LEE CAPTURES FIRST AJGA OPEN WIN AT MIRASOL JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Hurst wins second event this season at The Country Club at Mirasol
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.— Richard Lee of Chandler, Ariz., clinched his first American Junior Golf Association Open win at the Mirasol Junior Championship Friday with a 72-65-71—208, which was good for 8-under-par. In the Girls Division, Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., fired a 3-under-par 69 to seal her second AJGA victory of 2006.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Mirasol Junior Championship was a 54-hole stroke-play competition that featured 81 boys and girls from seven states and seven foreign countries. Home to the PGA TOUR's Honda Classic from 2003-2006, The Country Club at Mirasol is hosting the event for the third consecutive year.
Lee finished runner up at the 2005 Heather Farr Classic and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior so to finally win was an exciting experience.
“My goal today was to shoot two or three under par and maintain my lead,” Lee said of his expectations going into the final round. “I am so surprised and excited to finally win.”
Next week, second-team Rolex Junior All-American Lee plans to compete in the FootJoy Boys Invitational with a new-found confidence in his game and his ability to win big tournaments.
“I am pumped for my next tournament,” Lee said. “I am just trying to play steady golf.”
Major Forbess of Jacksonville, Fla., and Jhared Hack of Heathrow, Fla., tied for second in the Boys Division with tournament totals of 209. Rolex Junior Player of the Year Peter Uihlein of Bradenton, Fla., and Wesley Graham of Port Orange, Fla., finished tied for fourth with 5-under-par tournament total of 211.
In the Girls Division, Hurst attributed her 5-under-par 74-68-69—211 three-round total to her great putting and familiarity with the course.
“I played at Mirasol last year so I had course experience,” 15-year-old Hurst said. “I usually miss the short 5-foot putts, but I made most of those all week.”
Hurst said her game plan was to keep things simple.
“I decided on the harder looks, to go for par and not to attack the flagsticks,” Hurst said, whose first victory of 2006 came at the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan in April. “The birdies just came.”
Lindy Duncan of Plantation, Fla., carded a 73-72-70—215 to take second, while Jessica Yadloczky of Casselberry, Fla., secured third with rounds of 73-74-73 for a tournament total of 220.
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 an annual 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 is in its third decade of support, 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
For more information about the Mirasol Junior Championship please contact AJGA national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.