SUMRALL TAKES INAGURAL AJGA NOTRE DAME JUNIOR OPEN CROWN
Theinthong wins Girls Division at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Leading by two strokes going in to the final round on Thursday, Adam Sumrall, 18, of South Bend, Ind., carded a tournament low 5-under-par 66 to take the title in the Boys Division. Banchalee Theinthong of Bangkok, Thailand, won the Girls Division title, but did not learn of her victory until the next day.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Notre Dame Junior Open was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame. The tournament field consisted of 75 Boys and 24 Girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states and four foreign countries. The par-71 course was played at 6,908 yards for the Boys Division and 5,888 yards for the Girls Division.
Sumrall started off his round shaky making bogey on the first hole, but was able to turn it around soon after. Sumrall caught fire by carding an eagle on the 515 yard par-5 No. 5 after driving down the left side of the fairway, using a 5-wood to get on the green, and making a long 35 foot putt. Sumrall later added another eagle on the par-5 491 yard No. 10 by making a 20 foot putt and added birdies on Nos. 7, 9, and 15.
“I was really happy with my putting today. Being able to not miss the short putts really helped me shoot low today,” Sumrall said. “Making the longer putts allowed me to build my momentum going forward.”
Sumrall finished with a 7-under-par 206 to take the victory by seven strokes. This is Sumrall's first AJGA victory since taking the title at the 2005 Nike Golf Junior at Fox Hills.
Corey Ziedonis of Indianapolis, finished the day in second carding an even-par 213. In third was Theodore Lederhausen of Hinsdale, Ill., at 1-over-par 214. Jack Watson of Lincolnshire, Ill., wound up in fourth after carding a 2-over-par 215. Rounding out the Boys Division in fifth was Jordan Niebrugge of Mequon, Wis., at 5-over-par 218.
In the Girls Division, Theinthong was awarded the title one day after the tournament concluded, when Ashley Armstrong, of Flossmoor, Ill., informed the AJGA of a scorecard error. While Theinthong and Armstrong should have held a sudden-death playoff after tying at 11-over-par 224, Armstrong mistakenly signed for a final-round 71 and a 223 total, meaning she was awarded the winner's trophy.
The next day, Armstrong realized her marker had recorded a 4 on the 18th hole, instead of a 5 that included a penalty stroke for water hazard relief. The proper score of 1-over-par 72 would have resulted in a sudden-death playoff. Once she recognized the error, she called the AJGA tournament director, informing him that she should be disqualified for signing for a lower score than she received. She then called Theinthong.
“I found out from Ashley and I didn’t expect that I was going to win because everything was clear after we finished the tournament,” Theinthong said. “But I was excited to find out that I won this tournament. I really respect Ashley because she has a great spirit of sportsmanship.”
Had the playoff been held, it would have marked the second straight playoff between Theinthong and Armstrong. Theinthong had beaten Armstrong in a playoff the previous week at the AJGA Flossmoor Junior Open.Theinthong started the tournament with a strong 3-under-par 68 to take a six-stroke lead, then maintained that lead with a second-round 75. The cushion allowed her to shoot an 81 in the final-round and still hang on to the lead.
Michelle Mayer of Flossmoor, was the runner-up at 13-over-par 226, while Jordan Lippetz of Bradenton, Fla., placed third at 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 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 50 states and more than 30 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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 AJGA Notre Dame Junior Open, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770)868-4200.