Paradise Point Golf Club - Gold Course
Jacksonville, North Carolina
July 29-31, 2002

Niederkohr wins Girls Division to claim second title

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. - Luke Hopkins of Greer, S.C., needed one extra hole in scorching temperatures to win the Boys Division of the AJGA Callaway Golf Junior All-Star Classic at Jacksonville. Hopkins edged out first-round leader Matthew Hammock of Hinesville, Ga., in the first-hole of a sudden-death playoff Wednesday to garner his first AJGA title. In the Girls Division, Holly Niederkohr of Marysville, Ohio, collected her second AJGA victory after firing a final-round 1-under-par 71 to finish at 75-71-146.

The 36-hole event, which saw temperatures in the upper 90s and a heat index topping 110 degrees, was conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Paradise Point Golf Club's Gold Course. It featured 87 juniors representing 15 states while 23 North Carolina natives were also included in the field.

The ultimate goal of the Callaway Golf Junior All-Star Series is to give younger AJGA members more opportunities to compete against players from across the country. The AJGA is conducting seven Junior All-Star Series events this season, which is now in its fifth year of existence.

Hopkins, who sat two strokes behind to begin the day, made his charge on the front nine with birdies on Nos. 1, 4 and 7 to make the turn at 3-under-par 33. The 15-year-old finished the back nine at one-over-par en route to a 2-under-par 70 and a 36-hole total of 72-70-142.

Hammock, playing in his first-ever AJGA event, forced the playoff after draining a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to finish at 70-72-142.

In the playoff, Hopkins' third shot dropped within five feet of the hole, allowing him to birdie the par-5, 505-yard, 18th hole and seal the win.

"This is really a good feeling. I knew a birdie would probably win and I didn't want to make bogey, that was for sure," Hopkins said about the playoff.

"I knew after I made the turn that if I didn't blow it on the back nine, I would be close. But I really credit my putting today. It allowed me to trust my game all day."

Drew Weaver of High Point, N.C., Paul Haley of Dallas and Bobby Hudson of Memphis, Tenn., finished in a three-way tie for third at 143.

Niederkohr, who won the 2001 AJGA Junior All-Star event at Kingwood, entered the final round tied with Mayule Tomimbang of Kissimmee, Fla. Niederkohr quickly separated herself from the pack, as the 15-year-old played the front nine in even-par fashion before notching two more birdies on the back nine to finish one-under-par 71.

"This feels really good," said Niederkohr, who added a top-five finish at the AJGA Junior All-Star event at Mississippi last June. "I felt really confident coming in to this tournament because in the last few weeks I had gotten my swing worked out. I was just feeling better.

"I wanted to come out today and just play even-par so I wouldn't have to be nervous down the stretch and I did that."

Jordyn Wells of Bethel Park, Pa., finished second after shooting a final round 73 to sit at 77-73-150 while Tyrette Metzendorf of Winter Haven, Fla., rounded out the top three with a 78-74--152.

For more information about the AJGA Callaway Golf Junior All-Star Classic at Jacksonville, please call our National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.


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