WHEN THERE'S A WILL THERE'S A WAY; KROPP TAKES OSSO BY THREE
Song takes Girls Division by one stroke
EDMOND, Okla. William Kropp, 15, of Edmond, took his first AJGA win at his home course after firing a tournament total of 4-over-par 214. Kropp won the event by three in front of a large gallery which included PGA Tour veterans Bob Tway and Scott Verplank. Christine Song, 14, of Fullerton, Calif., two-putted from 50 feet on No. 18 to seal a one-stroke victory in the Girls Division at the OSSO Junior at Oak Tree.
The OSSO Junior at Oak Tree is a 54-hole event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association on the East Course at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Okla. This is the 22nd year for the event in Edmond, and the 10th year at Oak Tree. A field of 102 boys and 42 girls from 10 states, including 55 players from Oklahoma, competed in the event this week.
Kropp was a stoke behind Ben Bench, 17, of Oklahoma City, coming into Thursday's final round before carding a 3-over-par 73 to earn his spot at the top of the leader board. Kropp, who finished third at the same event last year, hit only nine greens-in-regulation, but said he relied on his short game to claim the victory.
I just scrambled, Kropp said. My driving wasn't going well, but then I just started trusting it at the end.
Tied for second after the final round were Edmond native Robert Streb, the 2004 champion, Bench and Will Griffith of San Antonio, all with three-day scores of 7-over-par 217. Bench shot a 7-over-par 77 for the round, Streb came in at 4-over-par 74 and Griffin at 6-over-par 76 on the final day. Kevin Tway of Edmond rounded out the top five with a final-round score of 4-over-par 74, leaving him with a three-day tournament total of 220.
Robert Laird, 17, of Tulsa, Okla., received the low final-round award, after firing a 1-under-par 69.
Song, who was the leader going into Thursday's final round, fought off Lucy Nunn, 18, of Lawton, Okla., throughout the day to hold on for the win. Entering the home stretch on the back nine, Nunn made a furious comeback, chipping-in for birdie on No. 17 to bring herself to within one of Song. Song maintained the lead to finish the round at 4-over par 74, leaving her with a 10-over-par 220 for a three-day tournament total. This was Song's first AJGA victory.
I was really excited, Song said. I have more confidence now.
Nunn, who will bring her game to the University of Arkansas in the fall, took second with a tournament total of 11-over-par 221 after finishing the round with a 2-over-par 72. Nunn was the recipient of the low final-round award in the Girls Division. Jennie Arseneault, 17, of Grinnell, Iowa, rounded out the top three, carding a three-day total of 15-over-par 225.
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, the largest Association of its kind, has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) 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.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about the OSSO Junior at Oak Tree or any other AJGA events call AJGA National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542.