ORAEE'S WIN AT JUNIOR ALL-STAR AT ASPEN SETS AJGA RECORD
Navarro holds on to second-round lead to win at Aspen Golf Club
ASPEN, Colo. David Oraee of Greeley, Colo., went down in the American Junior Golf Association record books after shooting a 16-under-par 200 three-day total at the Junior All-Star at Aspen and winning the event by 18 strokes, the largest margin of victory in AJGA history. Marijosse Navarro of San Antonio, Texas, secured her first AJGA victory after a final-round 4-over-par 76, winning the Girls Division at Aspen Golf Club with a tournament total 8-over-par 224.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star at Aspen was a 54-hole stroke play event at Aspen Golf Club. The field was made up of 81 top juniors from 17 states, Mexico and Canada. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,706 yards, while the Girls Division played at 5,826 yards
The Junior All-Star at Aspen was one of 11 events in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which is specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15 and presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into Open tournaments. Juniors are limited to a maximum combination of five AJGA Open and Junior All-Star Series events during a calendar year. The series concludes with the Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Oraee, 15, commanded the lead of the final round with a 13-stroke advantage after recording his personal best score of 8-under-par 64. His 2-under-par 70 final-round score had him seated in the No. 1 spot, 18 strokes ahead of the second-place finisher. He started his round with a birdie and finished the front nine even-par. He had three bogeys on the day, with the last one coming on No. 10, but he quickly made up for it with back-to-back birdies on the next two holes.
I was pretty confident coming into today, Oraee said. The course is set up how I like to play, but I bogeyed Nos. 7 and 8. I just wanted to go out and play my best.
Myles Miller of Wellington, Kan., rose from fifth place after the second round to finish in second with an even-par 72 on the day and a 2-over-par 218 tournament total. Blake Pugh of Southlake, Texas and Daniel De La Garza of Monterrey, Mexico, tied for third with a 4-over-par 220. Cameron Harrell of Colorado Springs, Colo., rounded out the top five in the Boys Division with a total score of 5-over-par 221.
Navarro, 12, led the girls field heading into the final round after shooting a 2-under-par 70 in the second round. She had a rocky start, sitting at 4-over-par after her first six holes, but she bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 No. 7 and had ten pars on her remaining 11 holes for a final-round score of 4-over-par 76.
I wanted to chip and putt better this round, Navarro said. I think I did that, and it feels great.
Emily Haas of Nicholasville, Ky., pulled out of her second-round tie for third to finish five strokes behind Navarro in second with a 13-over-par 229 tournament total. Marissa Dodd of Allen, Texas carded a final-round 5-over-par 77 for a tournament total of 14-over-par 230, earning her the third place spot on the leaderboard.
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 50 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.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, a full-time junior golf training and development program, enters its first year as an Official Partner of the AJGA. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which will provide juniors access to national competitive golf opportunities.
For more information on the Junior All-Star at Aspen, contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.