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The Clubs of Kingwood - Marsh Course
Kingwood, Texas • March 18 - 20

Cypress Creek junior sinks birdie to win first AJGA tournament

KINGWOOD, Texas — Eric Durbin of Houston birdied his final hole of the day to earn a one-stroke victory at the Ashworth Junior at Kingwood. Durbin, who entered the final round tied for the lead, closed with a 3-over-par 75 and made a dramatic birdie putt on No. 18 to claim medalist honors.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ashworth Junior at Kingwood featured 84 boys from 13 states and three foreign countries, including 46 players from the state of Texas. The AJGA's Ashworth Junior Series is specifically designed for first-time AJGA members or those who have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event in the current calendar year.

Durbin entered the final-round tied with Alec Bruney of Nederland, Texas, after the pair shot opening-round 72s. Durbin was able to play consistently throughout the final round and earn medalist honors on the 36th hole of the event, finishing with a 3-over-par 147.

Benjamin Thorseth of Richmond, Texas, held a one-stroke lead over Durbin at the 18th hole. Thorseth would make bogey on the hole and leave an opening for Durbin to claim the top spot. Durbin did not disappoint.

Durbin, who lives less than an hour from the Kingwood Country Club and has experience on the course, including a victory at the Houston Golf Association Junior Fall Open last year, was able to make birdie on No. 18.

“I knew what I had to do,” Durbin said. “I hit a good drive, but because of the mud on my ball, I couldn't get the ball onto the green,” he said, describing his second shot.

Durbin chipped onto the green and sank the 6-foot birdie putt par-5 closing hole.

“I just thought, ‘Enjoy it and knock it in,'” Durbin said about his putt. “This is probably the biggest moment in my golfing career,” he added. “This gives me a lot of confidence knowing I can handle the competition going into college golf.”

Matt Smith of Austin, Texas and Thorseth finished with two-day totals of 4-over-par 148 to tie for second. Bruney and Adam Wennerstrom of Austin, Texas finished the event with totals of 150 and 152, respectively, to round out the top five.

The American Junior Golf Association is a 501c(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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior 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, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.

For more information on the Ashworth Junior at Kingwood, call the AJGA at (770) 868-4200.