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June 17, 2017

Champions Report: June 17

Amari Avery and Brian Stark took home titles at the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior.
Haylin Harris and Cade Russell won the 2017 Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior.

ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert JuniorBrian Stark of Kingsburg defeated fellow Californian Charlie Reiter of Palm Desert in a two-hole playoff to earn his fourth AJGA victory. Spurred by five birdies in his first six holes, Stark carded a final-round 5-under-par 67 to reach the playoff at 9-under-par 207. Amari Avery of Riverside, California, claimed her first AJGA victory at 8-under-par 208. Per tradition, both champions leaped into Poppie’s Pond joining an elite list of past champions including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Kellee Booth and Alison Lee.

David Toms Foundation Junior All-Star – After earning medalist honors and tournament entry through the AJGA Qualifier, Elisabeth Preus of Auburn, Alabama, tallied rounds of 72-71-73 to win the Girls Division at even-par 216. Evan Vo of Austin, Texas, carded a first-round 6-under-par 66 and rode the strong start to a wire-to-wire victory at 3-under-par 213. PGA TOUR Champions professional David Toms gave advice to the field at Southern Trace Country Club.

Haas Family Invitational presented by BB&TTrent Phillips dropped a 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole at Sedgefield Country Club’s Donald Ross Course to defeat defending champion Eugene Hong, the No. 6 player in the AJGA Rankings. Phillips, a University of Georgia verbal commit from Inman, South Carolina, joins an exclusive list of champions of the Invitational including Brian Harman and Justin Thomas. Sedgefield Country Club is also the annual host of the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship.

Judie Oppenheimer Memorial JuniorGrant Fairbairn of Orinda, California, finished off a wire-to-wire victory at 3-over-par 213. The future Harvard University men’s golfer was recently named the 2017 USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award recipient. Yukino Yoshihara of Irvine, California, overtook the Girls Division lead during the final round and held on for her first AJGA victory at 4-over-par 214.

Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass JuniorHaylin Harris of Carmel, Indiana, earned her second consecutive AJGA title at Bellefonte Country Club with a tournament total of even-par 210, capped off by a final-round 3-under-par 67. Cade Russell of Knoxville, Tennessee, claimed the Boys Division behind 17 tournament birdies. The rising high school junior finished at 8-under-par 202. Harris and Russell join an impressive list of past champions of the event, including Justin Thomas and Emma Talley.

Rolex Girls Junior ChampionshipRachel Heck, a rising high school sophomore from Memphis, Tennessee, outlasted Erica Shepherd and reigning Rolex Junior Player of the Year Paphangkorn Tavatanakit to hoist her first Invitational trophy. Heck’s Invitational victory came after narrowly missing in previous attempts. Heck previously finished runner-up at the ANA Junior Inspiration and the Thunderbird International Junior. The Stanford University verbal commit finished at 10-under-par 278 and joins a notable list of past champions including Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Inbee Park and Ariya Jutanugarn.