GOOCH CAPTURES CROWN AT ALDILA JUNIOR AT OAK TREE
First AJGA victory for Montoya in Girls Division
EDMOND, Okla. â€” Talor Gooch of Midwest City, Okla., garnered top honors at the Aldila Junior at Oak Tree with a final round 3-over-par 73. Mariah Montoya of Lubbock, Texas, edged out two Arkansas competitors, notching her first AJGA victory carding a final round 3-over-par 73 in the Girls Division at Oak Tree Country Club â€” East Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Aldila Junior at Oak Tree was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Oak Tree Country Club â€” East Course. The tournament field featured 102 boys and 42 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states and Brazil. The Boys Division played the par-70 course at 7,014 yards, while the Girls Division played the course at 5,783 yards.
Gooch proved he was the best in the field with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 leading to a 1-under-par 34 on the front nine. A tournament total 2-over-par 212 lifted Gooch to his first AJGA win and sixth top-five AJGA finish, which was not an easy feat with the high level of competition at this year's event.
â€śThe best players in the state are here because this is one of the best tournaments,â€ť Gooch said. â€śThis is what I strive for [winning the tournament].â€ť
Geoffrey Shaw of Edmond, Okla., finished tied for second with Andrew Green of Edmond, Okla., at 4-over-par 214. Ford Fischer of Dallas, and Logan McCracken of Oklahoma City, finished tied for fourth at 5-over-par 215.
Montoya sealed her victory by one stroke in the Girls Division. Her steady play led to two birdies including a memorable 40 foot putt on No. 13. In her first final pairing of her career, Montoya felt a little nervous.
â€śIt's something you have to go through to understand it,â€ť Montoya said. â€śOn No. 16 I started freaking out but I calmed down by going through my routines in my head.â€ť
Haley Sanders of Rogers, Ark., finished in second place posting a 4-over-par 214 tournament total. In third place was Emma Lavy of Fayetteville, Ark., shooting 6-over-par 216.
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 Aldila Junior at Oak Tree, please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.