THUNDERBIRD INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR
Grayhawk Golf Club, Raptor Course
May 28-31, 2004
MOZO COMES FROM SIX SHOTS BACK TO TAKE THE GIRLS DIVISION TITLE
Grube cards a 4-under-par to take the boys crown at the Thunderbird International Junior
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Belen Mozo of Cadiz, Spain, tied the women’s course record on the Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club with a 6-under-par 66 after making a charge in the final round to take the Girls Division crown at the Thunderbird International Junior Sunday. Rob Grube of Hinsdale, Ill., made a late run of his own to take the boys title with a three-day total of 6-under-par 210.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the fifth annual 54-hole stroke play invitational featured 101 players ages 12-18 from 21 states and 12 foreign countries. Of those 100 players, 76 were Rolex Junior All-Americans, including Rolex Junior Player of the Year and defending boys champion Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga.
In the Girls Division, Mozo came from six shots behind to take the title, carding three straight birdies on Nos. 2-4 and made the turn at 5-under-par for the day. She finished the day with seven birdies. The key to her round was hitting it close to the flagstick and she said she did not have any putts over 10 feet.
“The front nine was very important for me,” Mozo, 15, said. “I putted really well. I started the day by just trying to get into the race without thinking about it too much. On the front nine, I was going for the flagstick and on the back nine I went for the middle of the green for two putts.”
Mozo, who made the trek to the United States for the first time, is the top-ranked junior for her age group in Spain and was a member of the victorious PING Junior Solheim Cup team in 2003. She becomes the first international player who received an invitation to win the event in the five-year history.
“Winning this tournament is very important to me,” she said. “It gives me a lot of confidence.”
Finishing one shot back at 6-under-par 210 was 2002 Rolex Junior Player of the Year In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla. Tied for third at 5-under-par 211 was Julieta Granada of Asuncion, Paraguay, and Esther Choe of La Quinta, Calif.
Grube, a Rolex Junior All-American, picked up his second AJGA victory by carding a final round of 4-under-par 68 after starting the day two shots back. He hit 13 greens on Sunday and carded five birdies. His 25-foot birdie putt on No. 17 tied him for the lead at 7-under-par for the tournament. After hitting his second shot in the water on the left of No. 18, Grube made bogey but that was good enough for the win.
“The first day I did not play well,” said the 18-year-old Grube. “I did not hit my irons well Saturday and I missed a lot of greens. The last two rounds I hit my iron shots close to the pin and my iron play was the difference. Most of my shots were within 10 feet of the hole.
“I always knew I could win a tournament like this,” the Stanford-signee continued. “I have been very close a couple of times and to finally do it feels good. Its great to win anywhere, but to do it here at the Thunderbird International Junior at Grayhawk is very special.”
One shot back at 5-under-par 211 tied for second were Webb Simpson of Raleigh, N.C., Jon McLean of Weston, Fla., Robert Gates, Jr. of Gainesville, Fla., and George Gandranata of Jakarta, Indonesia.
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 a junior 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 an AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Jim Furyk, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information on the Thunderbird International Junior or the AJGA, please call National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit ajga.org.