AN MAKES UP FOUR-STROKE DEFICIT WITH 4-UNDER-PAR 68
Gulugian captures Girls Division title and first AJGA victory
LOMPOC, Calif. — Byeong-hun An of Bradenton, Fla., began the final round four strokes behind the leader but roared back with a 4-under-par 68 and 212 tournament total to win the Boys Division title of the Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch. Ani Gulugian of Irvine, Calif., captured the Girls Division title with a 226 tournament total to win by five strokes.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch was played at the Marshallia Ranch Golf Course. Seventy-six boys and 21 girls, ages 12 — 15, competed on the par-72 layout. Six states and four countries were represented this week, including players from Canada, China, South Korea and Taiwan.
The Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch is part of the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series. The Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12 - 15 years old. The Series concludes with an invitation-only Nike Golf Junior Championship, Sept. 1 - 3, 2006.
An rattled off four birdies on his front nine, including consecutive birdies on Nos. 2 and 3, to make the turn with a 4-under-par 31. The South Korea-native went on to play bogey-free golf, giving him his first AJGA victory.
“I didn't think I was going to shoot 68 today,” An said. “This is great, my first AJGA win.”
Fourteen-year-old An's three-day, 4-under-par total of 212 gave him a two-stroke victory. An, whose career-low competitive round is a 65, admitted to receiving some help from the gallery in winning this week.
“Every time I get mad because of a bad shot, my mom is there watching me so I play better,” An said.
Taylor Travis of Fremont, Calif., shot a 2-under-par 70 for the day to finish in second place with a 214 tournament total. Tye Beall of El Paso, Texas, and Zeyu He of Reunion, Fla., finished at even-par 216 to place third in the event. Niall Platt of Santa Barbara, Calif., finished in fifth with a 217 tournament total.
In the Girls Division, Gulugian teed off for the final round without considering what a win would be like.
“I wasn't really expecting anything,” she said. “I just wanted to go out there and play my game.”
It was not until she reached the scoreboard after her round that Gulugian realized she had won. Up until No. 15, she feared her lead had been lost earlier in the round. Now with the win, Gulugian takes only positives from her experiences during the week.
“Winning an AJGA event gives me a lot of confidence,” Gulugian said.
Jamie Yam of San Diego, placed second with a 231 tournament total. In a three-way tie for third, Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif., Rebecca Song of Fullerton, Calif., and Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., finished with 232 tournament totals.
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 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 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 Nike Golf Junior at Marshallia Ranch or any other tournament, contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 842-4200.