THE MEMORIAL JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card
The Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course
August 3-6, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Dan Rush of Avon Lake, Ohio, stormed from behind with a final-round 68 to capture his first AJGA victory at the Memorial Junior Championship presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card. In the Girls Division, another first time winner was crowned after Amber Lundskog of San Diego, Calif., sank a 12-foot putt on the 18th hole for a one-stroke victory.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Memorial Junior Championship presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card was a 54-hole stroke play event held at The Ohio State University Golf Course – Scarlet Course. The tournament featured 101 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, from 16 states and Canada, including 48 players from Ohio.
Rush entered the final round two strokes behind second-round leader Brad Benjamin of Rockford, Ill. The tally remained the same through nine holes as they shot front-nine 35s, each recording two birdies and a single bogey. The turning point came on the tenth hole. After hitting his approach to 18 feet, Rush was able to roll in his putt for birdie. Benjamin however, missed the green with his second shot and was not able to make the difficult up-and-down from behind the green.
“The tenth hole was the real turning point out there today,” Rush explained. “After I made the putt there for birdie, and pulled even, it gave me a lot of confidence.”
The two would continue to battle on the back nine, as they made matching birdies on the par-5 No. 12. Benjamin made a birdie on No. 13 to take a one-stroke lead, Rush answered with his own on the 14th hole to draw even again. From there Rush would go on to par the remaining four holes, including a par save on No. 16 after he hit his approach shot over the green, but got up and down. His back nine 3-under-par 33 was good enough to give him a two-stroke victory.
“I hit the ball solid this week and made a lot of putts,” Rush said. “I felt really confident on the back-nine today. It feels really good to win this week against this field. I really like this golf course and it is in good shape right now.”
Before this victory, Rush finished eighth at the 2004 AJGA Boyne Highlands as his previous best AJGA career finish.
Benjamin finished second with a tournament total of 5-under-par 211. Andy Winings of Franklin, Ind., finished third after shooting a final-round 73, with a tournament total of 215. Tom Miles of Dublin, Ohio, finished fourth with a tournament total of 1-over-par 217, and Daniel Woltman of Beaver Dam, Wis., was fifth at 218.
In the Girls Division, Lundskog got off to a fast start, making a birdie on the first hole after she hit her 7-wood from the rough to six-feet. She would finish the front nine with a 2-over-par 38 to increase her lead to four strokes.
Lundskog’s back nine started with bogies on Nos. 10 and 12, but she recovered nicely with a birdie on No. 13. After a double bogey on No. 16 when her second shot landed out of bounds, her lead over Holly Niederkohr of Marysville, Ohio, fell to one stroke. On the finishing hole, her approach shot missed short and left of the green. From there she was able to get the difficult chip to within 12 feet of the hole. Lundskog calmly rolled in her 12-foot par putt to finish one stroke ahead of Niederkhor.
“I knew I needed to make the putt on No. 18 to win,” Lundskog said. “I did not hit the ball too well all week. My putting saved me this week and I am glad I had a putt to win”.
Lundskog’s previous best finish was third at the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at the Woodlands. She has also recorded two other top-five finishes this year.
Niederkohr ended with a tournament total of 224, giving her sole possession of second place. Carling Coffing of Middletown, Ohio, finished in third place with a total of 228.
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 Memorial Junior Championship presented by Wendy’s and Discover Card, please contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200, or visit ajga.org.