HU BATTLES BACK, BREAKS AWAY TO CLAIM VICTORY AT HP BOYS JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Graham takes home second after final round at Bay Hill
ORLANDO, Fla. — In his first Invitational win, Mu Hu of Shen Zhen, China, battled back from a two-stroke deficit to fire a 5-under-par 67 in the final round of the HP Boys Junior Championship, taking home the title and ending the tournament at 10-under-par 278. Behind Hu was third-round leader Wesley Graham of Port Orange, Fla., who ended the event at 6-under-par 282, earning second-place honors.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the HP Boys Junior Championship was a 72-hole stroke play event held at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge. The 76-player field featured players from 24 states, Taiwan, China and South Korea. The par-72 course was played at 7,189 yards for the tournament. The tournament field was cut to the top 40 and ties after Wednesday's second round.
Hu, carding his lowest round of the tournament, fired seven birdies and only two bogies on his way to victory. He said the wrist injury that had plagued him since the previous week wasn't a problem today, a factor that caused him fewer worries and provided him with confidence going into the first few holes.
“The past few days I've had to worry about how my wrist felt,” Hu said. “But I was able to hang on and keep stepping forward throughout the tournament. It all came together here today.”
Even though this is his fourth AJGA victory and seventh top-10 Invitational finish, Hu said the win was his biggest ever and felt like a stepping stone to future opportunities.
“I feel like a better player now,” he said. “This gives me the confidence to know I can compete in majors and win.”
Battling Hu all day was Graham, who ended the day at 1-over-par 73. Trailing Hu by two strokes going into No. 12, Graham fired back with a birdie to cut the lead to one and stay in contention.
“I had a lot of bad breaks out there, but it's always good to get second at an Invitational,” Graham said.
Scott Langley of St. Louis, Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge, La., Joseph Barr of Versailles, Ky., and Mark Johnson of Tulsa, Okla., all shot tournament totals of 5-under-par 283 to end the event in a four-way tie for third. In seventh place, with a four-day total of 4-under-par 284 was David Chung of Fayetteville, N.C. Jae Han Chun of Ansung-City, South Korea carded a 3-under-par 285 for the week to take eighth place, while Adam Sumrall fired 1-under-par 287 to take home ninth. Rounding out the top-10 was David Dannelly of Easley, S.C., who shot a tournament total of even-par 288.
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.
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 on the HP Boys Junior Championship, please contact National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542.