SHINDLER FINISHES THREE SHY OF TOURNAMENT RECORD AT SMITHFIELD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Vandermade goes wire-to-wire to top Girls Division
BLAIRSVILLE, Pa., - Conrad Shindler of Coppell, Texas, scored a 7-under-par 65 to win his first AJGA event at the Smithfield Junior Championship at the Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort and Conference Center — Tom's Run, Thursday. Nicole Vandermade of Brantford, Ontario, claimed victory in the Girls Division, after carding a 3-over-par 219 tournament total.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Smithfield Junior Championship was held at the Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort and Conference Center — Tom's Run. The tournament was a 54-hole stroke-play event that hosted a 120-player field. The playing field, which consisted of 93 boys and 27 girls, age 12 — 18, represented Canada and 18 states.
Shindler caught fire making eight birdies in the final round, three of which were back-to-back on hole Nos. 3, 4 and 5. Shindler's 65, a personal low, included only one bogey.
“I just kept going for par,” Shindler said. “I just wanted to have fun and not stress myself out.”
Shindler won with a 7-shot lead after carding a 17-under-par 199 tournament total, only three strokes behind the 54-hole course record.
“This is definitely the best achievement I've had in golf,” Shindler said. “It feels like how I imagine winning on the PGA Tour would feel.”
In second place with a tournament total of 206 was Sean Brannan of Hollidaysburg, Pa. Third place went to Antonio Grillo of Vineyard Haven, Mass., who carded a 209 tournament total. Tied for fourth place were Drew Davidson of Canton, Ohio, William Miller of Venetia, Pa., and Michael Kinkopf of Hilliard, Ohio, who scored matching 214s.
In the Girls Division Vandermade shot a final-round 76 to win with a one-stroke lead, maintaining the lead she established in the first round. Vandermade had to work for the win. After leading Laura Nochta of Cortland, Ohio, by six stokes going into the final round, Vandermade and Nochta were tied heading into the 18th hole.
“I knew Laura was going to play well,” Vandermade said. “I knew she wasn't going to give me anything, so I just tried to do my best.”
The Smithfeild Junior Championship was Vandermade's first AJGA win in her third AJGA event.
“It's a really big honor to win here,” Vandermade said. “I know these AJGA tournaments have such strong competition, so this gives me confidence and momentum going into the rest of the season.”
Nochta took second place with a final-round 71, giving her a 4-over-par 220 tournament total. In a tie for third place, with tournament totals of 224 were Anne Ormson of Granger, Ind., and Margaret Pentrack of Pittsburgh.
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.
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 on the Smithfield Junior Championship held at Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort & Conference Center — Tom's Run, please contact AJGA national headquarters at (877) 373-2542.