Ben Wong pictured at his runner-up finish at the 2017 CB&I / Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods.
Taylor Totland pictured at the 2013 Rolex Girls Junior Championship.
With the arrival of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball semifinals came a spotlight on current and former AJGA members. Four out of the eight semifinalists had AJGA ties.
Frankie Capan of North Oaks, Minnesota, and Ben Wong of The Woodlands, Texas, added to their impressive match-play run with a 4 and 2 victory over Chip Brooke and Marc Dull. AJGA alumni Kyle Hudelson of Oklahoma City, and Clark Collier of Edmond, Oklahoma, used a birdie on the 19th hole to move into the finals. With the victories, the two remaining sides with AJGA ties each moved into the finals.
Hudelson and Collier jumped out to a 2-up lead and maintained the advantage through the front nine. But starting on the 10th hole, Capan and Wong never lost a hole and won four of eight to take the match, 2 and 1.
Rising seniors Capan and Wong are each verbally committed to Division I universities – Capan to the University of Alabama and Wong to Southern Methodist University.
Entering the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball semifinals, all eight competitors had AJGA ties. Three of the competitors are current AJGA members while the other five played with the AJGA before joining Division I collegiate golf programs.
Former University of Georgia teammates Sammi Lee and Mary Ellen Shuman jumped out to a lead on future Louisiana State University teammates Kendall Griffin and Kathleen Gallagher before closing out a 2 and 1 victory. Alice Chen and Taylor Totland, teammates at Furman University, topped current AJGA players Jennifer Chang and Gina Kim 3 and 2 to setup the championship match.
Chang, Kim and Griffin, combine for six Rolex Junior All-America awards over the course of their careers with the AJGA. In addition to Griffin’s commitment to LSU, 17-year-olds Chang and Kim are also committed to Division I universities. Chang is verbally committed to the University of Southern California while Kim is verbally committed to Duke University.
The Paladins’ Chen and Totland began the finals at a torrent pace, birdying three of their first five holes to gain an early 3-up edge. Lee and Shuman attempted a comeback with two birdies in three holes, but ultimately couldn’t overcome the slow start. Chen and Totland became the third champions to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at 4 and 3.
Chen, a rising junior, and Totland, a rising senior, will both return to a Paladins team that will look to earn its fourth straight Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship next year.