Proveaux birdies final hole to win Junior PGA Championship


FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Cody Proveaux of Leesville, S.C., drained a 15-foot putt from the fringe for birdie on the 18th hole at Sycamore Hills Golf Club to win the 36th Junior PGA Championship.

He bettered, by one stroke, Lorens Chan of Honolulu, Hawaii, who had made a putt from the same spot for birdie to tie Proveaux atop the leader board Friday afternoon.

Proveaux, who shot a final-round 1-over 73, finished the 72-hole tournament at 6 under.

“I didn’t know Lorens had gone to 5 under, and I was just trying to put it on the green somewhere,” said Proveaux, a Clemson recruit. “I luckily hit it right at the flag. It was a good 15 feet. I stepped over there, looked at the leader board and thought, `Wow, I’ve got to make this putt.’ Then, I took a deep breath over it and just tried to make a good stroke. And it went in, and it was pretty exciting.”

The girls’ side was won in dominating fashion by Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, who had a final-round 70 to finish at 15 under, 10 strokes better than Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga.

The field featured 156 players from the U.S., Columbia, China and Thailand.

“This feels great,” Jutanugarn said. “It feels really good. Last year, when I didn’t do this and (finished fourth), I hoped for better this time, and I had been thinking about this.”

The 15-year-old Jutanugarn had 21 birdies, 46 pars and only five holes worse than par at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course. The 17-year-old Proveaux had 20 birdies, 40 pars and only 12 holes worse than that.

Second-place finisher Chan had a final-round 69.

“I tried to stay focused and somehow shot a (5-under) 31 on the back nine, so that’s pretty cool,” said Chan, a UCLA recruit. “It wasn’t the greatest ball-striking week for me. It was just about the putting. I putted really well the last three days, and I felt comfortable out there.”