LEE SURVIVES THREE-HOLE PLAYOFF TO CLAIM FIRST AJGA VICTORY
Hughes reclaims lead in final round, wins at Wenatchee Golf & Country Club
WENATCHEE, Wash. — It took three holes of a sudden-death playoff to crown a champion in the Girls Division of the AJGA Junior at Wenatchee Friday. Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash., took home the trophy after defeating Tiffany Lim of San Jose, Calif., on the par-4 No. 12 at Wenatchee Golf & Country Club. In the Boys Division, Charlie Hughes of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, walked into the scoring tent with a tournament total of 6-under-par 210 and walked out with a win in his first AJGA event.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at Wenatchee was a 54-hole stroke-play competition held at the Wenatchee Golf & Country Club. The tournament field consisted of 74 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 12 states, Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan, and South Africa. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,383 yards while the Girls Division played at 5,985 yards.
Lee, who is currently ranked eighth in the Polo Golf Rankings, led by a three-stroke margin when final-round play began. It was a nerve-racking day, according to Lee, who said Lim was putting pressure on her during each hole. At the end of regulation, each girl had a tournament total of 6-over-par 222.
“We were battling every single hole and every single shot,” the 15-year-old said. “It was really tough out there.”
Heading into the par-4 No. 18, Lee held a two-stroke lead. After Lee sliced her tee shot right and carded a bogey on the hole, Lim was able to capitalize on the window of opportunity by sinking a birdie putt and forcing a play-off.
“It was a great birdie putt,” Lee said of Lim's play. “It really put tension on me.”
The two girls went shot-for-shot through the first two holes of the play-off, but Lee was able to make par on the third to seal a hard-earned victory.
Behind Lee and Lim in third was Seo Hee Moon of Mukilteo, Wash., who recorded a 12-over-par 228.
Hughes, who led after round one, began the day tied for second. It was a hard-fought round for the rising senior, who pulled closer to second-round leader Jonny Baxter of Pleasanton, Calif., by recording birdies on three holes of the front nine. It was on the par-4 No. 11 where he first took the lead and never looked back.
“It was tough competition from the start,” Hughes said. “It seemed like even after I had the lead in my group, I didn't know what the group ahead of me had done so I was just trying to make as many birdies as I could.”
Six birdie putts fell for Hughes during the final round, giving him the tournament win and the low final-round score of 4-under-par 68.
Tied for second with tournament totals of 3-under-par 213 were second-round leader Baxter and Chien Yao Hung of Sinjuang City, Taiwan. Standing alone in fourth was Gerrit Chambers of Brush Prairie, Wash., who recorded a 1-under-par 215. Tied for fifth were R. Jordan Skyles of Eagle, Idaho, and Justin Haase of Spokane, Wash., each having carded an 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 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 AJGA Junior at Wenatchee, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.