RUSK COMES FROM BEHIND TO WIN VALERO TEXAS OPEN JUNIOR SHOOTOUT
McCloskey claims Girls Division victory in three-way playoff at The Dominion Country Club
SAN ANTONIO — Chandler Rusk of Edmond, Okla., posted a tournament total 8-under-par 208 to claim victory at The Dominion Country Club. Lisa McCloskey of Montgomery, Texas, defeated Amy Ruengmateekhun of Garland, Texas, and Mary Michael Maggio of Conway, Ark., in a sudden-death playoff to pick up her second Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout title.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout was a 54-hole stroke play event being held at The Dominion Country Club. The tournament field consisted of 90 boys and 30 girls, ages 12 to 18, from 10 states, Washington D.C., Mexico and Venezuela. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,849 yards, while the Girls Division played the course at 6,162 yards.
Rusk was sitting in third place in the Boys Division, two strokes off of the lead, heading into Thursday's final round. With only one bogey in his last 36 holes, Rusk carded a final-round 3-under-par 69 and said he stayed in contention by making easy birdies and key putts.
“It means a lot and boosts my confidence,” Rusk said of his first AJGA win. “I proved to myself that I can win and compete with all these great players. This was a strong tournament field.”
Chris Worrell of Enid, Okla., placed second at 7-under-par 209. In third was Brenden Redfern of Austin, Texas, at 4-under-par 212. Taylor Mihok of Aledo, Texas, and Hunter Brown of Richardson, Texas, finished tied for fourth place each at even-par 216.
In the Girls Division, McCloskey entered the final round leading by five shots but was chased closely by Ruengmateekhun and Maggio throughout the day. The three players finished No. 18 at a tournament total 2-over-par 218, sending them into a sudden-death playoff where McCloskey made par to take the crown.
“I really thought birdie was going to win that hole,” McCloskey said. “It was windy and everyone misclubbed, it can get a little tricky back there.”
McCloskey was also the 2006 Champion of the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout and has signed a National Letter of Intent with Pepperdine University.
“It's amazing,” McCloskey said after her final AJGA event. “At Rolex Tournament of Champions last week I was tied for the lead with nine holes left and finished tied for fifth. It's great to come back.”
Maggio finished tied for second at a final-round 1-under-par 71 along with Ruengmateekhun at 1-over-par 73.
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 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 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 Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.