ALLENSPACH FENDS OFF COMPETITION, WINS BY SIX IN HOUSTON
Burlison earns her first individual AJGA victory at Redstone Golf Club
HUMBLE, Texas — Drew Allenspach of Sugar Land, Texas, and Sydney Burlison of Salinas, Calif., held onto their first- and second-round leads to come away with top honors at the Fidelity Investments Junior Championship Saturday. This was the first American Junior Golf Association victory for both competitors.
The Fidelity Investments Junior Championship, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 64 boys and 20 girls — ages 12 — 18 from 11 states (65 from the state of Texas). The event is being staged on the par-72, 7,309-yard Jacobsen Hardy Course at Redstone Golf Club (Girls Division played at 6,080 yards).
Allenspach started his round with a birdie on the first hole. After building a four-stroke lead, he stumbled on the par-4, 400-yard fourth hole. A quadruple-bogey here was the one blemish on a nearly perfect tournament.
“It was almost so bad, I just had to let it go,” said Allenspach. “I started playing more aggressive after the turn and finally found my comfort zone.”
After No. 4, Allenspach's round included three bogeys and five birdies to finish at 1-over-par 73 maintaining a six- stroke lead over his nearest competition. He ended the tournament with a 68-71-73 — 212 tournament total. Dustin Morris of Crosby, Texas, finished the tournament in a second-place tie with Cody Vincent of Sulphur, La., at 218. Rounding out the Boys Division in a tie for fifth were Blake Stark of Canton, Ga., Joshua Ray of New Braunfels, Texas, and Bryant Lach of The Woodlands, Texas, at 219.
Allenspach will play in the FootJoy Boys Invitational later this summer as his last AJGA event. He will turn 19 in June and attend college at Indiana University in the fall.
Burlison made an eagle on the 461-yard, par-5 first hole to get her day started. Taylore Karle, of Scottsdale, Ariz., started the day with consecutive birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 to put herself in a tie for first with Burlison, who ended the tournament at 71-71-73 — 215.
“I was so excited to start off well,” said the 15-year-old of Salinas, Calif. “I knew that Taylore would be pressing, so I was prepared for it.”
Karle pressed until the very end. On the final hole of the event, Burlison was forced to make a 10-foot par putt to end all thoughts of a playoff, as Karle had a six-foot putt for birdie. Burlison, however, calmly sank the putt, sealing her victory.
The 14-year-old Karle, who missed the short birdie putt on No. 18, finished the tournament at 74-72-71 — 217, two strokes shy of Burlison. Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division was Sarah Zwartynski of Allen, Texas, with a 75-72-77 — 224 tournament total.
This was the first individual tournament win for Burlison. After qualifying for the 2003 U.S. Women's Open as a 13-year-old, she came in first at the Justin Leonard/Deloitte Junior Team Championship with Lila Barton in 2004. She intends on playing in as many AJGA Invitationals this season as possible, setting her sights on Canon Cup and the PING Junior Solheim Cup.
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 about the Fidelity Investments Junior Championship, please call the AJGA National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542.