WONG FIRES 5-UNDER-PAR 67 TO WIN BOYS DIVISION AT TROPHY LAKE
Michaels captures Girls Division crown by 15 strokes
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – Eugene Wong of North Vancouver, B.C., emerged from the pack on Thursday to win the Boys Division at the Pacific Northwest International Junior presented by Jeff Troesch. Wong’s 69-75-67 – 211, was enough to overcome a three-stroke deficit heading into Thursday. His 5-under-par 67 was also the best score of the Final Round, capturing a three-shot vistory. Sydnee Michaels of Temecula, Calif., continued her dominant play and shot a 67-72-69 – 208, to earn a 15-stroke victory in the Girls Division.
The Pacific Northwest International Junior presented by Jeff Troesch, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 62 boys and 20 girls — ages 12-18 — from 11 states and two foreign countries. The event was staged on the par-72, 6,983-yard Trophy Lake Golf & Casting (Girls Division played at 5,939 yards).
Wong entered the day in a three-way tie for second, but got off to a hot start. He moved into the lead early and never looked back. 14-year-old Wong birdied No. 1 and then went on to make a 40-foot birdie putt on the 441-yard, par-4 No. 4. Wong finished the front nine at 4-under-par, and didn't make his first bogey until the 18th hole.
“I was driving the ball well, hitting my irons real well, and putting excellent,” Wong said.
Wong, playing in his first AJGA event, wasn't sure what to expect coming into the Final Round.
“I wasn't nervous, I was pretty calm,” Wong reflected. “Well, maybe I was a little nervous at the end.”
Finishing second was local junior and 2004 Honorable Mention Rolex Junior All-American, Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor, Wash., with a 54-hole total of 214. Blake Carley of Boise, Idaho, and Doug Fortner of Tustin, Calif., tied for third with 216. Ryan Hallisey of Granite Bay, Calif., Colby Smith of Auburn, Calif., and Corey Steger of North Vancouver, B.C., finished nine-strokes back, tied for fifth at 220.
Michaels entered Thursday with a 9-shot lead, and was unrelenting in the Final Round. Michaels never allowed the competition to get close, finishing the front nine 3-under-par. After carding a birdie on No. 6, Michaels proceeded to eagle the 470-yard, par-5 No. 7. The 17-year-old was clicking on all cylinders throughout the first two rounds, and continued to do so Thursday.
“It was a combination of my long drives, my irons working, and my putting backing it up,” Michaels said.
“This feels really good to finally win,” Michaels added. “I've played well in a lot of AJGA events, but it feels great to win one.”
Finishing second in the Girls Division, was Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., with a tournament total of 223. In third place, Melissa Mabanta of Langley, B.C., finished at 224.
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.
For more information about the Pacific Northwest International Junior presented by Jeff Troesch, contact AJGA Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.