MCLAUGHLIN WINS PLAYOFF FOR FIRST AJGA TITLE AT THE CORSEMAX/PHILADELPHIA RUNNER JUNIOR
Rohrback brings home title in the Girls Division at Stonewall Links - North Course
ELVERSON, Pa. — Nick McLaughlin, 15, of New Castle, N.H. won the first hole of a sudden-death playoff after rain stopped play for 45 minutes early in the round. McLaughlin scored his first AJGA event win after shooting a tournament total 1-over-par 211 Thursday at the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior. In the Girls Division, Kaitlyn Rohrback, 17, of Crofton, Md., used her early lead from the first two rounds to win her second AJGA title posting a tournament total 5-over-par 215 at Stonewall Links — North Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior was a 54-hole stroke play event, with a 36-hole cut, that was held at Stonewall Links — North Course in Elverson, Pa. The field consisted of 106 boys and 38 girls, ages 12-18, from 21 states, South Korea and Canada. The par-70 course was played at 6,663 yards for the Boys Division and 5,748 yards for the Girls Division.
McLaughlin had a rocky start to his day shooting 3-over-par through the first four holes, which included two bogeys after the rain delay. McLaughlin quickly recovered carding back-to-back birdies on Nos. 6 and 7. McLaughlin and Zachary Herr of New Hope, Pa., were tied walking to the 18th tee. Both McLaughlin and Herr made par on the hole to send it into a playoff.
“Zach played well today,” McLaughlin said. “It was fun to go back and forth with him all day.”
On the first hole of the playoff McLaughlin hit his first shot into the bunker. McLaughlin had a good line on the ball and hit it well enough to setup a tap in par from two feet to claim the title.
“I am really excited about winning and especially with the way I came back after the bad start I had,” McLaughlin said. “I was hitting the ball well today and that is what helped me recover after I made a couple of three putts early in the round.”
Michael Werenski of South Hadley, Mass., finished in third posting a 5-over-par 215. Sean Kelly of Staten Island, N.Y., placed fourth at 6-over-par 216. Tied for fifth at 7-over-par 217 was Alex Hoffman of Myersville, Md., and Davis Schaller of Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
The Girls Division champion Rohrback lead wire-to-wire to take home the trophy after shooting a final round 4-over-par 74. Rohrback's last AJGA win came last June at the Midwest Junior Players Championship.
“Since my last win, it has been a rough summer,” Rohrback claims. “With the win today, it shows me that everything in my game is back and where it needs to be heading into my next AJGA tournament in Williamsburg.”
Rohrback played a steady round Thursday shooting 2-over-par 37 on the front and back nines. Before play was suspended Rohrback left herself in good position on No. 14. She was then able to par No. 14 when play resumed. Rohrback completed her round with birdies on Nos. 10 and 16. Rohrback had been struggling on No. 16 during the first two days, but with the tees moved up for the day, she was able to birdie the hole.
“I really played smart this week and that was my goal,” Rohrback said. “I didn't put up any big numbers and I made some good putts.”
Finishing in second six shots behind at 11-over-par 221 was Aurora Kan of Boothwyn, Pa. Rounding out the Girls Division in third in her last ever AJGA event was Christine Shimel of Kennett Square, Pa., at 15-over-par 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 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 CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.