ELLENBOGEN COMES FROM BEHIND FOR THIRD AJGA TITLE
Main takes title in Boys Division with third consecutive round in the 60s
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Courtney Ellenbogen of Blacksburg, Va., fired a final round of 5-under-par 67 to capture a one-stroke victory at the TomatoBank Northern California Classic. Gregor Main of Danville, Calif., took top honors in the Boys Division with a tournament total of 14-under-par 202.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the TomatoBank Northern California Classic was a 54-hole stroke play event featuring 57 boys and 26 girls ages 12-18 from 8 states, Canada, and New Zealand. The event was staged on the par-72 Ruby Hill Golf Club with boys tees set at 7,098 yards and girls tees at 6,274 yards.
Ellenbogen entered the final day trailing by two strokes, but made a quick move opening with a 3-under-par 33 on the front nine.
“I knew that I was going to have to go out and make a lot of birdies today because the other people I was playing with are really good and were playing well,” Ellenbogen said.
Her strong play continued on the back, carding a birdie on No. 12 on the way to a bogey-free round.
“I made a long putt on No. 12 that kept up my momentum. Making a putt like that was good for my confidence,” she said.
Ellenbogen, currently ranked 9th in the Polo Golf Rankings, took a share of the lead with another birdie on No. 13, and closed with 5 straight pars.
“I think it's a little harder to play when you're in the lead, but also, that's the position I want to be in all the time,” Ellenbogen remarked.
The TomatoBankNorthern California Classic is Ellenbogen's third AJGA title, previously winning the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan and Rolex Girls Junior Championship this year.
Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., finished in second with a tournament total of 8-under-par 208. Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., was one shot back, taking third place at 7-under-par 209.
In the Boys Division, Gregor Main notched a final round of 4-under-par 68 to secure a three-stroke victory. Main shot in the 60s all three rounds, having at least a share of the lead each day, and recorded just one bogey each day while taking advantage of the par-5s. On the week, Main was 9-under-par on the four par-5's alone, carding three birdies on the opening day, four the second, and two on Thursday.
“My putting was the best it's ever been,” he said. “I putted unbelievably this week.”
The hot play was good enough to give the 18-year-old his first career AJGA victory, and a world of confidence heading into The Junior PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass, August 30 — September 2.
Alex Kang of Oak Park, Calif., finished alone in second at 11-under-par 205. Benjamin Bauch of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., took third at 8-under-par 208, while Stephen Hale of Bakersfield, Calif., recorded a tournament total of 7-under par-209 to take fourth. Steven Kearney of Carlsbad, Calif., finished fifth at 6-under-par 210.
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 on the TomatoBank Northern California Classic or the AJGA, please call AJGA Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.