MARINELL WINS FIRST AMERICAN TITLE JUNIOR CLASSIC ON THIRD PLAYOFF HOLE
Kiser's 2-under-par 214 good for four-shot victory in Girls Division
TAMPA, Fla. â€” Chase Marinell of Cape Coral, Fla., defeated Carson Weinand of Naples, Fla., with a par on the third playoff hole to win the Boys Division crown at the First American Title Junior Classic. Victoria Kiser of Orlando, Fla., won the Girls Division with a score of 2-under-par 214.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the First American Title Junior Classic was a 54-hole stroke play event played at Avila Golf & Country Club. The tournament field consisted of 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 10 states and China. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,853 yards, while the Girls Division played at 6,114 yards.
After closing his round with three straight birdies to tie Weinand at even-par 216, Marinell clinched his first AJGA victory with a two-putt par from 60 feet on the third playoff hole.
â€śThis is what you practice for,â€ť Marinell said. â€śThe AJGA is the cream of the crop and this is why I go to the course everyday and grind like I do.â€ť
Weinand's second place finish gives him top-five finishes in consecutive AJGA events. Shun Yat Hak of Lake Mary, Fla., finished in third at 1-over-par 217 and Joseph Byun of Sanford, Fla., placed fourth at 2-over-par 218. Finishing in a four-way tie for fifth at 3-over-par 219 were George Letson of Tampa, Fla., Max McKay of St. Augustine, Fla., Zachery Sobel of Clearwater Beach, Fla., and Marcel Puyat of Bradenton, Fla.
In the Girls Division, Kiser sealed her victory with a birdie on the water-lined par-4 No. 18, the toughest hole on the course for the week. After striping a drive to the narrowest portion of the fairway, Kiser stuck an 8-iron to six feet from 148 yards out and drained the birdie putt for a four-shot victory.
â€śThroughout the day I had a lot of short birdie putts that just didn't go in,â€ť Kiser. â€śI told myself that this one was going to go in. I read it pretty straight and I made it.â€ť
Finishing in a tie for second at 2-over-par 218 were Ginger Howard of Bradenton, Fla., and Catherine O'Donnell of Ponte Vedra, Fla.
Perhaps the shot of the tournament came during Thursday's round as Shannon Pak of Kenner, La., aced the 148-yard par-3 No. 17 with a 6-iron on her way to finishing 11th.
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 49 states and 30 foreign countries.
First American Title Insurance company enters its fifth year as title sponsor of the First American Title Junior Classic. First American Title is one of the nation's leading, most experienced providers of title insurance, and number one in global title operations.
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 on the First American Title Junior Classic, please call AJGA National Headquarters at 770-868-4200.