Szeryk survives “insane” six-hole sudden-death playoff at the Signsational Signs Junior at The Woodlands
Martino goes wire-to-wire in Boys Division
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — For Maddie Szeryk of Allen, Texas, and Jordan Lippetz of Bradenton, Fla., 54 holes of golf in 96-degree weather over three days just wasn't enough. At the conclusion of Thursday's round, Szeryk and Lippetz were deadlocked at 2-over-par 218, forcing a sudden-death playoff. Six holes later, Szeryk sank a 3-foot par putt for her first career AJGA Open victory. First- and second-round leader Vincent Martino of Southlake, Texas, shot a 6-over-par 78 to finish at 1-over-par 217 and win the Boys Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Signsational Signs Junior at The Woodlands was a 54-hole stroke play competition held at The Woodlands Country Club‘s Player Course. The par-72 course played to 6,931 yards for the Boys Division and 6,014 yards for the Girls Division. The 95-player field featured players from six states, Mexico, Brazil, and the Philippines.
Heading to the par-3 No. 14, Lippetz held a one-shot lead on the field. A birdie by Szeryk knotted the duo at 1-under-par, and from there, the girls went shot for shot the rest of the way.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Szeryk said. “I knew Jordan wouldn't mess up so if I missed anything coming down the stretch, I'd be done.”
On the second playoff hole, Szeryk sank a 20-foot par putt in front of a crowd of spectators to extend the duel.
“I've been in one-hole playoffs before, but not six holes. It was insane,” Szeryk said. “I was kind of expecting it, but nothing like that.”
Kayli Quinton of Houston finished third in the Girls Division after a final-round 1-over-par 73 for a tournament total of 4-over-par 220.
Martino, who recently verbally committed to the University of Houston, lead the tournament throughout. He said this victory prepares him well heading into his summer golf schedule, which features AJGA events in New Jersey, Ohio and Fort Worth, Texas.
“This is a really strong field, so it's definitely a big confidence booster to know that I can play with these people,” Martino said. “I really played well this week.”
Tied for second place in the Boys Division were Andrew Ertel of The Woodlands, Texas, Sam Fidone of Lufkin, Texas, and Stratton Nolen of Austin, Texas, who finished at 2-over-par 218. In fifth place, Will Oliver of Houston fired a 3-under-par 69 Thursday to finish at 5-over-par 221 for the tournament.
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 more than 40 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, 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 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
For more information about the Signational Signs Junior at The Woodlands, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.