HERR WINS ON SECOND HOLE OF SUDDEN-DEATH PLAYOFF AT THE AJGA NORTHEAST OPEN
Hu wins by 11 strokes to take home second AJGA trophy at Richter Park Golf Course
DANBURY, Conn. — Zachary Herr, 14, of New Hope, Pa., came out on top after winning the second hole of the sudden-death playoff Thursday at the AJGA Northeast Open to win his first AJGA title with a three-round total of 4-under-par 212. Bonnie Hu of Fremont, Calif., finished strong after carding five birdies in the final round to finish 2-under-par 70 to take the trophy in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Northeast Open was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Richter Park Golf Course in Danbury, Conn. The field featured 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states, Canada, Columbia and South Korea. The par-72 course was played at 6,607 yards for the Boys Division and 5,994 yards for the Girls Division.
Herr started out strong in the final round making a birdie on his first hole of the day, he then continued to card birdies on Nos. 7, 10, 12 and 18 to finish in a tie at 1-over-par 73.
On his final hole, Herr found himself in a familiar place after he hit a 178 yard approach shot to about two feet on No. 18. Herr tapped in for an easy birdie which forced a two-hole playoff against his best golfing friend, Geoff Vartelas of Cromwell, Conn. Last week Herr was tied after the final round at the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior but lost on the first playoff hole. This week was a different story. On the second playoff hole Herr used his 9-iron on the 162 yard par-3 No. 17 and then dropped a 15-foot putt to win his first AJGA event.
“After losing the playoff hole last week, I knew I needed to work on my irons this week and to become more cautious,” Herr said.
Herr plans to compete in two more AJGA events at Kingsmill and The Greenbriar to conclude the summer before he begins his freshman year of high school.
Sam Bernstein of Riverdale, N.Y. and Ryan McCormick of Middletown, N.J., finished third at 2-under-par 214. Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division are Jeff Wibawa of Encino, Calif., and Sean Gaudette of South Hadley, Mass., at 1-under-par 215.
Hu, who won the UnderArmour/Hunter Mahan Championship in April, extended her lead from the first two rounds to take home the honors by 11 strokes in the Girls Division. Hu birdied the 140 yard par-3 No. 17 all three rounds, in the final round she added birdies on Nos. 1, 2, 8 and 10.
“Today I got lucky on No. 17, I made a putt from 30 feet for birdie,” Hu said. “On No. 8 I hit my approach shot to eight feet for birdie, and then on Nos. 1 and 2 I stuck my approach shots to two feet.”
In sole possession of second is Suzie Lee of East Northport, N.Y. at 9-over-par 225. Finishing in a three way tie for third are Harin Lee of Bayside, N.Y., Daniela Lendl of Bradenton, Fla., and Heather Proctor of Silver Springs, Fla., at 13-over-par 229.
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 AJGA Northeast Open please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.