BRAVER WINS PLAYOFF TO CLAIM VICTORY AT HERITAGE JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Durham seizes win at Hampton Hall Club
BLUFFTON, S.C. â€” Sam Braver of Roswell, Ga., carded an 8-under-par 208 tournament total, winning the Heritage Junior Championship in a sudden-death playoff. Rebecca Durham of St. Simons Island, Ga., fired a 2-under-par final-round score to finish atop the Girls leaderboard at 1-under-par 215.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Heritage Junior Championship was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Hampton Hall Club. The 84-player field featured juniors from 15 states. The course played at 7,180 yards in the Boys Division and 6,090 yards in the Girls Division.
Braver, 17, started with a bogey on No. 1, but later made consecutive birdies on Nos. 7, 8 and 9 to sit at 2-under-par 34 on the front nine. On the par-5 15th hole, Braver hit a hybrid within three feet of the hole and made eagle. Braver finished strong on No. 18 with another birdie to finish with a final-round score of 5-under-par 67.
Two groups later, Austin Cody of North Charleston, S.C., finished with a final-round score of 1-under-par 71 for a tournament total of 208, putting him and Braver into a sudden-death playoff on the par-4 18th hole. Both players' tee shots landed in the middle of the fairway, and both approach shots landed within 15 feet of the hole. Cody's putt from the lip of the green came up short, and Braver made birdie to take home the win.
â€śIt still hasn't sunk in that I won,â€ť Braver said. â€śI was just hoping to finish in the top three. But I knew it was going to be close.â€ť
Braver, who won the 2006 Nike Golf Junior at Colonial, said the playoff didn't worry him because he has been in the situation before.
â€śYou've just got to go out and deal with it,â€ť he said. â€śI gave it a good run, and luckily the ball found the center of the cup.â€ť
Cody finished in second place with an 8-under-par 208 tournament total. Tied for third at 7-under-par 209 were Dean Hester of Dublin, Ga., and Michael Cromie of Cary, N.C. In fifth place was Jacob Burger of Orangeburg, S.C., who shot even-par 72 in the final round to go 6-under-par 210 in the tournament.
In the Girls Division, Durham, who has signed to play for Stanford University this fall, took home a victory after shooting 2-under-par 70 in the final round, making this event her first-ever AJGA win. In her third year playing in this event, Durham started strong with a 15-foot putt for par on No. 1, followed by a 60-foot birdie putt on No. 2. She made two more birdies on the front nine to go 2-under-par 34. On the back nine, she continued to widen the gap at the top of the Girls' leaderboard with strong putting.
â€śI was coming out and trying to shoot a good round,â€ť Durham said. â€śThis summer has been all about coming out and winning an AJGA tournament before I went to school and left junior golf.â€ť
Katie Burnett of Brunswick, Ga., and Tia Gannon of Hilton Head Island, S.C., tied for second at 3-over-par 219.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information about the Heritage Junior Championship, please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.