STRONG SERGE HELPS CLEMENS TO CLAIM HANMI BANK JUNIOR OPEN TITLE
Lee wins Girls Division by six stokes at Robinson Ranch Golf Club - Valley Course
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Mario Clemens of Beverly Hills, Calif., birdied two of the last three holes to jump ahead of the two-day leader claiming his first AJGA title at the Hanmi Bank Junior Open. Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., carded a 4-under-par 68 to bring her tournament total to 8-under-par 208 and win the Girls Division at Robinson Ranch Golf Club's Valley Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Hanmi Bank Junior Open was a 54-hole stroke-play event held at Robinson Ranch Golf Club's Valley Course. The tournament field consisted of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from seven states and New Zealand. Eighty-one hailed from the home state of California. The Boys Division played the par-72 layout at 6,831 yards, while the Girls Division played it at 6,040 yards.
Clemens scattered four birdies on the day, including a 60-footer on No. 16. He realized that he was in contention for the win after tallying birdies on Nos. 16 and 17.
“I was just trying to match play with John [Young Kim],” Clemens said. “The last few tournaments have taught me to be aggressive and I took advantage where I could.”
John Young Kim of Los Alamitos, Calif., finished in second with a tournament total of 4-under-par 212. Max Homa of Valencia, and Todd Baek of Auckland, New Zealand, both carded 3-under-par 213s, putting them tied for third. Matthew Siporin of Tarzana, Calif., and Daniel Lee of Valencia tied for fifth at 1-under-par 215.
Lee, 13, was excited to win her first AJGA open event after putting up four birdies to card a 4-under-par 68. She credited her solid round to not making any errors.
“I learned my lesson at Mission Hills this year when I 3-putted too many times and lost my lead,” Lee said. “I knew that I just had to stay focused and cut down on mistakes. This was a real confidence booster.”
Marika Liu of Bradenton, Fla., shot even-par 72 in her final round for a tournament total of 2-under-par 214, giving her a second place finish. Esther Lee of Los Alamitos finished in third after playing 54 holes at even-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 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 30 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 Hanmi Bank Junior Open, please call Tournament Director Tommy Tangtiphaiboontana at (678) 617-2424.