MIDWEST JUNIOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Whisper Creek Golf Club
Huntley, Ill. • June 13 - 16
TEWES AND HONG CLAIM TITLES AT WHISPER CREEK
HUNTLEY, Ill. — Benjamin Tewes of Lincoln, Neb., climbed to the top on the final day of the Midwest Junior Players Championship and won the Boys Division with a 2-over-par 74, giving him 73-75-74—222 for the tournament. In the Girls Division, Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla., continued her strong play and shot a 76, leading her to another AJGA win and a three day score of 75-73-76—224.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Midwest Junior Players Championship was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Whisper Creek Golf Club. The tournament featured 74 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states.
Tewes, who had never won an AJGA event, was tied for second and two shots behind going into Thursday's final round. Tewes had four birdies on the front side giving him a 1-under-par 35, which combined with a 39 on the back side was sufficient to put him in the lead.
“My round was up and down today and I didn't feel like I played well, but I guess it was good enough,” Tewes said. “If you can win at an AJGA event, it's good-it's where everybody plays.”
Joe Kinney of Antioch, Ill., shot a 77-72-74—223 to move up from being tied for fourth place to standing alone in second. Ben Murphy of Dunlap, Ill., placed third with a 76-72-76—224 and Brian Larson of Rochester, Minn., came in fourth with a 76-73-77—226. James Byrd of Windermere, Fla., who was in first after the second round, finished tied for eighth with a 74-72-82-228.
Hong was consistent throughout the week and her round of 76, which included 13 pars, one birdie and four bogies, provided her with the win. Hong's birdie on No. 14 gave her a spark of hope and motivation to win the event.
“I felt that the course played much harder today because the wind changed direction each day making it more difficult,” Hong said. “My game felt kind of scrappy today and I had a lot of bad breaks, but I kept my head in it and stayed patient with my game.”
Coming in second with a 78-73-74—225 and only one shot behind was defending champion Jennie Arseneault of Grinnell, Iowa. In third place was So-Hyun Park of Bradenton, Fla., with a 77-78-74—229.
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 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 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about the Midwest Junior Players Championship, please call the AJGA Headquarters at 877-373-2542.