SPINELLA PULLS AWAY FROM FIELD TO PICK UP SECOND WIN OF THE YEAR
Cothran captures Girls Division win at Lockton/Capitol Federal Kansas City Junior
SHAWNEE MISSION, Kan. Ty Spinella of Aledo, Texas, won the Boys Division of the Lockton/Capitol Federal Kansas City Junior at Indian Hills Country Club Thursday with a 1-under-par 209 three-day total. Chelsey Cothran of Springdale, Ark., earned her first American Junior Golf Association win with a 17-over-par 227.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Lockton/Capitol Federal Kansas City Junior was a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Indian Hills Country Club. The tournament field consisted of 75 boys and 24 girls from 20 states. The Boys Division played the course at 6,518 yards, while the Girls Division played at 5,971 yards.
Spinella began the day two strokes back from the lead, but found himself atop the leaderboard after firing a 3-under-par 32 on the front-nine, carding birdies on Nos. 4, 6 and 7. Spinella would add two more birdies on the 192-yard, par-3 13th hole and again on No. 16 to wrap-up the victory. Several of his family members were on hand to watch Spinella, who all wore purple shirts, to match Spinella. The victory means a lot not only to Spinella himself, but to his family. Spinella lost his cousin and golfing buddy, Aimee, over the winter in an automobile accident and uses her memory as his motivation each time he plays. Spinella has learned just how lucky he is to be able to just go out and play golf.
It just gives me a better perspective on life, Spinella said. Last summer I put so much pressure on myself to play good golf. Now I know it's just a game and a privilege. I just go out and have fun, and it's paying off.
Kevin Kring of Springfield, Mo., and Gary Quinn of Anthem, Ariz., finished tied for second after posting 2-over-par 212s for the tournament. Andrew Sajevic of Fremont, Neb., and Austin Graham of San Clemente, Calif., tied for fourth with 4-over-par 214s.
In the Girls Division, Cothran said she started pretty solid on the front-nine, carding six pars. Cothran would also add a birdie on No. 13. Cothran struggled slightly through the middle of the back nine, but was able to bring it together for pars on Nos. 17 and 18 to secure the victory.
I was putting pretty well and making the birdie on No. 13 really helped, Cothran said. I hit the ball really well up until No. 14, and then I struggled on Nos. 14-16, but that was ok. I'm excited to win my first event and I'm very excited to know I'm fully exempt for other AJGA tournaments.
Kristina Nhim of Buena Park, Calif., finished two strokes back of Cothran to take home second. Lindsey Solberg of Verona, Wis., finished third, carding a three-day total of 20-over-par 230.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information about the Lockton/Capitol Federal Kansas City Junior, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.