JAMES LEE FINISHES OUT AJGA CAREER IN STYLE
Rah earns first AJGA victory at Coto de Caza
COTO DE CAZA, Calif. — James Lee of La Habra, Calif., ended his American Junior Golf Association career in nearly record-breaking fashion shooting an 8-under-par 64 Friday to finish the tournament at 18-under-par. The defending champion of the Family Toyota/Family Honda Junior presented by The First American Corporation earned himself the third largest margin of victory in AJGA Boys history winning by 11 strokes. In the Girls Division, Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., went wire to wire to earn her first AJGA victory. Firing a 6-under-par 66 on Friday, Rah topped the field by seven strokes.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the second annual Family Toyota/Family Honda Junior presented by The First American Corporation was held at Coto de Caza Golf and Racquet Club — South Course. Ninety-nine junior golfers, ages 12-18, participated in the 54-hole stroke play event. Five states were represented in the tournament field, with 95 junior golfers from California competing.
In the last tournament of his junior career, Lee made sure that it was something to remember. After going 4-under on the front nine, the UCLA-bound golfer wanted to finish out steady on the back. The excitement did not come until the final two holes. After hitting his tee shot to within 4-feet of the flagstick on the 341-yard, par-4 No. 17, he went on to eagle the hole. Entering his final hole of the tournament, Lee stuck his second shot to within 5-feet of the hole on No.18 and finished out with a second consecutive eagle.
“I wasn't expecting to go this low,” said Lee. “I just enjoyed my last tournament so much; it's sad now that it's over.”
Lee can now add to his resume the third lowest AJGA 54-hole total, shooting 67-67-64-198. After such a memorable junior career, which included five AJGA victories and three Rolex Junior All-American honors, Lee has a promising future to look forward to.
“I remember my first tournament four years ago and it feels like just yesterday,” stated Lee. “I just want to thank my parents for everything because I have never told them how much I appreciate what they do for me.”
The Boys Division did their best to stay close to Lee, but still ended up falling short. In second place, Sihwan Kim of Fullerton, Calif., ended the tournament at 7-under-par 209. Jason Kang of Valencia, Calif., finished with a tournament total of 211, while Shane Mason of San Diego was one stroke off that at 212. Rounding out the top five is Lucas Lee of Torrance, Calif., with a three-day total of 213.
In the Girls Division, Rah made sure she was in complete control before the day even began. Starting the day with a three-stroke lead, Rah never faltered and never let down. Missing short birdie putts early on, Rah remained patient and ended her day victorious. The soon-to-be high school freshman felt her game was finally where it needed to be after several second-place finishes this season.
“I tried to win before this week even started,” said Rah. “I was consistent and was able to make the putts that were necessary.”
Her six birdies allowed her to defeat Joanne Lee of San Carlos, Calif., by seven strokes. In third place with a 212 tournament total was Grace Chung of Fullerton, Calif.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA 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, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information about the Family Toyota/Family Honda Junior presented by The First American Corporation, contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.