ABILENE REPORTER- NEWS/LAWRENCE HALL ABILENE JUNIOR
Fairway Oaks Country Club
July 19-22, 2004
TEXAS NATIVES MORELAND AND MCMAHAN CLAIM VICTORY IN THE LONE STAR STATE
Boys and Girls Division champions both leave Abilene with their first AJGA victory
ABILENE, TEXAS – Texas native Cole Moreland drives home to Austin with his first AJGA win after his impressive three-day total of 5-under-par 211 at the Abilene Reporter-News/Lawrence Hall Abilene Junior, held at Fairway Oaks Country Club.
Coming back strong from dehydration and spending a few hours in the hospital Wednesday night, Meredith McMahan of San Antonio garnered a 2-under-par 70, her lowest round of the week, to capture her first-ever national title with tallies of 76-74-70—220.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Abilene Reporter-News/Lawrence Hall Abilene Junior was held at Fairway Oaks Country Club. One hundred and nineteen junior golfers from 12 states and Mexico competed in this 54-hole event. Ninety-six players from the host state were entered in the field.
Before heading into this event, Moreland’s top finish was a tie for thirty-third at the AJGA Lubbock Junior presented by United Supermarkets and Market Street in June.
“My short game helped me out a lot this week,” the soon-to-be high school senior said. “My birdie on 17 was big, which just kept me going.”
Coming into this tournament, the 17-year-old’s overall goal was just to play consistent. Consistency seemed to be his secret weapon this week as he fired solid rounds of 71-71-69—211.
He started the day off on a roll as he birdied two of the first three holes. Moreland indicated that being 2-under after three boosted his confidence.
“This has been a fun week and I really enjoyed playing each day,” he said. “This is a neat event and I am glad that I have been able to be a part of it.”
In second at 214 was another Texas native, Brandon Lakatta of Mansfield. Lakatta entered the final round in the lead by three shots. Tied for third in the Boys Division were Trent Whitekiller of Sallisaw, Okla. (a tournament qualifier and first-round leader), and Texas natives K.T. Livingtson of Midland and Colton Williams of Jacksboro.
Domination carried over into the Girls Division when McMahan finished the day ten shots ahead of her closest competitor. However, before heading into Thursday’s round, the 17-year-old McMahan was a little nervous due to being dehydrated the night before.
“I was definitely a little jumpy this morning because I really wanted to win my first AJGA event,” she said. “I was determined to overcome it.”
And she did. McMahan carded the lowest score of the tournament. However, her day started off a little slow as she double-bogeyed the 330-yard par-4 second hole.
“The competitive nature in me came out after that hole,” she said. “I told myself that I was going to get my game under control and settle down.”
After her disappointing performance on No. 2, McMahan could not be stopped. She made the turn at 1-under-par 35 with three birdies on Nos. 4, 7 and 9. Her blizzard of birdies continued as she listed three more on her scorecard on Nos. 13, 15 and 18.
“I had a great day and I loved playing with the girls in my group,” she smiled. “This is the best feeling and I have waited a long time for this time to come.”
McMahan, who placed fourth at the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout earlier this month, hopes to continue her winning streak as she heads to the I.R.I Golf Group Oakridge Junior in Dallas next week.
The first-round leader, Brittany Tomerlin of San Angelo, Texas, earned second place honors with scores of 75-77-78—230. Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division was fellow Texas native Andrea Zwartynski of Allen at 231.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the erall 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 on the Abilene Reporter-News/Lawrence Hall Abilene Junior or any other AJGA event, please contact AJGA’s National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit the Association’s Web site, ajga.org.