Colanta and Reynolds Claim First AJGA Titles at Robinson Ranch Golf Club
Early-round leaders finish on top at Aldila Junior All-Star
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Timothy Colanta of Monroe Township, N.J., rounded out his two-day lead with a first-place finish after shooting 1-over-par in the final round of the Aldila Junior All-Star. Katelyn Reynolds of Los Angeles, who also led the first two rounds, finished with a birdie on No. 18 to take a 2-stroke lead for victory.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Aldila Junior All-Star was a 54-hole stroke-play competition held on the Valley Course at Robinson Ranch Golf Club. The 95-player field featured golfers from 10 states, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Thailand. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,710 yards while the Girls Division played at 5,784 yards.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15 and presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into Open tournaments. The series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Coming into the final round with a 4-stroke lead at 4-under-par 140, Colanta played a diligent final round to keep hold of his strong lead to earn his first AJGA win at 3-under-par 213. Colanta said he tried to play within his game and not worry about scores too much going into the final round.
“I was able to take control on the back nine,” Colanta said. “I made a few long putts and got up and down out from some bunkers; those were momentum savers for me.”
Collin Morikawa of La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., took second place carding a 3-over-par 219 for the tournament. In third was Christopher Tuulik of San Diego with a 5-over-par 221. Brock Drogosch of Westlake Village, Calif., placed fourth with a tournament total of 6-over-par 222. Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division was Joshua Martin of Pinehurst, N.C., with a 7-over-par 223.
In the Girls Division, there was a tie for first place going into the final round. Reynolds was able to post four birdies that led to her first AJGA win. She shot a 2-over-par 74 in the final round and 7-over-par 223 for the tournament. After a double bogey on No. 12, Reynolds was able to come back with birdies on Nos. 13, 16 and 18, to pull off a dramatic finish as her last shot of the day landed 2 inches from the hole. Reynolds says she struggled with her game today more so than the first two rounds, but was able to come out on top.
“This is my first AJGA win and it feels amazing,” Reynolds said. “I am so grateful to have done so well and to be playing at this level. Today was not my best day, but I scrambled well in tough situations and that kept my score consistent.”
In second place for the Girls Division is Alexandra Kaui of Henderson, Nev., who was tied with Reynolds coming into the final round. Both girls shot a 2-over-par 38 in a battle on the front nine, but Kaui fell two strokes behind on the back nine and finished at 9-over-par 225. Alexandra Sborov of Pleasanton, Calif., took third with a 13-over-par 229.
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 about the Aldila Junior All-Star, please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868 - 4200.