After Long Delay and Playoff, Chen Wins AJGA Sarasota Junior
Luo wins in six hole playoff at Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club
SARASOTA, Fla. — After a five hour and 35-minute rain delay at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club, Michael Chen of Bradenton, Fla., won the AJGA Sarasota Junior in a one-hole playoff over Chenxiao Duan also of Bradenton, Fla. In the Girls Division, Linda Luo of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., prevailed in a six-hole playoff.
The AJGA Sarasota Junior was a 54-hole tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club. The event featured 63 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 11 states, China, Argentina, Paraguay, Columbia, Chile, Brazil, South Africa and the Philippines. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 7,009 yards while the Girls Division played the course at 6,050 yards.
Chen and Duan tied after 54-holes with scores of 5-under-par 211. To earn the win in the playoff Chen carded a par to earn his first ever AJGA victory, one he says will take him to another level.
“I've been struggling and finally I have a chance to prove myself,” said Chen. “It's the next step, it means a lot to me.”
Robert De Biase of North Miami, Fla., finished third with a three-round total of 4-under-par 212. In fourth was Zach Hartman of St. Simons Island, Ga., who finished the tournament with a 3-under-par 216. Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division was Shugo Imahira of Bradenton, Fla., who finished with a 2-under-par 214.
In the Girls Division, a three-way tie in the clubhouse forced a playoff between Luo, Tezira Abe of Angleton, Texas, and Clara Teixeira of Rio De Janiero, Brazil, who all carded scores of 2-over-par 218.
On the first playoff hole, Teixeira was eliminated after making a bogey. Luo and Abe matched pars for the next four holes, battling themselves and sunlight. On the sixth and final hole of the playoff, Luo made a birdie to clinch her first AJGA victory as the sun set on a long awaited finish.
“I was tired,” said Luo. “But I trusted my game and I made it through to get the win.”
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
For more information, please call AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.