BRAVER COMES FROM BEHIND TO WIN AT COLONIAL
Beeler goes wire-to-wire for victory in first ever AJGA tournament
JACKSON, Miss. — Sam Braver of Roswell, Ga., used a 4-under-par final-round performance to come from two strokes behind and win the Nike Golf Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau. Brooke Beeler of Butler, Ill., used a 1-under-par performance in the final round to seal a 13 stroke victory.
The Nike Golf Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau was a 54-hole stroke play tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Colonial Country Club in Jackson, Miss. The 80-player field featured juniors from 19 states and South Korea. The Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series allows players ages 12-15 to develop their skills and earn entry into other AJGA tournaments.
Braver, who finished third in last year's event, was three shots behind to begin the back-nine, but caught fire with four birdies to close out his final round.
“I had to play well to come from behind today,” Braver commented. “Last year I was really close to winning and this year I came in just wanting to win. On the back nine I did really well, especially the birdie on No. 16 to take the lead.”
Kyle English of Bloomington, Ill., and Paul McConnell of Garland, Texas, who tied for second place with 3-under-par 211s. Travis Ralph of Redington Beach, Fla., finished in third with a tournament total of 215. Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division was Will Ovenden of Spartanburg, S.C., and Patrick Burke of Houston, with matching 217s. Burke fired the low round of the tournament with a 7-under-par 65, that included 10 birdies.
Beeler was not intimidated at all to see her name atop the leaderboard on the final day of her first ever AJGA event. She sank her third birdie of the day on the 54th hole en route to a 1-under-par 71 sealing a wire-to-wire victory. “Simply awesome,” is the only way Beeler could describe the feeling of shooting a 217 to win.
Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division were Mary Michael Maggio, of Conway, Ark., in second place with a 230. Kyndall Ardoin of Gibsland, La., and Betsy Birchall of Birmingham, Ala., each carded 232s to tie for third.
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 drive 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 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
For more information about the Nike Golf Junior at Colonial presented by Mississippi Farm Bureau, please call 877-373-2542.