AJGA CALLAWAY GOLF JUNIOR ALL-STAR SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP
ChampionsGate Golf Resort, International Course
November 27-30, 2002
LOPEZ SHOOTS 67, COMES FROM FOUR BACK TO
Osborn stayed the course despite the windy conditions to
CHAMPIONSGATE, Fla. - Lance Lopez of Fresno, Texas,
shot a 5-under-par 67 to fight back from a four-stroke deficit
at the beginning of the day to take home his first AJGA victory
at the AJGA Callaway Golf Junior All-Star Series Championship
Saturday. In the Girls Division, Jennifer Osborn, who came
into the final round with a six-stroke lead, did what needed
to be done during the final round by shooting 74-68-78-220
to close out her first AJGA win as well.
The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf
Association, featured 78 boys and girls (ages 13-16) representing
19 states and Canada. To qualify for this season-ending championship,
the participants in the Boys Division needed to garner a top-10
finish in a 2002 Junior All-Star event with the Girls Division
needing a top-five finish to get an invite.
Lopez (74-73-67-214) left players and spectators shaking their
heads as word made its way around ChampionsGate Golf Resort
of his 33-34-67. But to win the tournament, Lopez knew he
needed a score like this to put him in the running.
"It was a monster out there," the 15-year-old said
after his 2-under-par tournament total performance. "Somehow
I managed to play through it. I felt really comfortable coming
into today. I was making solid contact all week and it just
added up after awhile."
His low number was more than impressive on a windy day not
prime for scoring. Despite the gusty conditions, the Texas
native notched six birdies (Nos. 5, 6, 7, 9, 16 and 18) to
only one bogey (No. 2).
"I never gave up and just played hard," he said.
"When you are coming from behind, that is really all
you can do."
The Boys Division top five included Michael Green of Augusta,
Ga., at 216; Bronson Burgoon of The Woodlands, Texas, at 218;
Brett Kanda of La Crescenta, Calif., at 221; and Erik Flores
of Grass Valley Calif., and Travis Esway of Granite Bay, Calif.,
tied for fifth at 222.
The Girls Division saw Jennifer Osborn hang on to secure victory
during the final round. She was in the tough position of protecting
a six-shot lead she built mainly during Friday's second round
when she fired a 4-under-par 68.
"My goal was to win and stayed focused," she said
after her round. "Every time I come out, I just try to
shoot low numbers. I think this will give people a little
more respect for my game."
Playing through the teeth of the wind, Osborn, like Lopez,
simply found a way. Even though she was not forced to go deep,
she struggled to score well during the final round, finishing
with a 78, 10 shots higher than her previous day's score.
"I couldn't putt all day," she said of her 35-putt
performance. "I did hit a couple of good drives and irons,
though. But I got the job done."
Rounding out the Girls Division top three are Jennifer Hong
of Windermere, Fla., at 224 and Stefanie Page of The Woodlands,
Texas, at 225.
The Callaway Golf Junior All-Star Series was created in 1998
to give younger AJGA members more opportunities to play competitive
golf. This collection of events, designed for boys and girls
13-15, was a resounding success in its first year and it expanded
to six events in 1999. In 2002, there were six tournaments
that featured a Day of Education, conducted by the AJGA and
David Leadbetter Golf Academy staff, and two days of stroke
For more information on the AJGA Callaway Golf Junior All-Star
Series Championship, or other AJGA events, please contact
AJGA National Headquarters (770) 868-4200.