AJGA CALLAWAY GOLF JUNIOR
ALL-STAR CLASSIC AT CHAMPAIGN
Champaign Country Club
August 19-21, 2002
SAVAGE, GREHAN NOTCH FIRST
AJGA TITLES IN CHAMPAIGN
Grehan comes back from three shots down to claim victory
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Matt Savage of Louisville, Ky.,
secured his first American Junior Golf Association title,
firing an even-par 71 final round Wednesday for a tournament
total of 140 at the AJGA Callaway Golf Junior All-Star Classic
at Champaign. In the Girls Division, Megan Grehan of Mamaroneck,
N.Y., also notched her first AJGA victory, shooting 76 for
the second day in a row to finish at 10-over-par 152 for the
The 36-hole Championship, conducted by the American Junior
Golf Association at the par-71 Champaign Country Club, was
the final in a series of seven events in the Callaway Golf
Junior All-Star Series. Eighty-three players, ages 13-15,
from 28 states competed in the tournament, including 12 competitors
Savage carded four birdies on the day, including three on
the front on Nos. 2, 6 and 9. The key in the 15-year-old's
round came on the par-4, 388-yard ninth when Savage knocked
his second shot to within a foot of the hole. Savage's birdie
gave him a front nine score of 1-under 34.
"I started to lose my swing on No. 6," the sophomore-to-be
said. "I was hitting balls way right on six, seven and
eight. That birdie gave me more confidence in my swing. From
then on, I was just trying to get in with pars."
On the back nine, Savage had to fight off both his nerves
and his fellow competitors. Cornelius Carroll of St. Simons,
Ga., pulled to within two shots of the lead through 16 holes.
Although Carroll birdied No. 18 to trim the lead to one shot,
Savage held on and made par on the final two holes to claim
"I knew if I played well I could contend, but I was nervous
coming in," Savage said. "I knew it was going to
be close those last few holes. I missed a couple of short
ones towards the end, and I was afraid I would be in a playoff.
Luckily, I came out on top."
Carroll carded rounds of 70-71 for a tournament total of 141
and a second-place finish. Alex Zega of Louisville, Ky., posted
72-70-142, good for third. In fourth place, Heejoo Son of
Carson, Calif., finished at 3-over-par 145. Rounding out the
top five was Matt Fast of Hattiesburg, Miss., and Nathan Phan
of San Diego, Calif., who finished at 146 for the tournament.
In the Girls Division, Grehan, who began the day in second
place, got off to a rocky start with bogeys on her first two
holes. At that point, the 13-year-old put her driver away
and used her 3-wood for the rest of the round. The switch
paid off as Grehan proceeded to birdie No. 4 to finish 3-over
on the front side.
"I couldn't hit it straight on the first two holes,"
Grehan said. "I had to put the driver away, so I didn't
hit as many greens. I figured it was better to be 10 yards
short than 10 yards deep in the woods."
The turning point in Grehan's round came on the par-4, 320-yard
14th when she drained a 50-foot birdie putt to pull ahead
of Jennie Arsenault, the leader after the first round. Grehan's
victory came as a welcome change after finishing second twice
this summer at the AJGA Callaway Golf Junior All-Star Classic
at Colonial and the Lessing's AJGA Classic.
"I've been second place so many times this summer that
I was starting to feel like Phil Mickelson," said Grehan,
who fired 38-38-76. "Coming here, I really wanted to
win, and I'm happy I achieved my goal."
A native of Grinnell, Iowa, Arsenault captured the runner-up
position, recording rounds of 73-82 for a tournament total
of 155. Mallory Blackwelder, of Versailles, Ky., finished
one stroke behind Arsenault in third place at 78-78-156.
For more information on the Callaway Golf Junior All-Star
Classic at Champaign and other tournaments conducted by the
AJGA, contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.