JUSTIN LEONARD/DELOITTE & TOUCHE
JUNIOR TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
June 18-21, 2001
ABEL AND WHEELER CLAIM FIRST AJGA
TITLE AT JUSTIN LEONARD
DELOITTE & TOUCHE JUNIOR TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP Code sisters lead wire-to-wire to claim Girls Division
DALLAS - Texans Derek Abel of Allen and Chris
Wheeler of Plano made themselves right at home in Dallas,
finishing the tournament at +23 after a final round
+11 to come away with a one-point victory at the AJGA
Justin Leonard/Deloitte & Touche Junior Team Championship.
In the Girls Division, Tampa, Fla., natives Whitney
and Mallory Code led wire-to-wire on their way to a
four-point victory. The tournament's final round was
marred by two rain delays.
The 54-hole event, conducted by the American Junior
Golf Association at Northwood Club, featured 88 players
representing 16 states and Mexico, including 12 Polo
Golf Junior All-Americans. PGA Tour star Justin Leonard,
a five-time AJGA All-American (1986-90) during his junior
career, serves as honorary tournament chairman of the
event. A Team Modified Stableford Scoring system replaced
the traditional scoring format for the tournament, with
points awarded as follows: double-eagle +8, eagle +5,
birdie +2, par 0, bogey -1, and double-bogey or worse
Wheeler carded six birdies on his round to lead the
charge, including a heroic birdie on No. 18. Abel recovered
from a double-bogey on No. 16 with pars on 17 and 18
to help secure victory. The duo held off Jeff Bell and
Matthew Rosenfeld, both of Plano, Texas, who finished
second at +22.
"I was nervous after the second delay," Wheeler
said. "We knew we had a pretty big lead, but we
were able to hold on and it feels good."
After birdies on Nos. 2 and 8, Wheeler started off
the back with a birdie on the 377-yard, par-4 10th hole.
Then after nearly driving the green on the 361-yard,
par-4 13th hole, the Tulane signee hit the flagstick
with his chip and tapped in for birdie. Another birdie
on No. 14 put the duo in position to claim the title,
but not before some great short-game work on the 18th
green. Wheeler put his 3-wood off the tee to the left
of the cart path and hit a punch 4-iron on the front-left
fringe from 180-yards out and drained a 45-footer for
his sixth birdie of the day.
Bell drained a 20-footer on No. 18 for birdie, while
Rosenfeld added a 15-foot birdie putt to add to the
drama, but the duo fell a point short of the title.
"We wanted this one bad," Bell said. "We
did everything we could and we just came up short. We
were both hitting the ball well, we just couldn't get
any putts to fall. It was very frustrating."
T.J Blanford, of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Ben Hayes
of Scottsdale, Ariz., took third with a +10 after shooting
a -1 in the final round.
The Code sisters overcame a rocky back nine and held
off hard-charging Brittany Lang of McKinney, Texas,
and Ashley Knoll of The Woodlands, Texas, to claim a
four-point victory in the Girls Division. Lang and Knoll
used a trio of birdies on the back to cut into the deficit,
but the Codes were able to avoid the big mistake and
not give the Texas duo an opening.
"We knew we'd have a chance if we played consistent
and didn't make any big mistakes," Whitney said.
"We're excited to win the title."
The pair of Polo Golf Junior All-Americans combined
to shoot 0 for the day, with Whitney carding a +1 and
Mallory a -1, to finish the tournament at -3. Whitney
started the back nine with four consecutive bogeys,
but recovered and finished her round with five pars
as Mallory was able to par five of the last six holes
to clinch the victory.
"This might be our last team event with Whitney
going off to college," said Mallory of her sister
who is headed to the University of Florida. "I
really wanted this one and I'm happy we were able to
Guadalajara, Mexico, natives Alejanda Diaz and Devan
Anderson combined for a +5 on the day to jump into third
place with a total of -18 for the tournament.
DALLAS - Final results from the JUSTIN LEONARD/DELOITTE
& TOUCHE JUNIOR TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP conducted by the
American Junior Golf Association at Northwood Club.
Par: 36-35--71. Yardage: Boys: 6,724 Girls: 5,791; Team
modified Stableford System scoring as follows: double-eagle
+8, eagle +5, birdie +2, par 0, bogey -1, double-bogey
or worse -3.
Derek Abel (2001) Plano, Texas
Wheeler (2001) Allen, Texas
Matthew Rosenfeld (2002) Plano, Texas
Bell (2002) Plano, Texas
T.J. Blanford (2001) Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Hayes (2001) Scottsdale, Ariz.
Randy Lowry (2005) Spring, Texas
Sigsbee (2003) McKinney, Texas
Ryan Moore (2001) Puyallup, Wash.
Putnam (2001) Tacoma, Wash.
Tyler Leon (2003) Dallas, Texas
Skirkanich (2001) Rumson, N.J.
Trent Leon (2005) Dallas, Texas
Pigg (2002) Plano, Texas
Seiji Hirai (2003) Hagerstown, Md.
Tilley (2002) Chappaqua, N.Y.
Anthony Kim (2003) La Quinta, Calif.
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