MONTE UNPHASED BY DIFFICULT CONDITIONS AT CANNON RIDGE
Virginia native weathers the Beman Course, earns medalist honors
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Joe Monte of Fairfax, Va., felt good all week and knew something special was about to happen prior to braving a cold and windy day at Cannon Ridge Golf Club's Beman Course. The 16-year-old fired a 1-over-par 72 en route to claiming medalist honors by four shots at the rain-shortened Ashworth Junior at Cannon Ridge.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ashworth Junior at Cannon Ridge was played on Cannon Ridge Golf Club's Beman Course. The tournament consisted of 84 junior golfers, ages 12-18, from 18 states and Canada, including 18 players from Virginia. The event, originally scheduled for 36 holes, was shortened to 18 holes after Saturday's first round was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Monte, a sophomore at Shantilly High School, recorded five birdies during his round, three of them coming on his first seven holes. He credited his short game as the catalyst for his success.
“I was chipping and putting as well as I possibly could,” Monte said. “My score could have been even lower with less wind because I would have hit more fairways.”
Monte had just 26 putts during the round in which strong winds and the Beman Course's undulating greens tested the mettle of all competitors on the putting surfaces.
“My swing felt pretty good all week and I got my putting stroke back this morning,” Monte said. “It's awesome to win an AJGA event. I was all smiles the whole way in.”
John Mlynarski IV of St. Michaels, Md., Doug Gordon of Winter Park, Fla., and Chris Hamm of nearby Spotsylvania, Va., tied for second place, four shots behind Monte, with matching 5-over-par 76s. Finishing in a tie for fifth place were Kevin Hentz of Bel Air, Md., Seth Norman of Virginia Beach, Va., Adam Hoffman of Pittsburgh, Pa., Chad Day of Raleigh, N.C., and Cory Bartlett of Shanty Bay, Ontario with 78s.
The Ashworth Junior Series was created specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year. Juniors ages 12-18 are eligible for entry. For those who are eligible, participation is limited to one Preseason event and one Postseason event per calendar year as long as they have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event.
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 a junior 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, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information on the Ashworth Junior at Cannon Ridge, contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit ajga.org.