HESTER CLINCHES TITLE IN SUDDEN-DEATH PLAYOFF
Roig earns first AJGA win at Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers
MIROMAR LAKES, Fla. One putt sealed the win for Dean Hester of Dublin, Ga., as he claimed his first American Junior Golf Association tournament title Thursday afternoon at the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers in a three-hole playoff, while Kyle Roig of Pembroke Pines, Fla., captured her first title in her second AJGA tournament.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers was a 54-hole stroke-play competition that featured 76 boys and girls, ages 1215, from 20 states and three foreign countries. The Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club hosted the event for the third consecutive year.
Fifteen-year-old Hester stuck his second shot two feet from the hole to put himself in a position to birdie No.18 for the win.
I knew I had better hit it tight because my putter was ice cold, Hester said. It's a totally different game when you are not putting well.
Hester, who fired a 72-71-71214, sunk the 2-foot putt for birdie on No.18 green to defeat Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, Ala. This is Hester's fourth AJGA event, but the only event he has finished in the top-10.
It feels good to finally win one, Hester said. I have been tightening up on my swing so I can be more consistent.
Wyatt carded a 72-74-68214 with six birdies, while Sam Braver of Roswell, Ga., and Cameron Wilson of Rowayton, Conn., fired tournament total 215s to end the round. Hojin Kang of Longwood, Fla., finished in fifth with a three-day tournament total 216.
In the Girls Division, Roig credited the quality of her short game and realistic mentality for her victory.
I was leaving everything five feet short or more from the hole and I only missed one of my short putts, Roig said, who also hit 15 greens on the day. I just tried to make par every hole and shoot even all three days.
Roig carded a 77-72-74223 three-round total to lead the field by four strokes. Tied for second with a tournament total 227 were Carlie Yadloczky of Casselberry, Fla., and Christina Miller of Bradenton, Fla. Brighid Hourihan of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and Ginger Howard of Bradenton, Fla., both tied for fourth with a 223.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
The Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12 15 years old. The competition provides an opportunity for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into open tournaments The series concludes with an invitation-only Nike Golf Junior Championship, Sept.1 3, 2006, at Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora, Ore.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
For more information about the Nike Golf Junior at Fort Myers please contact AJGA national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.