Shim, Dai Deliver an All-Star Performance to Become Champions at WindStone Golf Club
Georgians win in home state at Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star
RINGGOLD, Ga. — Andy Shim of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Rachel Dai of Suwanee, Ga., both built on their leads in Thursday's final round to earn the titles at the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star. Shim ended with a four-shot victory at 6-under-par 204 at WindStone Golf Club, while Dai won the Girls Division by five strokes at even-par 210.
The Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star was one of 10 events in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series. Specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments. The Series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star was a 54-hole stroke play event held at the WindStone Golf Club in Ringgold, Ga. The tournament field featured 75 boys and 24 girls from 21 states, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Canada. The Boys Division played the par-70 course at 6,347 yards and the Girls Division played at 5,679 yards.
In the final round, Shim earned birdies on Nos. 1, 5, 11, 16 and 17. A week ago Shim was medalist at the AJGA's Preseason Junior at Château Élan. Shim's secrets to success were his drives and birdie putts.
“Yesterday my putting was not bad, but today it was really good I made a lot of birdies,” Shim said. “Today was really good, I did not miss a lot of greens. This win means a lot because I have won two in a row now and would like to continue winning.”
Following Shim was Christopher Guglielmo of Cumming, Ga., with a 2-under-par 208. Tied for third were Leonardo Kitahara of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and Greyson Sigg of Augusta, Ga., at 1-over-par 211. In fifth place each with a 3-over-par 213 were Emilio Maurer of Puebla, Mexico, and Adam Wood of Zionsville, Ind.
In the Girls Division, the 13-year-old Dai carded three birdies in the final round. One of Dai's favorite holes was No. 18 where she made a 14-foot putt for par. The key to Dai's final round was her tee shots, as her driving distance really helped to keep the strokes down.
“I have never won an AJGA event before,” Dai said. “This win means a lot to me because I am younger than most of the people here and also this is only my third AJGA tournament. I have always practiced very hard and can never deliver the entire game but this week I was able to.”
Making Dai feel the pressure through the final round with a fast start was Hee Wook Choi of San Diego, who took second with a 5-over-par 215. Tied for third were Marissa Kay of Delray Beach, Fla., and Michaela Owen of Alpharetta, Ga., at 9-over-par 219.
GARY GILCHRIST GOLF ACADEMY, a full-time signature golf instruction program with campuses located in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., and in Arroyo Grande, Calif., began as an Official Partner of the AJGA in 2009. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which provides juniors age's 12-15 access to national competitive golf opportunities.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
For more information on the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.