English Turn Golf & Country Club
New Orleans, La.
July 21-24, 2003

Pandolfi claims Girls Division title at even-par 216

NEW ORLEANS, La. - In a weather-free round Thursday, Beck Troutman of Fernwood, Miss., claimed the Boys Division title at the AJGA hp Junior Classic at English Turn with a 2-under-par 214. Jennifer Pandolfi of Navarre, Fla., took home the Girls Division trophy with a final-round score of 1-under-par 71 and a tournament total of even-par 216.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the hp Junior Classic at English Turn featured a field of 84 competitors. The tournament consisted of 54 holes of stroke-play competition with 24 players from Louisiana.

When both Troutman and fellow competitor Eric Shriver of Cary, N.C., birdied the scenic island-green par-5 No. 15, Troutman recognized that the finish for the title was going to be close.

"We were tied going into the last hole," Troutman said. "I managed to par it, and to make par on No. 18 is great. It's such a tough hole; to par it means you beat 60 to 70 percent of the players out there. Winning this tournament means a lot to me and I've been playing AJGA tournaments for four years. Now that I've won here I'm looking forward to playing at next year's AJGA Thunderbird International Junior."

Finishing three strokes behind the lead at 1-over-par 217, the 17-year-old Shriver said he was glad to be able to play against Troutman during the final round.

"Beck's a fun player to watch," Shriver said. "A couple of chips and putts didn't go my way, but I still hit the ball a lot better today. I'm disappointed that it didn't go to a playoff, but I still finished second, and that's always good."

Admittedly playing a solid round all the way through the tournament, in third-place at 2-over-par 218 was 18-year-old Chase Watkins of Fort Collins, Colo.

"I played the same all week," Watkins said. "There are a lot of good players out here. These Bermuda greens have a different feel than what I'm used to; they're slower and hard to read."

Rounding out the Boys Division are Matt Fast of Hattiesburg, Miss., finishing in fourth-place at 3-over-par 219 followed by Ryan Spears of Del City, Okla., and Clay Hodge of Tyler, Texas, in a tie for fifth-place at 5-over-par 221.

In the Girls Division, 17-year-old Pandolfi finished in first place Thursday at even-par 216. With a commanding 14-stroke lead and consistency in her irons, Pandolfi started sailing shots at the pins.

"I played smart but aggressive," Pandolfi said. "I did miss a lot of short putts on the front nine, but that's something I can focus on for my next tournament. I like this golf course since it really sets up well for my game. In a way this is my tune-up for the AJGA McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls National Championship."

Finishing at 14-over-par 230 is Sookhee Baek of Bradenton, Fla. With a posted (80-76-74), Baek attributed her first round difficulties to a change in her irons' shafts.

"I couldn't control them at first," Baek said. "I changed my irons from steel to graphite to get better play-making ability but I was having trouble hitting them. I went to the driving range every day and even at night, and things got better as the tournament went on. I did make some good putts for par, and that really helped my game."

Finishing in third-place in the Girls Division at 15-over-par 231 is Alexis Rather of Tupelo, Miss.

For more information on the AJGA hp Junior Classic at English Turn, call tournament headquarters at (770) 868-4200.


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