DEWLING WINS RANDY WISE JUNIOR OPEN IN PLAYOFF
McKim cements comeback victory at Spring Meadows Country Club
LINDEN, Mich. — James Dewling of Brighton, Mich., kept chipping away and eventually his patience paid off. His tournament total of 3-under-par 213 got him into a playoff with Mac McLaughlin of Shaker Heights, Ohio, which Dewling won with a par to earn the Randy Wise Junior Open title. In the Girls Division, Courtney McKim of Raleigh, N.C., came back from a four-stroke deficit to win her first career AJGA tournament. Her tournament-total 8-over-par 224 earned her the one-stroke victory over Christine Meier of Rochester Hills, Mich.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Randy Wise Junior Open was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Spring Meadows Country Club. The 96-player field featured players from 13 states and Poland. The Boys Division played from 6,918 yards, while the Girls Division was played at 6,168 yards.
With the Boys Division up for grabs, Dewling's seemingly insurmountable four-shot deficit to leader Kyle Kmiecik quickly evaporated as Dewling dialed into his short game and left himself with a plethora of easy pars. Vaulting up the leaderboard as the afternoon wore on, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Dewling would catch the leaders. As it turned out, it took a bogey on No. 17 by McLaughlin and two pars by Dewling to finish the round forcing a playoff, which he won by recording a par to McLaughlin's bogey.
“I had a lot of friends and family cheering me on out there, and that gave me a lot of confidence,” Dewling said. “I just needed to hit the fairways and greens, and when that started happening, things started going my way.”
Finishing in second place was McLaughlin, who also had a three-day total of 3-under-par 216. Rounding out the top five were Brenden Beeg of Littleton, Colo., with a tournament total of 2-under-par 214, David Tepe of Liberty Township, Ohio who shot a 1-under-par 215 and Grant Weaver of Wooster, Ohio, and Kevin Jorden of Juno Beach, Fla., each with a three-day total of even-par 216.
McKim came into Thursday's round in the final girls pairing, albeit with a four-stroke deficit. She was able to chip away at Meier's slipping stranglehold on the Girls Division throughout the round, however the momentum did not completely shift her way until No. 15. Meier left the door wide open after landing a triple bogey on the hole and McKim took advantage by carding a par, forcing a three-stroke swing with the momentum tilted completely in her direction. Tied going into No. 18, the championship came down to which girl could sink the 5-foot par putt befalling them. After watching Meier's effort lip out, McKim took her time and sunk the putt to take home the crown.
“I knew all day that if I just kept making par, I would have a shot,” McKim said. “After No. 15, I knew that if I could par the last three holes I would have a great shot to win. It was a great match.”
Finishing one stroke behind McKim was Meier, who carded a tournament-total 9-over-par 225. Rounding out the top three was Shannon Warner of Livonia, Mich., who recorded a three-day total of 11-over-par 227.
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 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 on the Randy Wise Junior Open, please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.