DUNLOP CAROLINA JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Green Valley Country Club
Greenville, South Carolina
June 21-24, 2004
HALEY CAPTURES FIRST AJGA VICTORY IN CAROLINA
Wang runs away from the field
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Paul Haley of Dallas, shot a final round 3-under-par 69, to capture his first career AJGA victory. His three round total of 202, 14-under-par, was eight strokes better than his nearest competitor. In similar fashion, Catherina Wang, of Sarasota, Fla., dominated both the field and the golf course as she won the Girls Division by 12 strokes, finishing at 1-under-par for the week.
The seventh annual Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship was a 54-hole stroke-play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Green Valley Country Club. The tournament included 99 boy and girl junior golfers, ages 12-18, from 16 states, Canada, and China. Five Rolex Junior All-Americans and 27 South Carolina natives highlighted the field.
Haley entered the final round with a 4-stroke lead over Nicholas Smith of Ocala, Fla. After the first three holes, Smith had cut that lead in half. However, on hole No. 5, Haley shut the door. His approach shot into the par-4 fifth hole landed five feet from the hole and he was able to roll the putt in for birdie.
“The iron shot and birdie putt on No. 5 was the turning point of my round,” Haley commented. “Nick was really playing well and I needed to get something started.”
Haley would follow his birdie on No. 5 with another birdie on the par-5 sixth hole to go back to even-par for the day and 11-under-par for the tournament. On No. 9, Haley struck again, clubbing his iron shot close to the hole and rolling in the putt for a birdie to shoot a front nine 35 and regain his four stroke advantage. After a bogey on No. 10, the sixteen-year-old was able to make a birdie on No. 11 to pull away from the field. Haley finished his round with birdies on No. 16 and the finishing 18th hole.
“I just wanted to hit fairways and greens today,” Haley said. “I was fortunate enough to make some birdies at the end.”
Previously, Haley’s best AJGA tournament finish was a third place tie at this year’s TaylorMade-addidas Golf Junior at The Woodlands. “This is my biggest win ever. It will give me a huge confidence boost and now I know what I can do.”
Mu Hu of Shen Zhen, China, was able to fire a low-final-round, 4-under-par 68, totaling 210 for the tournament and moving into second. Charlie Holland of Dallas, and Jon McLean of Weston, Fla., ended the tournament at 5-under-par in a tie for third place. Rounding out the top five was first round co-leader Ryan LeFevre of Boca Raton, Fla., finishing with a tournament total of 212.
Wang continued her stellar play, carding a final round 73 and a tournament total of 1-under-par, 215, leaving her the only girl in the field to finish under par. She has now captured two wins in her last three starts, including an 8-stroke victory two weeks ago at the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Championship. In her last two years of play in the AJGA, Wang has only finished out of the top ten once, which was a tie for 12th at this years Rolex Girls Junior Championship.
“I played pretty well this week,” Wang remarked. “I stayed in the fairway all week, which is very key, and I made putts when I needed too. I’m very happy to win this event with such good players.”
Wang, 16, was able to follow her final round game plan by staying out of trouble and remaining consistent. For most of day, she hit a 5-wood off the tee, and was able to hit 11 of the 14 fairways at Green Valley. Her final round 73 included birdies, on Nos. 9 and 10, and three bogeys.
“I knew where I stood all day, so I focused on hitting good safe shots and staying out of trouble,” Wang commented. “I made two good iron shots on Nos. 9 and 10 and was fortunate enough to roll in the birdie putts.”
With a matching tournament total of 227 and finishing in a tie for second was, Hannah Brabb of Maitland, Fla., and Christina Wentworth of Macon, Ga.
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 Dunlop Carolina Junior Championship or the AJGA, please contact our National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542 or visit the AJGA Web site at www.ajga.org.