RINGGOLD TELEPHONE COMPANY JUNIOR CLASSIC
WindStone Golf Club
SAVAGE RAVAGES THE BACK NINE AT WINDSTONE
RINGGOLD, Ga. – With a rattle in the cup and a pump of the fist, Matt Savage, 17, of Louisville, Ky., took the outright lead with an eagle on his 53rd hole and held on Thursday to win the Boys Division title at the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic. In the Girls Division, Catherina Wang, 15, of Sarasota, Fla., coasted to victory in the final round of the tournament with a 1-over-par 71.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the 54-hole event was held at WindStone Golf Club and featured 99 of the nation’s top juniors from 15 states. Highlighting the field were nine Rolex Junior All-Americans, including defending champion Ben Spickard of Roswell, Ga.
At even par with first- and second-round scores of 69 and 71, Savage was three strokes behind the lead going into the final round. Savage said a birdie on the par-3 13th created an excitement that pulled him through the back nine of the WindStone Golf Club.
“That’s not a hole you go into thinking you can make birdie,” he said. “That put me at 1-under and really got me going.”
Savage followed the birdie with another on No. 14 and a par on No. 15.
“That’s a really demanding hole,” he said of the 445-yard 15th. “With each hole, a little more weight fell off my shoulders.”
After the eagle on the par-5 17th, Savage pulled to the top of the boys’ field and made par at No. 18 to finish with a 4-under-par 66 and a tournament total of 206.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever put three good rounds together like this in a tournament,” Savage said.
With a three-day total of 208, Brent Witcher of Duluth, Ga., placed second in the event. Michael Green of Augusta, Ga., Tyler Dingman of Raleigh, N.C., and Michael Saari of Lilburn, Ga., each shot 210 for a share of third place.
Wang, who set the women’s course record with a 7-under-par 63 in Tuesday’s first round, bounced back from a second-round 74 to win the Girls Division by eight strokes with a tournament total of 208.
“I tried to play safe and maintain even-par,” Wang said.
Despite a wayward tee shot into a hazard left of No. 15 fairway, Wang scrambled to make bogey and didn’t falter down the stretch.
“Fifteen was the turning point for my round,” Wang said. “I made an awesome approach shot and made a really good bogey.”
Wang’s finish was her first AJGA win.
“It makes me really confident going into the summer,” she said.
With the only round under par in the Girls Division Thursday, Marci Turner of Tompkinsville, Ky., shot a 68 for a tournament total of 216 placing her in a two-way tie for second with Whitney Myers of East Berlin, Pa.
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 Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.
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