ABILENE REPORTER-NEWS JUNIOR
Abilene Country Club
Aug. 5-8, 2002
FRYE SHATTERS 54-HOLE TOURNAMENT SCORING
RECORD IN ABILENE Spedding wins Girls Division on first playoff hole
ABILENE, Texas - It took Jeremy Frye of Palestine,
Texas three days to rewrite 25 years of AJGA history. The
17-year-old set a 54-hole tournament record after rounds of
66-64-64--194 left him at 19-under-par at the Abilene Reporter-News
Junior. The previous record was 17-under-par set by Plano,
Texas native Jeff Bell at the same tournament in 2000. In
the Girls Division, Christa Spedding of Granbury, Texas, won
the Girls Division on the first playoff hole after dropping
a 20-foot birdie putt.
The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf
Association, featured 120 players representing 12 states and
included 101 Texas natives. It was held at the par-71 Abilene
Country Club. Past champions of the event include PGA TOUR
players Scott Verplank (1981, '82), Phil Mickelson (1987)
and LPGA Tour players Kelli Kuehne (1992, '93) and Emilee
After finishing the first round in a tie for fourth, Frye
built a two-stroke lead after the second day and then raced
to his second-career AJGA title, winning by five strokes.
Before this week Frye, who hit every green in regulation,
had never played Abilene Country Club. He took no time at
all in warming up to the course's short length and reachable
par 5s. His worst round during the three days was a hearty
first-round, 5-under-par 66. During the three days Frye had
only one bogey and one double bogey as he etched his name
in the AJGA record books.
"It is nice to know I have a record in the AJGA with
there being so many great players that have played in the
AJGA," Frye said. "I knew what the record was and
on No. 13 I added up my score and realized I was tied with
it. I made two more birdies and it feels pretty good."
AJGA alumni include PGA TOUR players Tiger Woods, David Duval,
Justin Leonard, Charlie Howell, David Gossett and a plethora
of other tour players.
On No. 18, Frye left himself with a three-foot putt for par
and said that was the first time he felt butterflies in his
"I wasn't that nervous because I didn't have many hard
putts," Frye said. "On No. 18 I got a little shaky
after I left myself with that par putt."
Even if Frye had bogeyed the last hole he still would have
secured the scoring record.
"Only by one though," Frye smiled. "I wanted
Frye was tested at the beginning of his final round, by Jeff
Gerlich of Austin, but eventually pulled away and then coasted
to the title on the back nine. The two were tied at 15-under
before Frye birdied four of the first six holes on the back
"Jeremy played great," Gerlich said. "I had
five or six putts on the back nine that just didn't go and
he was able to make his."
Frye's strength during the week was his ability to score on
the friendly par 5s. He played them 13-under for the tournament
and birdied all four during the final round.
"I was putting for eagle on all of them," Frye said.
"They were pretty easy out here. I had tap-in birdie
putts on all of them except for No. 5."
After a final round of 67, Gerlich finished in second with
a three-day total of 199. Martin Piller of Duncanville, Texas
finished third at 203 and Chad Follett of El Paso, Texas notched
fourth place with at 205. Matt Van Zandt of Missouri City,
Texas, Blake Parks of Odessa, Texas and Zac Reynolds of Edmond,
Okla., tied for fifth with 206s.
In the Girls Division, Spedding erased a seven-stroke, final-round
deficit to force a sudden-death playoff with Heather Wright
of Houston and Caney Hines of San Antonio. On the first-playoff
hole, the par-3 tenth, Spedding left her 7-iron 20 feet from
the hole and then drained the lengthy putt to claim the title.
"I just wanted to finish in the top three," Spedding
said. "I thought I was going to have to shoot a 67 or
68 to go to a playoff. When somebody told me I was in I didn't
believe them, but I am happy to win.
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