Gonzalez holds on to lead, wins AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers
Mitsunaga takes victory at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Oxmoor Valley
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Juan Gonzalez III carded a final nine-hole round of 2-under-par 37 to win the AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers with a tournament total of 3-under-par 180. Rinko Mitsunaga took the Girls Division title with a final-round 2-under-par 31, totaling a 2-over-par 179 for the tournament.
The AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers was a 45-hole tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association on the Valley Course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Oxmoor Valley in Birmingham, Ala. The event featured 51 boys and 20 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states and South Korea. Due to inclement weather in the Birmingham area, the final round was condensed to a nine-hole stipulated round. The Boys Division played the par-39 Nos. 7-15 to 3,895 yards, while the Girls Division played Nos. 1-6 and Nos. 16-18 at par-33 and 2,538 yards.
This win marks Gonzalez's first AJGA victory. After having a rough summer, this win means a lot to Gonzalez and helps him round out his summer on a high note. Gonzalez attributes his three birdies and only one bogey to his focused mentality heading into the final round.
“I was just trying to play the course,” Gonzalez said. “I just wanted to break par or shoot par and I just wanted to play one shot at a time. I didn't really want to worry about anybody else.”
Tied for second place with a 2-over-par 185 were Tyler Shope of Wilsonville, Ala., Hunter Arnold of Lenoir City, Tenn., Will Cannon of Hoover, Ala., and Zack Jaworski of Alpharetta, Ga.
Mitsunaga had three birdies during the nine-hole final round. Her first AJGA win came at the AJGA Junior at Savannah Quarters in April and she is glad to have a second title.
“I didn't play well for a long time after that win, so it felt really nice to come back and make some putts and birdies,” Mitsunaga said. “I was in a slump for a while this summer and I just focused a lot more when I practiced and I practiced enough that it paid off. My mentality was a lot better than it started off this year.”
Alexandra Farnsworth of Nashville, Tenn., placed second with a 6-over-par 183. In third was Lauren Salazar of Santa Clara, Calif., who carded an 8-over-par 185.
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 on the AJGA Junior at Oxmoor Valley presented by Nelson Brothers, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.