Junior Golf round-up

By Ajga StaffJuly 24, 2010, 12:46 am

Midwest Junior Players Championship

Kaira Martin of Paradise Valley, Ariz., carded a 2-over-par 218 total and successfully defended her Girls Division title at the Midwest Junior Players Championship Friday. Corey Konieczki of Rockford, Ill., fired a final-round 70 and overcame a one-shot deficit to win the Boys Division by two strokes at Pine Meadow Golf Club in Mundelein, Ill.

Ranked No. 49 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Martin now has four career AJGA victories. She closed the tournament with back-to-back rounds of 71, which helped her to a five-shot victory over Kathy Sterling of Mokena, Ill.

In the Boys Division, Konieczki was the only player to card three rounds of par or better. He captured his first AJGA victory with a 5-under-par total, which was two shots better than KK Limbhasut of Loma Linda, Calif.



Aaron’s / Bob Estes Abilene Junior

Austen Fuller of Edmond, Okla., had scores of all types in his final round, as he completed a steady climb up the leaderboard to secure his first AJGA victory. Alicia Malagon of Tampico, Mexico, continued her dominance to finish at 9-under-par 207, eight strokes clear of the rest of the Girls Division.

Fuller’s final round featured two bogeys, a birdie, an eagle and a double-eagle, which added up to a 4-under-par 68, vaulting him from a tie for ninth to first. Fuller was tied for 18th after a first-round 73, but two solid rounds earned him a title at 3-under-par 213.

Malagon earned her first AJGA victory after several years of success. She had two previous second-place finishes, but left no room for doubt in Abilene. An opening birdie in her final round set the tone, as she cruised to a 2-under-par 70.


Trader Joe’s Junior Championship hosted by Pat Hurst

Three rounds in the 60s were good enough for Beau Hossler of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., who came away with a one-stroke victory at the Trader Joe’s Junior Championship hosted by Pat Hurst. To earn his second AJGA title, Hossler had to overcome Chenxiao Duan’s second-round 61, which tied the AJGA 18-hole scoring record.

In the Girls Division, Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., came from behind to force a playoff with second-round leader Kristina Nhim of Buena Park, Calif. Lee prevailed, earning her first career AJGA victory. Lee’s victory came with the aid of eight birdies en route to a final-round 68. Her final birdie of the day, a chip-in on No. 17, put her in position for a playoff, which she won on the first extra hole.


Deutsche Bank Partners for Charity Junior Shoot Out

Juliet Vongphoumy of Providence, R.I., proved to be a dominant force at the Deutsche Bank Partners for Charity Junior Shoot Out, winning the Girls Division by 15 strokes. Michael Johnson of Birmingham, Ala., led wire-to-wire to earn his first AJGA victory at The Golf Club of Cape Cod.

Vongphoumy also led wire-to-wire, recording 14 birdies en route to her second AJGA victory of 2010. She also won the 2010 Nemacolin Junior Classic.

Michael Johnson struggled early in his final round, watching his six-stroke lead dwindle to two after only two holes. Johnson steadied himself, however, and finished two strokes ahead of Andrew Gai of Westport, Conn.


Hilton Head Junior All-Star

A pair of first-time champions prevailed at the Hilton Head Junior All-Star. Rigel Fernandes of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, came from behind to earn a one-stroke victory over Zach Botts of Jonesborough, Tenn., at Berkeley Hall Club’s South Course. In the Girls Division, Reona Hirai of Summerville, S.C., led wire-to-wire to win in her first AJGA tournament.

Fernandes stood on the 17th tee tied for the lead with Botts. A chip-in from the greenside bunker gave him an eagle, just enough to pull one ahead of Botts, who birdied the par 5. Matching pars on No. 18 secured Fernandes’ victory at even-par 216.

Hirai opened the final round with a five-stroke lead. Four front-nine bogeys narrowed her lead to three, but she parred out to finish at 2-over-par 218, five strokes clear of Alexandra White of Honolulu.


Junior All-Star at The Rail

Aliea Clark of Carlsbad, Calif., overcame an eight-stroke deficit to win the Girls Division at the Junior All-Star at the Rail. Doug Ghim of Arlington Heights, Ill., put together three consecutive rounds of 68 to finish the tournament at 12-under-par 204, one stroke clear of the competition in the Boys Division.

Clark made only one bogey and three birdies in her final round, which earned her a spot in a playoff with second-round leader Katie Sharp of Kendallville, Ind. Clark’s par bested Sharp’s bogey in the playoff, earning Clark her first AJGA victory.

Ghim lit up The Rail Golf Course, carding 17 birdies in the three rounds. A strong challenge came from Adam Wood of Zionsville, Ind., who led Ghim by one stroke as they played No. 18. A 20-foot birdie putt gave Ghim the win, as Wood failed to get up-and-down after missing the green with his approach shot.


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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.