KANG WINS BY FOUR STROKES AT TEE UP JUNIOR CHALLENGE
Salvo wins second Open of the season at Industry Hills Golf Club
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. — Alex Kang of Oak Park, Calif., earned his first AJGA victory Friday with a three-day total of 10-under-par 203 in the TEE UP Junior Challenge at Industry Hills Golf Club. Sarah Salvo of Glendale, Calif., finished at 1-over-par 214 to win her second AJGA Open Championship event of the season.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, The TEE UP Junior Challenge was a 54-hole stroke play event featuring 60 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18. Four states and one foreign country were represented, with 74 juniors from California. The event was staged on the Industry Hills Golf Club's par-71 Zaharias Course with boys tees set at 6,635 yards and girls tees at 5,983 yards.
Kang entered the final round of the TEE UP Junior Challenge with a four-stroke lead and never looked back. He said he knew he was in the lead going into No. 18, and with a 5-stroke cushion, he played the hole with less apprehension and more gut.
“After I birdied Nos. 16 and 17 I knew I had a safe lead, so I tried to cut the corner on No. 18,” Kang said. “I hit the tree and ended up short. I've been putting well through the whole tournament so I knew I'd be fine.”
In a five-way tie for second place at 6-under-par 207 were Paul Mitzel of Mercer Island, Wash., Andrew Perez of Oxnard, Calif., Ramsey Sahyoun of Reseda, Calif., Michael Jae Woo Im of Fullerton, Calif., and Hyun Seok Lim of Fullerton Calif.
In the Girls Division, Salvo entered the final round tied at even par with Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif., currently ranked No. 16 in the Polo Golf Rankings, and beat her on Friday by one stroke. The TEE UP Junior Challenge victory is Salvo's fourth in her AJGA career.
“I did a lot better job during this final round to control myself and not freak out about what Rachel [Morris] was doing.” Salvo said. “After knowing I had a 2-stroke lead, I tried to play No. 18 smart, but not too conservative.”
Morris finished in second place at 2-over-par 215, and tied for third place were Jamie Yam of San Diego, Calif., and In-Ah Park of Las Vegas at 6-over-par 219.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth an 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 TEE UP Junior Challenge, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.