GRIFFIN WINS VALERO TEXAS OPEN JUNIOR SHOOTOUT ON HOME COURSE
McCloskey clinches Girls Division by one stroke to capture second-career AJGA win
SAN ANTONIO San Antonio native Will Griffin erased a two-shot deficit on the back nine to win the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout by four strokes. Lisa McCloskey of Montgomery, Texas, shot a final-round 79 and a three-day total of 229 to win the Girls Division by one stroke.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout was held at Oak Hills Country Club. The par-71 course was set up at 6,693 yards for the Boys Division and 5,900 yards for the Girls Division. The tournament field consisted of 90 boys and 30 girls, ages 12-18, from 10 states, and included 94 Texas residents.
Griffin, playing in his final AJGA event, started the back nine two shots behind Mark Johnson of Tulsa, Okla., after shooting an even-par 35 on the front nine. Griffin would start his comeback on the 10th hole with a birdie. He birdied two of the final four holes to shoot a final-round score of 2-under-par 69. Griffin finished the tournament with a three-day total of 2-under-par 211. Griffin said winning the tournament was special because it was on his home course and it was his last AJGA event.
I'm happy to finally win one of these events, Griffin said. I've been close many times, but never won one before, so to win my last one on my home course is very special.
Johnson shot a final-round 72 to finish in second place with a three-day total of 215. Stephen Carney, also of Tulsa, shot a three-day total of 218 to finish in third place. Finishing in fourth, with a three-day total of 219, was Michael Whitehead of Sugar Land, Texas. Geoff Shaw of Edmond, Okla., and Travis Woolf of Fort Worth, Texas, finished the tournament tied for fifth with a three-round total of 220.
McCloskey, who has finished in the top ten at the event for the past three years, opened her day with a double bogey, but quickly rebounded with a birdie on the par-3 second hole. McCloskey finished the front nine at 4-over-par 39. McCloskey would add a birdie on hole No. 16 and finish the day with a 79. McCloskey said she was happy to win the event, even though she struggled with her game.
It feels good to win, especially since I wasn't playing my best this week, McCloskey said. I came into the tournament expecting to win, and hopefully this win will get me the needed points so I can qualify for the PING Junior Solheim Cup team.
Lee Lopez of Whittier, Calif., fired the girls low round of the day with a 1-over-par 72 and finished in second place with a three-day total of 230. Kelsey Kirkpatrick of Golden, Texas, and Daphne Vines of Austin, Texas, finished the tournament tied for third with a three-round total of 231.
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, Candie Kung, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer.
For more information on the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout, or any AJGA event, call AJGA Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.