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Bellefonte Country Club
Ashland, Kentucky
June 22-25, 2004

Kentucky native Blackwelder gets first AJGA win

ASHLAND, Ky. – Tied at 2-under-par on the No. 18 tee, Teddy Collins of Prospect, Ky., stayed with his initial plan and kept his driver in his bag.  The strategy worked as he finished with a three-day total of 66-70-72—208 and a 1-shot victory at the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior.  In the Girls Division, it couldn’t have been a better birthday week for Mallory Blackwelder of Versailles, Ky., as the recently turned 17-year-old fired a final-round 2-over-par 72 for a tournament total of 71-73-72—216 and a 2-stroke win in her home state.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior featured 120 players, 93 boys and 27 girls ages 12-18 from 22 states and Canada.  The 54-hole stroke play event was held at the Bellefonte Country Club for the 21st consecutive year.

Collins and third-round co-leader Nathan Kinker of Barboursville, W. Va., battled through the final round, and found themselves deadlocked with one hole to play.  When the drive from Kinker found the right rough, Collins played it safe, hitting an iron into the middle of the fairway.  Collins’ approach left him 15-feet for birdie, while Kinker flew his ball past the green.  Kinker couldn’t get up-and-down for par, and Collins 2-putted for the win.

 “This win is a big step towards my year-long goal to play in the Canon Cup,” said the Stanford-bound Collins.  “The first two days, I was making everything from everywhere.  I just had to stay calm and be steady over my putts to win.” 

“He got up-and-down from everywhere today,” said the 17-year-old Kinker. “I hit one bad ball all day long and it cost me the tournament.  You aren’t supposed to make a bogey on the last hole and win.  I give Teddy credit—he played well.”

Kinker finished in a second-place tie with Georgia native Tim Schaetzel of Atlanta, with tournament totals of 209.  Schaetzel fired a final-round 67, the low score of the day.  Michael Haverfield of Louisville, Ky., took home fourth place honors with a tournament total of 211.  Daniel Woltman of Beaver Dam, Wis., finished in fifth place at 215.

Just six days after celebrating her 17th birthday, Mallory Blackwelder has reason to celebrate again—her first AJGA tournament win.  Blackwelder started the day tied with last week’s winner of the AJGA Windy City Junior, Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla., at 4-over-par.  Blackwelder carded two birdies on the day to finish two shots ahead of the rest of the field.

“My goal coming into this tournament was to finish in the top three,” said Blackwelder.  “I was shaky at first, but now I’m just relieved.  I’ve started to play really well and I’m looking forward to the rest of the summer.”
Hong continuously put the pressure on Blackwelder by getting up-and-down for par, but didn’t make a birdie all day.

“It’s tough to win when you’re not making birdies,” said Hong.  “I bogeyed the last two holes and lost by two shots.  I guess today just wasn’t my day.”

Kentucky native Marci Turner of Tomkinsville, took third place honors, finishing with a tournament total of 219.

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 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 on the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior or the AJGA, please call National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit ajga.org.