KRETZ CLAIMS BOYS DIVISION TITLE AFTER ONE-HOLE PLAYOFF
Hauser defeats Hong by one stroke
GRAND BLANC, Mich. — Kelly Kretz of Antigo, Wis., defeated Brandon Lemons of Portage, Mich., in a one-hole playoff during the final round of the Buick Junior Open presented by Golfweek to secure the Boys Division title. In the Girls Division, Jessica Hauser of Hartland, Wis., held her first place position with a 3-over-par 75 for a three-day total of 71-71-75 — 217.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Buick Junior Open presented by Golfweek was a 54-hole stroke play event held at the Flint Elks Lodge 222 Golf Club. The tournament featured 81 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states, Canada and Chile.
Kretz climbed to the top with a three-day total of 74-69-74—217 after being tied for second place with two other players following the second round on Thursday. As the leader group came back to the field, Kretz knew what he had to do.
“I was paying attention to the leader group and when I saw that their scores were going up instead of down, I realized going into hole No. 18 that I had to play well,” Kretz said. “Everybody seemed to struggle today and I didn't think 74 would be good enough, but I grinded all day and got it done.”
Weather caused a three-hour delay before the playoff between Kretz and Lemons could be initiated.
“I think I would have been more nervous if I had to go into the playoff right away,” Kretz said. “I got to relax before we had to go out again, so I could take some time to unwind and watch part of the Open Championship.”
Lemons shot a final round 73 for a tournament total of 217 and sole possession of second place. Tied for third with three-day totals of 218 were Clayton Parkhill of Champaign, Ill., and Ryan Franks of Quincy, Ill. Tied for fifth place were Brad Schneider of Valrico, Fla., and Andrew Frame of Manteno, Ill., with three-day totals of 219.
Hauser, who will attend The Ohio State University in the fall, claimed her first AJGA victory with a round of 75 that ended birdie-par-birdie on the last three holes. Hauser's long, straight drive and accurate chip on hole No. 18 led her to a birdie and she was finally handed the win when Jennifer Hong of Windermere, Fla., missed her putt for par.
“I think it is pretty amazing that I won; I really don't know how it happened,” Hauser said. “I just kept my mind quiet and kept reminding myself that I was still in it even though I was a little bit behind the other girls throughout the round. I just knew I had to make a birdie on hole No. 18, and I did.”
Coming in second place was Hong, winner of three past AJGA events. Hong came in one shot behind with a three-day total of 70-73-75—218. In third place was defending champion Dolores White of Lakeland, Fla., who had a three-day tournament total of 74-72-73—219.
The official car of the PGA Tour and the PGA of America, Buick is the title-sponsor of three PGA Tour events in 2005: The Buick Invitational in La Jolla, Calif. (January 17-23); the Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Mich. (July 25-31); and the Buick Championship in Cromwell, Conn. (August 22-28). Through its title-sponsored PGA Tour events Buick has donated more than $30 million to local charities in its tournament cities since 1982.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 280 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about the Buick Junior Open presented by Golfweek, contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.