LEXINGTON. K.Y. – A pair of Kentucky natives claimed the medalist honors in both the Boys and Girls Division at the Subaru Open at Andover. Teddy Collins of Prospect, Ky., carded a 68 and Megan Johnson of Lexington, Ky., shot a 78.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Subaru Open at Andover Qualifier was held at the Andover Golf & Country Club. The juniors were competing for 11 spots (eight boys and three girls) in this week’s 54-hole tournament, which will feature 99 players, including four Rolex Junior All-Americans.
Collins, 18, fresh off his victory at the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior, paced the qualifying field with a 4-under-par round and won by four strokes. The high school graduate, who will be attending Stanford next fall, shot a 33 on the front nine and a 35 on the back. Collins’ round included five birdies and a lone bogey on No. 11.
“Not being familiar with this course didn’t hurt me,” Collins said. “I hit my drives where you can see and did not have to scramble at all. I was within 10 feet all day and was able to finish strong.”
Collins birdied his final two holes Nos. 8 and 9. He highlighted No. 9 as being an important hole to conclude his round and giving him confidence going into the first round of the tournament. “The hole has water behind the green and I hit a 9-iron in,” Collins said. “I was able to stop it six feet from the hole and make birdie from there.”
Finishing second in the Boys Division was Thomas Buran of Scottsdale, Ariz., who finished with an even-par 72. Thomas Mathiassen of Roswell, Ga., Steven Drake of Findlay, Ohio, Benjamin Harritt of New Albany, Ind., Charles Wimsatt II of Union, Ky., Chase Carpenter of Salyersville, Ky., Christian Brand of Charleston, W. Va., Kyle Welch of Floyds Knobs, Ind., and Matt Langan of Prospect, Ky., all qualified for the Subaru Open at Andover. Also qualifying via a sudden-death playoff was Robert Newbold of Greenwood, Ind.
In lieu of playing this week’s event Mathiassen, Drake and Welch will add a tournament exemption to their Performance Based Entry Status.
Johnson, 17, who had played at the Andover Golf & Country Club three times before, began her round on No. 14. Johnson was able to shoot her personal best score and medal for the Girls Division. It was her play on No. 18 and her familiarity with the course, which set the tone for the day.
“I played No. 18 really well,” Johnson said. “I hit a great drive and then my second shot almost went in. I was able to make par and get myself going,” she said. “I know this course and the greens are much like a similar course which I just played. I’m used to the faster greens and it helped my putting today.”
Finishing second in the Girls Division, only one stroke back, was Lauren Norsworthy of Edwardsville, Ill., who shot a 79. Finishing in a tie for third at 80 was Laurin Bruce of Mason, Ohio and Gina Besozzi of Columbus, Ohio.
In lieu of playing this week’s event Besozzi will add a tournament exemption to her Performance Based Entry Status.
The first round of the Subaru Open at Andover will begin Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. off the No. 1 tee.
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 has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information about the Subaru Open at Andover, please contact tournament headquarters at (859) 263-3710 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.