HOGUE FIRES 71 TO CLAIM VICTORY AT RICH HARVEST
Freeman wins Girls Division in commanding fashion
Sugar Grove, Ill. â€“ Adam Hogue of Plymouth, Mich., fired a 1-under-par 71 to take the Boys Division title with a tournament total of 220 at the Fidelity Investments Junior Shootout at Rich Harvest. Ashley Freeman of Belleville, Ill., carded a 7-over-par 80 for a dominant eight-stroke victory in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Fidelity Investments Junior Shootout at Rich Harvest was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Rich Harvest Farms. The tournament featured 81 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18, from 22 states and Ontario, including 43 from Illinois.
Hogue began the final round one shot off the lead and got off to an impressive start, carding birdies on four holes on the Gold nine. The first came on hole No. 1 Gold, where Hogue drained a putt from 10 feet that settled his nerves and gave him a boost of confidence. Hogue felt the key to keeping that momentum going throughout the day was course management.
â€śI started to get to know the course and learn the right spots to hit at the green,â€ť Hogue said. â€śThe course played tough and there was no easy hole out there, but I just learned I had to be patient.â€ť
Hogueâ€™s 71 was only the second sub-par round of the tournament. It featured a 34 on the Gold nine and a 37 on the Silver nine. Hogue said he felt every part of his game was working well during the round and that he felt particularly confident on the greens, needing only 29 putts. The win is Hogueâ€™s first AJGA victory.
Andrew Ladwig of East Grand Rapids, Mich., and Bryan Blake of Westerville, Ohio, tied for second place with rounds of 73 and 77 respectively for tournament totals of 226. Mike Ott of Highland Park, Ill., claimed sole possession of fourth place with a final round 76 and a three-day total of 227. Justin Spray of Colorado Springs, Colo., finished fifth with a 74 for a tournament total 228.
Freemanâ€™s 80, which consisted of a 41 on the Gold nine and a 39 on the Silver nine, gave her a tournament total of 239. The 17-year-old headed into the final round with a five shot lead but got off to a shaky start, making double bogeyes on holes No. 5 and 6 Gold.
â€śIt was rough out there today,â€ť Freeman said. â€śThe two doubles shook me up, but after the second I told myself to just concentrate on making pars and birdies, and to take a bogey and be happy with it instead of making more big numbers.â€ť
Freemanâ€™s renewed focus paid off, as evident on hole No. 9 Gold. She hit her third shot on the par-5 hole to within inches of the flagstick and tapped in for birdie to go to 4-over for the day.
â€śNo. 9 Gold really made a difference for me,â€ť Freeman said. â€śI really wanted to get to 4-over and I did. It gave me a lot of momentum heading to the second nine.â€ť
Freeman felt her wedge game was working well all day, and nailed several close approach shots on the Silver nine, including one that lead to birdie on No. 7 Silver. The win is Freemanâ€™s second career AJGA victory. In 2003 she won the AJGA Chicago Junior at Bolingbrook. The high school senior has verbally committed to play golf at Texas A&M beginning in 2006.
Meghna Bal of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Mindy Kim of Diamond Bar, Calif., tied for second place with three-day totals of 247.
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, the largest Association of its kind, 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 AJGAâ€™s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Associationâ€™s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer. For more information about the Fidelity Investments Junior Shootout at Rich Harvest, contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.