Sanders Lee capture Emerson Junior titles


POWAY, Calif. –  Jonathan Sanders of Chatsworth, Calif., made a six-foot putt for birdie on the first playoff hole to edge Beau Hossler of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., for the Emerson Junior Golf Classic title at 4-under-par 212. Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., tied the women's course record at Maderas Golf Club with a 5-under-par 67 in the final round to claim an eight-stroke victory at 5-under-par 211.

The Emerson Junior Golf Classic was a 54-hole stroke play tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Maderas Golf Club in Poway, California. The tournament field featured 134 boys and girls ages 12-18 from eight states. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 7,094 yards while the Girls Division played at 6,113 yards.

Tied after 54 holes, Sanders knew it would take his best effort to beat Hossler in the playoff, who had won two straight AJGA events.

“I figured I would have to at least birdie it in order to go on to the next hole,” Sanders said. “I hit a hybrid to the middle of the fairway and then had a beautiful 8-iron that spun right back to six feet from the hole. I was able to make the putt.”

Hossler came back from one stroke down following the second round to force a playoff before falling just short. Byron Meth of San Diego had the low final round in the Boys Division at 3-under-par 69, and finished in third place at 1-under-par 215. Matthew Negri of El Cajon, Calif., and Zane Thomas of Las Vegas tied for fourth place at even-par 216.

In the Girls Division, Lee, who also won the Trader Joe's Junior Championship hosted by Pat Hurst in July, had six birdies on a day where she also tied her personal low round. Once she was able to build some momentum early on, she was able to carry it for the rest of the round.

“After a birdie on No. 3, I was able to keep making birdies for the rest of the round,” Lee said. “I had 30 yards to the hole – I stuck it and was able to tap in for birdie.”

Amy Lee of Brea, Calif., finished in second place at 3-over-par 219 and Gabriella Then of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., finished third at 5-over-par 221.