CROMIE COMES FROM 11 STROKES BEHIND TO WIN JUNIOR ALL-STAR CHAMPIONSHIP
Collier claims first AJGA invitational win at Innisbrook
PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Michael Cromie of Cary, N.C., started Monday's final round of the Junior All-Star Championship 11 strokes behind at 6-over-par 148, and with a low final round of 4-under-par 67, and was pronounced champion of the Boys Division. Hannah Collier of Birmingham, Ala., took the lead during the final round and finished at 10-over-par 223 to be named champion of the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star Championship was a 54-hole stroke play event held at the Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club's Copperhead Course. The 71-player field featured players from 25 states, China and Mexico. The par-71 course was played at 7,018 yards for the Boys Division, and 6,045 yards for the Girls Division.
Cromie said he set a goal for himself today: to win the Scotty Cameron head cover for low final round given out during each AJGA tournament. Little did he know, his seven birdies would lead him, not only to the much desired head cover but also champion of the Junior All-Star Championship.
“When I found out I was actually leading, it made me play more conservative,” Cromie said.
Cromie carded four birdies during the first and second round combined, and during a roller-coaster back nine in the final round, fired five birdies, two pars, a double bogey on No. 16 followed by a bogey on No. 17 all on his way to his second AJGA championship.
“I was 6-under through No. 15,” Cromie said. “There was a lot of pressure because I knew I had a chance to win.”
Finishing in second place was Blake Biddle of St. Charles, Ill., at 69-70-79—218. A three-way tie for third was held by Blake Olson of Pensacola, Fla., Nicholas Austin of Midlothian, Va., and Jordan Spieth of Dallas, all with a tournament total of 6-over-par 219.
In the Girls Division, Collier started Monday's final round with three consecutive bogeys followed by a birdie on No. 4. She said she got her momentum back with another birdie on the par-3 No. 8, and was fired up to make the turn to the back nine.
“After that birdie I got more relaxed and started hitting more greens and making more putts.” Collier said.
Sitting at 9-over-par and tied for the lead with Simin Feng of Orlando, Fla., Collier bogeyed No. 16 while Feng bogeyed No. 17. Both girls went into No. 18 tied at 10-over-par, and Collier parred for the win.
“I had an idea it was close when I went into No. 18, but I had no idea how close. Once I made the final putt and heard everyone cheering, I knew it was good.” Collier said.
Finishing in second place in the Girls Division was Grace Na of Oakland, Calif., at 75-74-75—224. Simin Feng finished third at 77-73-75—225.
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 Junior All-Star Championship please call AJGA Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.