GRIBBLE AND REED HOLD OFF FIELD FOR TOURNAMENT TITLE AT NORTHWOOD CLUB
Barton, Wadhwa dominate Girls Division by 25 strokes
DALLAS- Cody Gribble of Dallas, and Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge, La., fired a 3-under-par 68 to claim championship honors Thursday at the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship. Lila Barton of Dallas, and Tanya Wadhwa of Bradenton, Fla., won the Girls Division by 25 strokes in Thursday's final round. With the win, Barton claimed her third consecutive Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship title.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship was a 54-hole team event held at Northwood Club located in Dallas. The tournament featured 30 teams of boys and six teams of girls â€” ages 12-18 â€” from 11 states. The field included nine Rolex Junior All-Americans.
The players competed in an alternate shot format Thursday, under which one player hits a tee shot and the players alternate shots until the ball is holed. The players on each team split the tee shots evenly, assigning one player to the even-numbered holes and the other player to the odd-numbered holes.
Gribble and Reed went into final-round play two strokes behind the second-round leaders and recorded six birdies in the final round. They knew they had a chance to win if they played their best.
â€śWe knew that if we played to our full potential, we had a good chance of winning,â€ť Gribble said. â€śPatrick's putter was on fire and our drives helped us out.â€ť
Gribble and Reed, who plan on attending the University of Texas together in the future, say the tournament has helped prepare them for what lies ahead.
â€śIt's great, this is just a build up to the next few years,â€ť Gribble, who won the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior in Ashland, Ky., said.
Two shots behind Gribble and Reed were Clark Mitzner of McKinney, Texas, and Travis Woolf of Fort Worth, Texas, in second place with a tournament total of 200. Mark Johnson of Tulsa, Okla., and Draegen Majors of Bixby, Okla., were four shots out of the lead with a three-day total of 202. Tied for fourth place were Josh Jones of The Colony, Texas, and Kevin Tway of Edmond, Okla., and Alex Moon of Dallas, and Brett Spencer of Plano, Texas, all with 203s.
Barton and Wadhwa led the tournament through the first two rounds and finished the day with four birdies en route to the lowest AJGA tournament total for the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship.
Barton and Wadhwa came into the final round 11 strokes ahead and knew solid play was the key to winning the tournament.
â€śThe tournament was nice, and we knew that if we hit more fairways in the final round we would be fine,â€ť Barton said.
Both girls say the win this week has helped boost their confidence for future tournaments.
â€śThe win is definitely a confidence booster,â€ť Barton said. â€śWe both played really well and that will be a huge help in our next tournaments.â€ť
Sarah Zwartynski and Lindsay Cullen, both of Allen, Texas, finished the tournament in second place after carding a three-day total of 226. Meghan Gockel of Dallas, and Stephanie Hwang of Heath, Texas, rounded out the Girls Division top three with a total tournament total of 232.
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 on the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.