NIKE GOLF JUNIOR AT LEE COUNTY
Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club
Fort Myers, Florida
July 19-22, 2004
COLE TAKES LEE COUNTY BY STORM; WINS IN IMPRESSIVE FASHION
Harter a winner in final Nike Junior event
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After starting the tournament with a course record 7-under-par 65, Spencer Cole of Greer, S.C., did anything but let up on his competition. With a final-round 71, Cole took home his first AJGA win by a decisive 4 strokes. Four shots back at the start of Thursday’s final round, Courtney Harter of Clearwater, Fla. had the low final-round score of the day, an even-par 72, propelling her to a one-stroke victory.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Lee County featured 80 players, 66 boys and 14 girls, ages 12-15 from 20 states and four countries. The 54-hole stroke play event was in its first year at the Miromar Lakes Golf & Beach Club.
Cole finished with a tournament total of 65-69-71 —205, 11 shots under par. Nursing his early lead, Cole played it conservatively on the front-nine. He took a four-shot lead into the back nine and comfortably held on for the win.
“Considering how I did during my first two rounds, I just wanted to stick to my game plan and not change anything,” said the 15-year-old Cole. “I hit every green and two-putted every hole on the back nine, and I knew that would get it done today.”
Playing in the final group of the day, the only player within five shots during the final round was Gregor Slabe of Bradenton, Fla. Slabe couldn’t close the gap though, as he finished with a tournament total of 70-69-71—210. Only three players finished each round of the Nike Golf Junior at Lee County under par—Cole, Slabe, and Jay Vandeventer of Bristol, Va. Vandeventer finished with 71-71-70—212. Tied with Vandeventer in third place was Johnny DelPrete of Palm City, Fla. with 72-71-69—212. Fifth place in the Boys Division went to Chad Vivolo of Carmel, Calif. with a 72-72-69—213.
In the Girls Division, Harter entered the day in fifth place, four shots back of the leaders. Starting on hole No. 2, Harter bogeyed four of her first six holes, but recovered to even-par heading into her fnial hole, No. 1. Without any knowledge of how the other Girls Division competitors were scoring, Harter had a feeling that her last hole would be a deciding factor in the tournament.
“Through the whole round, all I wanted to do was put up a good score—better than the first two rounds at least,” said Harter, who was playing in her final Nike Junior event due to age limitations. “I had a five-footer for par and I thought to myself, ‘this putt might determine who wins.’ I didn’t give up and I wanted to win.”
Harter’s par on No. 1 gave her a 77-77-72—226 and a one stroke victory over Kristen Hill of Weston, Fla. Hill finished alone in second place with a 75-78-74—227. The second round co-leaders, Kathryn Detlefsen of Eagan, Minn., and Whitney Wenglasz of Oldsmar, Fla. both carded final-round 78s for tournament totals of 228, two shots back of Harter.
Thursday’s final round included a rare hole-in-one by Ryan Haselden of Houston, Texas on the 167-yard No. 3.
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 on the Nike Golf Junior at Lee County or the AJGA, please call National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.