SU'S 69 EARNS HIM HIS FIRST AJGA TOURNAMENT VICTORY
Patterson goes wire-to-wire at the Nike Golf Junior at Redhawk
TEMECULA, Calif.- The Boys Division was up for grabs on Thursday at the Nike Golf Junior at Redhawk. Dong Su of Richmond, B.C., emerged as the winner by one-stroke after shooting a 3-under-par 69 on the final day. The Girls Division was won easily by Ariana Patterson of Carmel, Calif., after her steady round of 1-over-par 73 left her with a tournament total of 217.
The Nike Golf Junior at Redhawk, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 66 boys and 18 girls — ages 12-15 — from 10 states and three foreign countries. The event was held on the par-72, 6,673-yard Redhawk Golf Course (Girls Division played at 5,732 yards).
Starting his day one-stroke off the lead, Su slowly climbed to the top. Playing the front nine 1-under-par, Su made the turn in good position for victory. He had four birdies on the backside, including three in a row on Nos. 14, 15 and 16.
Alex Kim of Fullerton, Calif., made a charge on the back nine leaving him only two-strokes off the lead. Su needed to bogey the 505-yard, par-5 No. 18 in order to win. Su decided to go for the green in two and found himself in the water.
“I didn't know how close the competition was,” said Su. “I thought I had ground to make up, so I decided to go for it.”
Su left his fourth shot 40-feet from the hole. He two-putted and found himself in the winner's circle for the first time in an AJGA event.
“I am excited to have won,” stated the 15-year-old. “I am excited about playing the Nike Golf Junior Championship in September.”
Kim finished second with a tournament total of 213. In third, with a three day total of 217, was Andrew Yun of Tacoma, Wash. Colby Smith of Auburn, Calif., placed fourth with a 219. Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division were Sam Chien of San Diego, and Jian Feng Ye of Celebration, Fla., both with a 220.
In the Girls Division, Patterson ran away with the title, finishing 10-strokes ahead of her competitors. She finished her round at 1-over-par. During her roller coaster round, Patterson made two birdies and three bogeys. Though holding a six-stroke lead beginning the day, Patterson was still nervous.
“I knew I held a big lead,” the 13-year-old said. “I was still nervous because I really was excited to possibly win my first AJGA title.”
After making consecutive birdies on Nos. 2 and 3, Patterson went on to bogey the next two holes. Her putting came back to her on the back nine and helped her hold on for a strong finish.
Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division are Rebecca Song of Fullerton, Calif., and Nara Kim of Diamond Bar, Calif., with tournament totals of 227.
With their victories, both Su and Patterson will be invited to play in the Nike Golf Junior Championship held in Aurora, Ore. The Nike Golf Junior All-Star series invites the top-5 boys and the top-3 girls from each of its tournaments to the championship held in September.
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 Nike Junior Golf at Redhawk, contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.