WILSON, MARTIN COME FROM BEHIND TO WIN TITLES
Consistent golf pays off at Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior
ABILENE, Texas — Brock Wilson of Beaumont, Texas, carded a consistent 71-71-71 — 213 tournament-total to take the Boys Division at the Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior at Abilene Country Club — Fairway Course. Kaira Martin of Paradise Valley, Ariz., took the Girls Division and her first American Junior Golf Association win Thursday with a 77-77-74 — 228 tournament-total after a sudden-death playoff on No. 15.
Conducted by the AJGA, the Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior was a 54-hole stroke play event held at the Abilene Country Club — Fairway Course. The 120-player field featured players from 15 states and Mexico. The course was played at 7,007 yards for the Boys Division and 6,012 yards for the Girls Division.
Wilson spoke to the consistency of his numbers and compared the types of rounds each 1-under-par 71 presented.
“If my game is on, I know I am going to shoot about the same all week,” Wilson said. “But each round was a very different 71.”
In the first round, Wilson carded seven birdies, two bogeys, as well as two double-bogeys. Round two was more consistent with 13 pars, three birdies, and two bogeys. Thursday brought with it another type of round, with a pivotal eagle on No. 14.
“That eagle was really a turning point in the round in my pairing,” Wilson said of his round with Matthew Vela of San Antonio and Benjamin Thorseth of Richmond, Texas. “We were all neck-to-neck at that point, and that hole was what really turned the round in my favor.”
Vela carded a 2-under-par 70, 214 tournament-total to take second place. Three strokes behind, Thorseth finished with a tournament total of 217. Talor Gooch of Midwest City, Okla., carded a 3-under-par 69, 218 tournament-total to take fourth place. Rounding out the top five, Dillon Rust fired a tournament-low round, 5-under-par 67, tournament total of 219.
In the Girls Division, Martin attributed her lower round today, as well as her par in the playoff, to specific consistencies that came out in her game.
“I hit the ball straight today,” Martin said. “Going into No. 15, I just remained neutral and kept my ball in the middle of the fairway.”
Finishing 54 holes at a tournament total of 228, Callie Kemmer of Wichita, Kan., went on to card a bogey on the lone-playoff hole and take second for the Girls Division. One stroke behind, Heather Smith of Fort Worth, Texas, finished at 229 for the tournament.
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 49 states and 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 Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.