CLUBCORP MISSION HILLS DESERT JUNIOR
Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif. • June 22 - 25
WEAVER GOES WIRE-TO-WIRE FOR BOYS DIVISION WIN AT MISSION HILLS COUNTRY CLUB
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — In his first AJGA event of the 2009 season, Michael Weaver of Fresno, Calif., took home the champions trophy shooting a three-day total of 10-under-par 206. It is Weaver's first AJGA victory. Kelli Oride of Lihue, Hawaii, outlasted Danielle Kang of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Jennifer Johnson of La Quinta, Calif., in a sudden-death playoff. Oride shot a three-day total of 5-under-par 211 to win the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Mission Hills Country Club — Dinah Shore Tournament Course. The tournament field featured 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from five states and Thailand. The Boys Division played the par-72 course from 7,078 yards, while the Girls Division played at 6,172 yards. Weaver and Oride join the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bob May, Grace Park, and Kellee Booth all of which are past champions of the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior.
Weaver, on his way to play golf for the University of California, Berkeley in the fall, continued his dominance by shooting a final-round 1-over-par 73 to win by four strokes. With his chipping not being up to par, he relied on his flawless ball striking which helped him hit 45 of 54 greens during the week.
“I put myself in good position all week to make some birdies,” Weaver said. “Fortunately, I was hitting enough greens that I didn't have to rely on my mediocre chipping.”
Steven Kearney of Carlsbad, Calif., finished second with a three-day total of 6-under-par 210. Max Homa of Valencia, Calif., shot a three-day total 5-under par 211 finishing in third. Preston Valder of Yorba Linda, Calif., finished six shots behind Weaver coming in fourth with a three-day total of 4-under-par 212. Tied for fifth were Alex Bungert of Orange, Calif., and Nicholas Reach of Moscow, Pa., each with three-day totals of 2-under-par 214.
Coming down to the wire in the Girls Division, Oride claimed her second AJGA victory with an up and down from a greenside bunker on the first playoff hole. She played steady all day recording four birdies against only one bogey. She made birdie on her final hole, the 521-yard par-5 18th, to give her the clubhouse lead. Johnson bogeyed her final hole which put her at 5-under-par 211 and resulted in a three way playoff. Although Oride will take the trophy home to Hawaii, she still thinks she can improve.
“I actually wasn't hitting as quality of shots compared to the previous two rounds,” Oride said. “But fortunately the putts were falling.”
Kang and Johnson, finished in a tie for second, both finished the tournament with a three day total of 5-under-par 211.
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, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual 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 is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 350 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
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