Spieth Caps Junior Career with Win at HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods
Final-round 70 gives Spieth four-shot victory over Proveaux
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Jordan Spieth of Dallas ended his storied AJGA career by posting a 10-under-par total and a four-shot victory Monday at the HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods. His final-round 70 pushed him ahead of second-round co-leader Cody Proveaux of Leesville, S.C., who finished second at 6-under-par.
“The last two years it kind of hurt to see (Patrick) Winther and then Bobby (Wyatt) win because I was so close, so it's really good to close it out and see my name alongside Tiger, David Duval and all the other past champions,” said Spieth, who finished second each of the last two years.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the HP Boys Championship at Carlton Woods was a 54-hole stroke play competition played on the par-72, 7,345-yard Fazio Championship Course at The Club at Carlton Woods. The 78-player field featured players from 22 states and nine foreign countries, and included 27 Rolex Junior All-Americans.
Paired together all three rounds, Spieth and Proveaux played evenly throughout the tournament. In fact, only six two-shot swings occurred between the two during the 54 holes, and Spieth owned the only two during the pivotal final round.
On the front nine, Spieth birdied No. 7 while Proveaux made bogey, which pushed Spieth to a three-shot lead through eight holes. Proveaux knotted the score at 8-under-par through 11, but the tournament's turning point came on the 438-yard, par-4 13th.
Spieth's tee shot narrowly stayed above the hazard line, and the ensuing 141-yard pitching wedge led to a tap-in birdie. When Proveaux missed the green and failed to save par, Spieth had a three-shot lead with five holes to play.
“I decided that if you get a lucky break, you might as well take advantage of it,” Spieth said. “When it comes down to one-on-one with somebody else, if you can make a birdie when they make a bogey, it's just a huge momentum swing. It's not just two strokes, you get all the adrenaline on your side and it makes it a lot easier from then on in.”
With the win, Spieth ends his AJGA career with five victories and 18 consecutive AJGA top-10 finishes. The last time he finished outside the top 10 was when he finished 21st at the 2007 PING Invitational.
“I'd sum it up as a really good step in the right direction,” Spieth said of his AJGA career. “With the goal being to be the best in the world some day, to beat the best juniors is always a great step and now I have to move on and play against the best college players and hopefully after that move into the pros.”
For Proveaux, the runner-up finish is another piece to a good start to his 2011 season. In November, he opened with a win at the 2010 Polo Golf Junior Classic. He then followed it with a T15 showing at the Sea Pines Junior Heritage.
“I was coming off a big win at the Polo Golf Junior Classic and I thought it'd be awesome to win back-to-back tournaments, but I just didn't have it today,” said Proveaux, who has verbally committed to Clemson. “I had a few stretches where I was back in it, but Jordan pulled away when I made a mistake. It was a lot of fun, I just hope to do a little better next time.”
Wyndham Clark of Greenwood Village, Colo., finished third at 2-under-par, while Shun Yat Hak of Lake Mary, Fla., finished fourth at 1-over-par. AJ McInerney of Henderson, Nev., and Billy Kennerly of Alpharetta, Ga., finished tied for fifth at 2-over-par.
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 40 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 Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.