BIRDIE PROPELS CAULEY TO PLAYOFF VICTORY
Hurst takes Girls Division at Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan
BRASELTON, Ga. â€” Bud Cauley of Jacksonville, Fla., and Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., claimed the titles Sunday as each shot 4-over-par 217 at the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan was a 54-hole stroke play event featuring 93 boys and 42 girls â€” ages 12-18 â€” from 21 states and Canada. The 13th annual event was staged on the par-71, 7,071-yard Chateau Course (Girls Division played at 6,069 yards) at Chateau Elan Resort. Past champions of the event include current PGA and LPGA Tour players Charles Howell III, Ryuji Imada, Beth Bauer and Brittany Lincicome.
Cauley drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to claim the Boys Division title over Gregor Slabe of Bradenton, Fla. Cauley and Slabe matched each other at 4-over-par 217 after 54 holes, which came as a surprise to Cauley, who was paired with Slabe in the second-to-last group of the day and did not know what the leader group was shooting.
â€śI thought I was well out of the lead,â€ť Cauley said. â€śIt was a big surprise to find out I was tied for the lead.â€ť
After both players made bogey on the first playoff hole, Cauley came back strong with a long birdie putt to seal the victory.
â€śI was trying to lag it up there, but it felt good to make it and redeem myself after the three-foot putt on the first go-round,â€ť he said.
Cauley credited his consistent scoring this week to keeping his ball in play and putting well.
â€śMy putter saved me when I needed to be saved, but when I needed a birdie, it kind of went to sleep on me.â€ť
There was a four-way tie for third at 5-over-par 218, which included David Dannelly of Easley, S.C., Coy Breen of San Antonio, Wes Roach of Knoxville, Tenn., and Brinson Paolini of Virginia Beach, Va.
In the Girls Division, Hurst engaged in a daylong battle with second-round leader Kristina Wong of Vestal, N.Y., as well as Brooke Pancake of Chattanooga, Tenn., who started the round tied with Hurst, one stroke behind Wong.
Through 12 holes, despite being only 1-over-par on the day, Hurst lost ground, trailing both Wong and Pancake by two shots. That quickly changed, however, as Hurst made birdie on Nos. 13, 15 and 17 to secure a three-shot lead heading into the final hole.
â€śWhen I birdied the 13th hole, I gained momentum and started playing better,â€ť Hurst said.
Hurst finished the day with a 1-under-par 70 for a tournament total of 4-over-par 217.
â€śI look forward to the rest of my AJGA tournaments,â€ť Hurst said. â€śI'll have more confidence now. It's great to know I won the first AJGA tournament I played this year.â€ť
Wong and Pancake tied for second, three shots back at 7-over-par 220. Tied for fourth at 8-over-par were Jessica Yadloczky of Casselberry, Fla., and Megan Grehan of Mamaroneck, N.Y.
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.
For more information about the Mizuno Junior at Chateau Elan, please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.