MATHISON'S THIRD STRAIGHT 1-OVER-PAR 73 CLINCHES VICTORY AT EL CAMPEON COURSE
Wang wins Girls Division at Junior All-Star at Mission Inn
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. — Peter Mathison, 12, of Jupiter, Fla., maintained the lead he built during the second round and won the Junior All-Star at Mission Inn Thursday after posting his third consecutive 1-over-par 73. Xin Wang, 14, of Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., completed her wire-to-wire victory in the Girls Division after firing a final round score of 4-over-par 76.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star at Mission Inn was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Mission Inn Resort and Club — El Campeon Course. The tournament field featured 52 boys and 18 girls — ages 12-15 — from 16 states as well as Colombia and Mexico. The Boys Division played the par-72 El Campeon Course at 6,655 yards and the Girls Division played at 5,696 yards.
After trailing the opening-round leader by four strokes, Mathison entered the final round with a one-stroke lead. It was a lead he wasn't willing to relinquish, as he made his way to the 16th tee box at 1-under-par for the day.
His round wasn't without trouble, however. On No. 8, he found himself searching for his tee shot in the woods. But champions find a way, and Mathison did just that.
“I hit a low hook shot with my four-iron from 180 yards out and landed it five feet from the hole,” Mathison said.
His confidence only grew when he clinched the Boys Division Championship, carding a tournament total of 3-over-par 219.
“I feel I can do well in all of the AJGA events now,” Mathison said. “I hope I can follow this up and play well in other AJGA tournaments.”
Finishing in second was James Yoon of Bradenton, Fla., at 7-over-par 223. Joey Petronio of Orlando, Fla., finished in third with a tournament total of 9-over-par 225. Finishing in fourth was Ryan Stovash of Orlando, Fla., who carded a tournament total of 11-over-par 227. Tied for fifth at 12-over-par 228 were Juan Veloza of Cali, Colombia, Samuel Jabba of Bogota, Colombia, and Sawyer Shaw of West Palm Beach, Fla.
In the Girls Division, Wang, playing at her home course, never looked back during the Junior All-Star at Mission Inn. She completed her wire-to-wire victory nine strokes ahead of the field.
“I live near the course and play it a lot,” Wang said. “But I'm always just practicing and not playing seriously. So it's interesting to play in a tournament and do pretty well.”
After finishing tied for fourth in her first AJGA event, the 2009 Junior All-Star at Aspen, Wang was left with a bitter taste in her mouth. If that wasn't enough incentive to win, a new laptop sure would be.
“My laptop broke and my parents told me if I played well I might be able to get a new one,” Wang said.
Finishing in second was Vivian Hsuan Chen of Bradenton, Fla., at 13-over-par 229. In third place was Juliet Vongphoumy of Providence, R.I., who carded a tournament total of 14-over-par 230.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 11 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15 and presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into Open tournaments. Juniors are limited to a maximum combination of five AJGA Open and Junior All-Star Series events during a calendar year. The series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, a full-time junior golf training and development program, enters its first year as an Official Partner of the AJGA. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which will provide juniors access to national competitive golf opportunities.
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 50 states and 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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 Junior All-Star at Mission Inn, please call AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.