CAULEY CAPTURES TITLE AT NIKE GOLF JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Sheary holds on to capture second consecutive AJGA tournament title
AURORA, Ore. — Bud Cauley of Jacksonville, Fla., fired a 3-under-par 68 to come from one shot back Sunday to capture the Nike Golf Junior Championship. In the Girls Division, Natalie Sheary of West Hartford, Conn., went into the final round with a four-shot lead and was able to hold on for a two-stroke victory, her second in the last month.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior Championship was contested at Langdon Farms Golf Club. Seventy-six junior golfers, ages 12-15, competed in the 54-hole stroke play event, with 22 states and two foreign countries represented. The season-ending Nike Golf Junior Championship marks the conclusion of the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series schedule in 2005. The series began in 1998 and was designed to give younger AJGA members more opportunities to play competitive junior golf.
Cauley got off to a strong start by making birdie on the first hole and continued his solid play throughout the final round. With matching 34s on each nine, Cauley finished the Nike Golf Junior Championship with a 7-under-par 206 tournament total, capturing his second AJGA title by two shots.
“I tried to get off to a quick start by making a couple birdies,” Cauley said. “I wanted to try to separate myself from the rest of the field and be contending with one other player instead of a couple people.”
Cauley recorded four birdies and just one bogey during his final round, including a birdie on the last hole. Winner of the Nike Golf Junior at Jacksonville, this victory was very special for Cauley.
“I'm happy to win playing in such a strong field, especially since you had to qualify for this event,” Cauley said.
Andrew Yun of Tacoma, Wash., made a valiant final-round charge but came up two shots short after firing his second consecutive 4-under-par 67.
Alex Frankel of Atlanta, finished alone in third place with a 2-under-par tournament total. Second-round leader Alex Shi Yup Kim of Fullerton, Calif., Sam Chien of San Diego, and Dong Su of Richmond, British Columbia, finished tied for fourth with matching 1-under-par 212s.
In the Girls Division, Sheary struggled on the front nine, making two bogeys and two double bogeys. However, determined to capture the tournament title after finishing in second place in 2004, Sheary turned the momentum in her favor on No. 9, hitting her approach shot to six inches and tapping in for birdie to stabilize a shaky start to the final round.
“Making an easy birdie on No. 9 really helped me out,” Sheary said. “After that, I thought to myself ‘Yes, I'm still in this.'”
Sheary, who has been on a tear in 2005, now has four AJGA titles to her credit, as well as her second consecutive victory. Sheary won the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior by 12 shots in August, and had two other second place finishes in AJGA events in 2005.
“After finishing second last year, I really wanted to take advantage of my last opportunity at this kind of event, and I did it,” Sheary said.
Kristen Hill of Weston, Fla., was in contention all day Sunday but fell short, finishing with a tournament total of 224. Lalita Patipaksiri of Cypress, Calif., and Sarah Brown of Stewartsville, N.J., tied for third with matching 228s.
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 Nike Golf Junior Championship, contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.