BUICK JUNIOR OPEN PRESENTED BY GOLFWEEK
Spring Meadows Country Club
July 19-22, 2004
WHITE RETURNS HOME AND WINS IN SUDDEN-DEATH
Shiels holds off challengers to claim Boys Division title
LINDEN, MICH. - Sixteen-year old Dolores White of Lakeland, Fla., sank an eight-foot birdie putt on the first sudden-death playoff hole to win the Buick Junior Open presented by Golfweek. First-round leader Andy Shiels of Rockford, Ill., came from two strokes behind firing a final-round 70 to win the Boys Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Buick Junior Open presented by Golfweek was a 54-hole stroke play tournament held at Spring Meadows Country Club. The tournament featured 99 of the nation’s premier junior golfers, from 16 states, including 38 Michigan natives. Now in its 20th year, the tournament is one of the longest-running events on the AJGA schedule.
White was able to defeat second round leader Carly Truitt of Marysville, Ohio, in a playoff, after both players finished the tournament tied at 224. White carded a 73 on the final day, including an impressive 34 on the front nine. White was able to finish her round with three pars, reach the playoff and earn an emotional win.
“I was born here and I really wanted to win,” White said. “All my family was here, including my grandfather, and that really got the fire going in me. I got a little tired on the back nine, but I was able to par three difficult holes to finish,” she said.
White’s day began with a birdie on No. 1 and another on the par-5 6th . White went on to birdie No. 11, but it was her play on No. 18 which got her into the playoff.
“I hit my drive right and then a 5-iron to just off the green,” White said. “I putted from just off the green and it almost went in. I knew it was close,” she said.
White, who won last week’s First American Title Avila Junior in Tampa, Fla., pulled her drive left on the playoff hole. She then drew a 5-iron to within eight feet of the hole. She was able to hold her nerves in check and make the birdie putt for the victory.
“It was a double breaker and I was just hoping it would go in,” White said. “It just fell in the hole and I gave quite a fist-pump. It was really exciting for me, especially with my grandfather being here.”
Finishing behind White and Truitt was Jordan Craig of Connellsville, Pa., who finished with a 4-over-par 76 and a tournament total of 225.
Shiels, 18, shot his second under-par round in the tournament and claimed his first AJGA victory. Shiels hit 15 fairways in the final round and was able to hold off second-round leader Billy Rankin of Traverse City, Mich., and two other players. Rankin, Dan Doyle of Rochester, Mich., and Clayton Parkhill of Champaign, Ill., all finished one-stroke back at 213. Blake Furgerson of Westlake, Ohio, rounded out the top-five, carding a tournament total of 2-under-par 214.
“It is always nice to win, especially my first AJGA title,” Shiels said. “It was good to win before I go off to college,” said Shiels, who will play for the University of Memphis this fall.
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 golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information on the Buick Junior Open presented by Golfweek, please contact the AJGA at (770) 868-4200 or visit ajga.org.