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Aug. 6, 2012

Shelton, Jutanugarn take home Junior PGA titles

Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, ranked No.1 in the Polo Golf Rankings, won the Junior PGA Championship and became the third back-to-back Girls Division champion in the 37-year history of the event.

In the Boys Division, Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., posted 13-under-par 275 to beat Cameron Champ by three strokes.

Fresh off her win at the Canadian Women’s Amateur the week before, Jutanugarn tied the course record, which she set last year, during the first round to take an early lead. After struggling during the third round, Jutanugarn started the final round tied with Samantha Wagner and only two strokes ahead of her sister, Moriya Jutanugarn. Ariya birdied Nos.  15-18 to finish 14-under-par 274 for the tournament, edging out Wagner by three strokes and Alison Lee by five.

After shooting a record-breaking 8-under-par 64 during the third round, Shelton entered the final round with a one-stroke lead. A bogey by Shelton at the 11th hole gave Champ the opportunity to close the gap, and the two players were tied as they approached 15. A triple-bogey by Champ sealed his fate, and Shelton prevailed, winning the tournament.

Ariya, a two-time first-team Rolex Junior All-American, has recorded eight top-five AJGA finishes since 2010, including victories at the 2012 and 2011 Rolex Girls Junior Championship. The 16-year-old also won the U.S. Girls’ Junior in July.

Shelton has appeared in six AJGA events, of which he finished in the top-10 three times, including a tie for fourth at the 2011 FJ Invitational earning him Rolex Junior All-America accolades later that year.