CZUCHRY EMERGES FROM PACK TO WIN CHARLES HOWELL III JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Kim leads from start, completes victory in Girls Division at West Lake Country Club
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Drew Czuchry of Auburn, Ga., shot an even-par final round Thursday and finished with a total of 3-under-par 213 for the victory at the Charles Howell III Junior Championship. Anna Kim of Chandler, Ariz., completed a wire-to-wire win in the Girls Division with a tournament total of 3-under-par 216.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Charles Howell III Junior Championship was a 54-hole stroke play event held at West Lake Country Club in Augusta, Ga. The tournament field consisted of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 18 states as well as Mexico and South Africa. The Boys Division played the par-72 West Lake Country Club course at 6,849 yards, and the Girls Division played the course at 6,149 yards, par-73.
Czuchry's best prior AJGA finish was a T-12 in April at the AJGA Cliffs Championship, but he teed off in the last group Thursday and got off to a strong start with six straight pars.
“One of my best up-and-downs of the week came on [No.] six,” Czuchry said. “I hit my second shot just over the water.”
From there, Czuchry capitalized on his momentum and birdied Nos. 7, 9 and 12 to move to 6-under-par. His score started moving the other direction when he bogeyed Nos. 13, 14 and 16.
“I was not too pleased at those,” Czuchry said. “I don't like bogeys in general, especially two in a row.”
Walking up to the final green at 3-under-par, Czuchry wasn't sure of where he stood.
“I figured somebody would have come in at 4-under [-par],” he said. “But when I saw all those people standing around [No.] 18, I thought I might have a chance.”
Max Van Dresser of Alpharetta, Ga., and Kelby Burton of Evans, Ga., finished one stroke behind Czuchry in second place at 2-under-par 214, while Tyler Sluman of Sarasota, Fla., and Robert Jacobsen of Racine, Wis., finished tied for fourth at 1-under-par 215.
Kim, who medaled at the K12 Qualifier for this event, entered the day with an eight-stroke lead, and she was never seriously challenged and wound up with a five-stroke margin of victory.
While her 3-over-par 76 was her highest score of the week, Kim knew she had plenty of wiggle room.
“I just said it doesn't matter if you get bogeys or doubles. Of course, it started being more bogeys,” she said.
The 15-year-old arrived in Augusta early to have extra practice time prior to the tournament, and it paid off with the victory.
“I'm pretty happy,” Kim said. “I came here a week early…the hole locations didn't bother me; I know the course pretty well.”
Rinko Mitsunaga of Roswell, Ga., finished tied for second with Taylor Ramsey of Augusta, Ga. Both finished the tournament with a 2-over-par tournament total of 221.
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 50 states and more than 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 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 about the Charles Howell III Junior Championship, please call AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.