Zoller wins PING Phoenix Junior in first ever AJGA event
Hahn survives playoff for long overdue victory at Moon Valley Country Club
PHOENIX — Taylor Zoller of North Charleston, S.C., recorded his first victory in an American Junior Golf Association event after carding a 9-under-par 207 at the PING Phoenix Junior. In the Girls Division, Jenny Hahn of Henderson, Nev., shot a 2-under-par 70 Thursday for a 7-under-par 209 tournament total, besting local standout Lindsey Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz., in a one-hole sudden-death playoff.
The PING Phoenix Junior was a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix. The tournament field featured 57 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states and three countries. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 7,210 yards and the Girls Division played at 6,373 yards.
Zoller, who began the day tied for the third, was able to overcome the four-stroke deficit to win the 21st annual event.
“I had no idea what the leaders were doing,” Zoller said. “I knew I had to be close and I knew I had to stay steady so I kept committing to my shots and trusting in my putting.”
Zoller, who will attend Kent State University in the fall, made one eagle and four birdies during the final round to put him in position to win.
“I eagled No. 9 and that's when I really got it going. After I holed that one I birdied No. 10 and then almost holed out again on No. 11, so I was really feeling confident at that point,” Zoller said.
Brett Wilson of Mesa, Ariz., finished second with a 6-under-par 210 in the Boys Division. Zachary Wright of Phoenix, bogeyed five of the final nine holes for a three-over-par 75, dropping him back to third place. Won Je Choi of San Diego and James Lee of Albuquerque, N.M., shared fourth place after carding a 4-under-par 212.
In the Girls Division, Hahn who was runner-up at this event last year, captured her first ever AJGA title. The high school junior has an additional five top-5 AJGA finishes.
“This first AJGA win was huge. It means a lot to me,” Hahn said. “I was runner-up last year after losing to Kyung Kim so it was really nice to come here, get a win and not be runner-up again.”
Hahn and Weaver entered the playoff on No. 10 after they both finished the day tied at 7-under-par 209. Hahn was able to make birdie and Weaver lipped-out her birdie attempt to give Hahn the victory.
“I wasn't tense at all. I've been there before. I've played in a playoff before so I knew what to expect,” Hahn said.
Allisen Corpuz of Honolulu shot an even-par 72 on Thursday for a 6-under-par 210 tournament total to put her in third place.
PING, a golf club manufacturer with the goal to help golfers play their best, has been an AJGA supporter since 1990 and began supporting the PING Phoenix Junior in 1991. PING, an Official Partner in 2002, provides the PING college golf signing day and in 2009, became the “Official Bag of the AJGA.”
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.
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 PING Phoenix Junior, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.