KOEPKA FINISHES 2-UNDER-PAR TO WIN AT HIGHLAND OAKS
Tamayo cards low final-round to take second
DOTHAN, Ala. Battling increasing winds, escalating pressure and a rising field, Brooks Koepka of Wellington, Fla., overcame the elements at the Ashworth Junior at Highland Oaks to win his first American Junior Golf Association event in only his second attempt.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Highland Oaks Golf Course, the Ashworth Junior at Highland Oaks was a 36-hole stroke play event which featured junior golfers from 21 states and Canada.
The AJGA's Ashworth Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet participated in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event in the current or previous calendar year.
Koepka sustained his first-round lead by firing a 1-over-par 73, bringing his tournament total to 142. Koepka struggled on the front nine, en route to a 3-over-par 39. However, as he hit the back nine, he knew he had to make a move to be in contention. That move came on the 525-yard, par-5 sixteenth hole, when for the second round in a row, Koepka carded an eagle.
I felt like I needed to do something coming into No. 16, Koepka said. I thought I had to go birdie, birdie, birdie, to finish my round, but when the eagle came I knew I could be in good shape.
Koepka, a 2008 graduate, finished his round with two lip-out pars that did little to sour his excitement when he claimed victory.
It feels great to win my first AJGA event, the 15-year-old commented. I wasn't playing too well coming into this week, but everything just started to click and I came out on top.
Diego Tamayo of Wesley Chapel, Fla., carded a low final-round 69, totaling 145 for the tournament, to claim second.
It felt great to play so well in my first AJGA event; I'm really excited, Tamayo said.
Matthew Krembel of Shalimar, Fla., and Michael Hicks of Newnan, Ga., carded tournament totals of 2-over-par 146, to tie for third. Micah Jacobsen of Fernandina Beach, Fla., and Kurt Valley of Bay City, Mich., rounded out the top-5 with tournament totals of 3-over-par 147.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA 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, which enters its third decade of support, 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 on the Ashworth Junior at Highland Oaks or the AJGA, please contact our National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.