The final match of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship saw the matchup of two former AJGA players. Florida senior T.J. Vogel captured a 12-and-10 victory over Kevin Aylwin, a recent graduate of North Florida, to claim the title at the U.S. Amateur Public Links at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway, Utah.
Playing 26 holes of the scheduled 36-hole match, Vogel carded a total of 10 birdies against no bogeys, and his 12-and-10 victory is the second-largest margin in APL history.
A first-team Rolex Junior All-American in 2008, Vogel recorded six AJGA top-10 finishes and captured prestigious titles at the Rolex Tournament of Champions and the Junior PGA Championship in 2009. As a freshman at USC, Vogel posted three top-10 finishes and led USC in stroke average to claim Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year honors. He claimed two top-five finishes during his sophomore year, before transferring to the University of Florida in 2011 to be closer to family.
As the champion of the U.S. Amateur Pub Links, Vogel receives a 10-year APL exemption, exemptions into the next two U.S. Amateurs, a three-year exemption from local U.S. Open qualifying (with amateur status) and an expected invitation to the 2013 Masters Tournament.
U.S. Amateur Public Links medalist honors went to James Erkenbeck, who fired a bogey-free 4-under-par 67 during the final round of stroke play for a 36-hole total of 7-under-par 135. Erkenebeck finished one stroke ahead of former Rolex Junior All-American Talor Gooch of Oklahoma State University and APL victor T.J. Vogel.
Erkenbeck competed in four AJGA events from 2005-2008. His AJGA career was highlighted by a T3 finish at the 2008 Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic presented by Longbow Golf Club. A rising senior at New Mexico, Erkenbeck has amassed seven top-finishes. He achieved a team-low 73.31 stroke average over 35 rounds during his sophomore year. Erkenbeck tied for 20th during last year’s U.S. Amateur Public Links stroke play competition.
Two AJGA alumni finished in the winner’s circle this weekend, as Zach Johnson and Doug Labelle II claimed professional victories.
Johnson earned his ninth PGA TOUR career victory, and second of the season, at the John Deere Classic Sunday after defeating fellow AJGA alum Troy Matteson on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Before beginning his collegiate career at Drake University, Johnson appeared in the AJGA Buick Junior Open and Wakonda Junior Classic in 1993. The 2007 Masters winner will compete in the Open Championship, held at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, later this week.
At the Utah Championship Presented by Utah Sports Commission, Labelle claimed his second Web.com TOUR victory. Before turning professional, the University of New Mexico graduate competed in AJGA events from 1986 until 1993.