BURGETT H. MOONEY, JR. ROME CLASSICROME, Ga. – Hudson Swafford of Tallahassee, Fla., shot a 30-36—66 to complete an extraordinary come-from-behind win at the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic. Fourteen-year-old Alina Lee of Evans, Ga., also rose past the second-round leaders by posting a 73-72—69 for the low Girls Division final-round score and the championship.
Coosa Country Club
August 2-5, 2004
SWAFFORD SEIZES TITLE WITH LOW FINAL ROUND IN ROME
Lee birdies final two holes for dramatic one stroke victory
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic featured 99 players, 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 13-18 from 13 states. Forty-seven juniors hailed from the host state of Georgia. The 54-hole stroke play event completed its ninth year at Coosa Country Club. While the Boys Division par was 70, the Girls Division par for the course was 72.
Swafford, who entered the round two-strokes behind Glenn Northcutt of Dothan, Ala., made birdie on Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8 to launch himself past playing partners Northcutt and Samuel Kim of Cerritos, Calif. Hudson, who finished tied for 27th in last year’s Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic, knew this year could be different after taking a two-stroke lead into the turn.
“After the fourth hole I knew that if I kept playing strong I would have a chance,” the 16-year-old Swafford said. “Glenn and I have played together since I was ten-years-old, and I knew that he wasn’t going to let go.”
Swafford got on a roll that even a one hour and twenty-eight minute rain delay couldn’t slow down. When the rain hit, he still had a two-stroke advantage heading into the No. 14 tee. Once the Georgia skies cleared, Swafford finished out his low final-round of the day to capture a one stroke win—the first AJGA win of his career.
Finishing just behind Swafford was the Rolex Junior All-American Northcutt. The second-round leader was once again under par, posting a 68-66-69—203, but his four birdies during the final day were not enough to overcome the charge of Swafford.
Harris English of Moultrie, Ga., finished alone in third place with a 206 tournament total, while Benjamin Kishigian of Warner Robins, Ga., and Ryne Fisher of Clarksville, Tenn., finished in a tie for fourth place at 208.
Lee, who sat two strokes behind the leaders for most of the day, turned a seemingly solid round into a heart-stopping victory. After a birdie by Lee on No. 17, second-round leader Jennifer Adyorough of Atlanta made birdie on No. 18 to tie Lee at 1-under-par. Lee then coolly sank a dramatic 10-foot birdie putt to clinch her first AGJA win.
“I knew coming into the final round that I had to shoot under par to win. I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities on the front nine, but I didn’t start really making them until Nos. 17 and 18,” explained Lee. “The rain delay before No. 17 helped me to re-focus and really get aggressive with my game.”
Adyorough finished one shot back of Lee at 1-under-par 215. First-round leader Joy Kim of Lawrenceville, Ga., was in the hunt all day, but finished alone in third with a tournament total of 216.
“I’m a little disappointed because I played pretty solid today,” Lee stated. “I was leading with 1-under-par going into No. 17, but I was only able to pull a par and a bogey in the end.”
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 about the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic or the AJGA, please contact our National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.