TAYLORMADE-adidas GOLF JUNIOR AT CHATEAU ELAN
Chateau Elan Golf Club – Chateau Course
April 9-11, 2004
KIZZIRE HOLDS OFF NORTHCUTT, CLAIMS TITLE AT CHATEAU ELAN
Hetzel’s steady play and final-round 69 enough to top Park
BRASELTON, Ga. – Despite the best efforts of Glenn Northcutt of Dothan, Ala., and a host of the nation’s top junior players, no one could best Patton Kizzire of Tuscaloosa, Ala., at the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan. After an opening-round 67 Saturday, Kizzire’s 2-under-par 69 Sunday was enough for top honors in the Boys Division by one stroke. In the Girls Division, Summerville, S.C., native Mallory Hetzel led wire-to-wire, shooting a 5-under-par 68-69—137 to collect a three-stroke victory over In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla.
The TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 132 players – ages 12-18 – from 22 states and Canada. The 36-hole stroke play event was played on the par-71 Chateau Course at Chateau Elan Golf Club, home to the AJGA’s National Headquarters.
Kizzire’s confidence got an early boost by sinking a birdie putt on his opening hole. Five pars, two birdies and one bogey later, he made the turn 2-under-par for the day and three shots clear of Northcutt, his closest competitor. Northcutt fought back and closed the gap to one stroke on the back nine with birdies on Nos. 14, 15 and 17. A costly bogey on No. 18 and Kizzire’s back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 held off Northcutt’s late charge.
“All I wanted was to go out and play another solid round,” the 18-year-old Kizzire said. “I tried to hit the best shots I could. That’s the way I’ve been looking at things lately – just go hit it.”
Kizzire, a first-team Rolex Junior All-American, won the 2003 Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior and made it to the semifinals of both the U.S. Junior Amateur and the Polo Golf Junior Classic.
“Any kind of win will give you confidence,” the future Auburn Tiger said. “This win is like another level because of the strength of the field. This one ranks up there.”
Following Northcutt (69-68—137) was Phillip Mollica of Anderson, S.C., at 138, Mark Harrell of Hazelhurst, Ga., at 139 and Matthew Swan of Montgomery, Ala., and Nathan Stamey of Canton, N.C., at 140.
Hetzel crafted an impressive round on the strength of her iron play and touch on the greens. Her approach shots gave her birdie opportunities that she took advantage of on Nos. 4, 6 and 7. She followed her solid approach on No. 7 with a 20-foot putt for birdie.
"On the front nine, I came out playing strong, just hitting it close and giving myself a lot of chances,” Hetzel said.
Park, a first-team Rolex Junior All-American and 2002 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, closed Hetzel’s lead from five shots to three when she birdied No. 10 and parred No. 11 to Hetzel’s par-bogey. But, the momentum again turned Hetzel’s way on the next hole, No. 12, which Hetzel characterized as the turning point of the day.
The duo finished the final round with a pair of 69s, giving Hetzel a three-stroke win and her third AJGA career victory.
Nannette Hill of Pelham Manor, N.Y., and Jacqui Concolino of Orlando, Fla., tied for third at 148. Vicki Yi of Bogart, Ga., and Sukjin-Lee Wuesthoff of Toms River, N.J., carded 149s to tie for the fifth spot.
This is the 11th annual AJGA Easter Weekend event in Atlanta. Beth Bauer won this event five straight years (1994-98) during her junior days. Charles Howell III won alongside Bauer in 1996. Virada Nirapathpongporn took home top honors twice (1999-2000). Four University of Georgia golfers won this event before they left the junior ranks: Erik Compton (1998); Christo Greyling (1999-2000); Whitney Wade (2002); and Chris Kirk (2003).
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 has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information about the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan, please contact the AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.