Griffiths Dominates Boys Division at AJGA Junior at Wenatchee
Prince claims royal victory at Wenatchee Golf and Country Club
EAST WENATCHEE, Wash. — Zak Griffiths of Red Deer, Alberta, posted a tournament total of 13-under-par 203 to claim his first career AJGA victory at the AJGA Junior at Wenatchee. Kendall Prince of Lake Oswego, Ore., made a late surge to claim a three-stroke victory in the Girls Division at Wenatchee Golf and Country Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at Wenatchee was a 54-hole stroke-play competition held at the Wenatchee Golf & Country Club in East Wenatchee, Wash. The 99-player field featured 72 boys and 27 girls, representing 12 states and Canada. The Boys Division played the par-72 course from 6,364 yards while the Girls Division played from 6,006 yards.
Griffiths proved to be the player to beat from the moment he arrived at the course. He followed up a first-round 66 with rounds of 69 and 68, steadily separating himself from the field. Holding a three-stroke lead on No. 12, Griffiths made eagle to begin his impressive run down the stretch.
“I eagled No. 12 after holing out from the fairway bunker,” Griffiths said. “From there I made birdies on three of my next four holes. That shot was a momentum shifter for sure.”
Lorens Chan of Honolulu finished second at 6-under-par 210. Jack Kelly of North Bend, Wash., and Suk Woan Ko of Coquitlam, British Columbia, followed in a tie for third at 2-under-par 214. Andrew Whalen of Ephrata, Wash., rounded out the top five at 1-under-par 215 for the tournament.
In the Girls Division, Prince battled back and forth all afternoon with Leilanie Kim of Surrey, British Columbia. Kim had a one-shot lead through nine holes, but a clutch shot from Prince gave her the momentum she needed.
“I stuck it to about three feet for birdie,” said Prince, who has given a verbal commitment to Ohio State University. “I played the back nine well all week and that shot gave me the confidence I needed heading down the stretch.”
Two more birdies on the back nine vaulted Prince to a three-stroke victory, as she finished even-par 216 for the tournament.
Kim finished in second place with a tournament total of 3-over-par 219. Betty Chen of Castro Valley, Calif., finished in third place at 7-over-par 223.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
For more information about the AJGA Junior at Wenatchee, please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.