LEBOW EARNS TOP SPOT AT GOLF WORLD WEST COAST CHAMPIONSHIP
Harigae claims victory at Castlewood Country Club
PLEASANTON, Calif. — Shane Lebow of Santa Barbara, Calif., is the Boys Division winner after carding a 2-over-par 212. In the Girls Division, Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., recorded an even-par 71 in the final round to come in first place with a 2-over-par 215 tournament total.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Golf World West Coast Championship was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Castlewood Country Club. The 99-player field featured juniors from eight states. The course played at 6,212 yards in the Boys Division and 5,718 yards in the Girls Division.
Lebow shot a 3-over-par 73 final round and slipped out of Wednesday's three-way tie for the lead to win. Lebow gained his first-ever AJGA victory after three solid rounds at this tournament's inception.
“These three rounds have definitely been the best tournament of my life,” Lebow said. “Before this year I haven't been in contention going into the last round. In the last year, I learned how to handle myself in tense situations.”
Lebow sank three birdies and putted his way to another strong round that kept him in contention and then led to victory.
“Nos. 10 through 13 was the real stretch of my round,” he said. “That stretch really made or broke my round. No. 13 was the hole that really got me going and gave me a lot of confidence.”
On the par-4 13th hole, Lebow said he was determined to make par. He hooked his drive, hit a wedge within 20 feet of the green, took another wedge shot 10 feet short of the hole and then sank the putt for par.
Sam Smith of Turlock, Calif., and Eric Mina of Fremont, Calif., tied for second place after posting final round scores of 1-under-par 69 and 4-over-par 74, respectively, to finish the tournament at 3-over-par 213. Jay Myers of San Jose, Calif., and Kyle Souza of Livermore, Calif., rounded out the top of the Boys' leaderboard in a tie for fourth place.
Harigae, ranked the No. 1 junior girl by Polo Golf Rankings, said she had an off-and-on final round. However, she had six birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 10, 11, 14, and 18 to finish seven ahead of the Girls' field.
“It feels good to win,” Harigae said. “I had more birdies today, but I also had some battles.”
Harigae birdied Nos. 1 and 2 and then flipped between bogeys, pars and birdies on the rest of the front nine. But on Nos. 10 and 11 she made birdies again. Her fifth birdie was a 20-foot chip-in from the fringe on No. 14. Harigae finished strong with a final birdie on the 18th hole to win her second AJGA event.
Also in the Girls Division, Alexandra Groetsema of Palo Alto, Calif., came in second place at 9-over-par 222. Desiree Dubreuil of Costa Mesa, Calif., took third place with a 228 tournament total.
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 American Junior Golf Association, call National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.