Final round 5-under-par fuels Kieffer to victory in Boys Division at Quarry Oaks
Zhu holds off Girls Division field, wins first AJGA title
ASHLAND, Neb. — Dominic Kieffer of Byron, Minn., shot 5-under-par 66 Thursday, one stroke shy of the course record, and finished at 3-under-par 210 to win the Boys Division at the AJGA Nebraska Junior at Quarry Oaks. Xiaoyu Zhu of Shanghai shot even-par 71 securing first place in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Nebraska Junior at Quarry Oaks was a 54-hole stroke play event at Quarry Oaks Golf Course. The tournament field consisted of 57 boys and 21 girls from 17 states, Canada and China. The Boys Division played the par-71 course at 6,837 yards while the Girls Division played at 6,023 yards.
Kieffer, who has never won an AJGA event, said he was overwhelmed with excitement about his victory at Quarry Oaks. Kieffer carded three birdies on his front nine, which gave him the confidence to finish his round strongly.
“I was putting very well in my round today, everything was just working in my favor and it definitely paid off,” Kieffer said. “I was hitting some key par putts and I had a solid iron game, so I just tried to remain confident in my game in hoping that I could win.”
In the Boys Division, Rylee Reinertson of Gibbon, Neb., finished second with a 2-under-par 211 tournament total. Chase Hanna of Leawood, Kan., was third with a 3-over-par 216 for the tournament. Colin Pearson of Fort Dodge, Iowa, took fourth at 5-over-par 218 for the tournament and Matthew Green of Lenexa, Kan., finished fifth at 6-over-par 219.
Zhu began her final round at Quarry Oaks shooting even-par on her front nine and carding two birdies on the back nine.
“Last round, I felt my putting was good, but today all my clubs were stable and working well,” Zhu said. “I think this has been my most focused tournament and I am very excited about my win.”
Calli Ringsby of Cherry Hills Village, Colo., took second after carding a 1-over-par 72 Thursday for a tournament total of 8-over-par 221. In third, Cha Cha Willhoite of Palm Desert, Calif., finished at 9-over-par 222 for the tournament.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex, 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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
. For more information on the AJGA Nebraska Junior at Quarry Oaks, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.