FOOTJOY BOYS INVITATIONAL
Forest Oaks Country Club
Greensboro, North Carolina
June 14-18, 2004
HARMAN SINKS 50-FOOT PUTT ON NO. 18 FOR BIRDIE AND TITLE
Francis, McLean and Spickard finish one stroke back for second-place tie
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Defending champion Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., retained his title in dramatic fashion by holing a 50-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the FootJoy Boys Invitational to finish at 6-under-par 282, one better than a trio of golfers knotted at five under.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the FootJoy Boys Invitational featured 101 players – ages 12-18 – from 24 states, Chile, Japan, China and South Africa. The tournament field included 41 Rolex Junior All-Americans and 14 competitors from the host state of North Carolina. The 72-hole stroke play event was held at the par-72 Forest Oaks Country Club, home of the PGA TOUR’s Chrysler Classic of Greensboro.
Harman’s 282 tournament total came after a final-round, 2-under-par 70. His birdie on the final hole of the event was enough to overcome Philip Francis of Scottsdale, Ariz., Jon McLean of Weston, Fla., and Ben Spickard of Roswell, Ga.
Playing in the second-to-last group of the day, Harman was tied atop the leaderboard with Francis, McLean and Spickard at 5-under-par heading to No. 18. The Rolex Junior Player of the Year hadn’t fared well at the course’s final hole throughout the tournament – he finished bogey, double bogey, bogey during the first three rounds, and his final-round approach to No. 18 left him 50-feet for birdie.
“The last three holes killed me all week, especially No. 18, and I knew that I had to make at least par to have a chance at a playoff,” Harman said. “On every putt I hit I’m trying to make it, and right before I hit it I thought to myself that crazier things have happened.”
Harman’s putt rolled quickly to the hole, hit the back, popped up, bounced on the edge and spun in for the most incredible birdie of the tournament. Finishing in the group ahead of Harman with final-round, 2-under-par 70s, Francis and Spickard saw their hopes for a playoff dashed.
“You always want to win or at least make it into a playoff, but that doesn’t always happen,” said Spickard, who was playing in his last AJGA tournament before heading to the University of Tennessee. “You have to applaud Brian for that putt on No. 18. It was something special.”
“I attacked the hole on No. 18 from 130 yards out with a sand wedge,” Francis said. “I left it short and then couldn’t get up and down for par. I hit some good putts today, but it just wasn’t enough to win it.”
Playing in the final group, McLean knew he needed birdie on No.18 to force a playoff with Harman. But the third-round co-leader’s drive left him with a tough second shot.
“I had a bad lie in the rough and no green to work with,” McLean said, who also finished tied for second at 5-under-par at this year’s Thunderbird International Junior. “I didn’t give myself a chance to win today, but I feel that I’m ready to win a major sometime soon.”
Tied for fifth with tournament totals of 284 were Jordan Cox of Redwood City, Calif., and Seung-Su Han of Bradenton, Fla. Michael Green of Augusta, Ga., had the low round of the day with a 69 and tied for seventh at 285 with Jace Moore of Southlake, Texas and Cameron Tringale of Laguna Niguel, Calif. Tied for 10th, four shots behind Harman at 286, were third-round co-leader and North Carolina native Robert Riesen of Pinehurst and Jarred Texter of Millersville, Pa.
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 has a membership of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information about the FootJoy Boys Invitational or any other AJGA event, please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.