential. By expanding its corporate vision, mission, products and services, Medicus Golf will enable golfers to learn and grow — both as a person and as a player — in a series of new and exciting developmental formats.
Medicus Golf enters its third year of sponsorship of the AJGA by supporting the Medicus Preseason Series. The Medicus Learning System, a comprehensive series of golf training aids, is dedicated to assisting golfers of all ages.
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 30 foreign countries.
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.
For more information on the Medicus Preseason Junior at Callaway Gardens, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.