FRANCIS CLAIMS TOP HONORS AT ROLEX TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Simon holds off competition to win first AJGA tournament
EVERGREEN, Colo. –
Philip Francis of Scottsdale, Ariz., finished strong by shooting a
final-round even-par 70 despite constant rain showers to win the Rolex
Tournament of Champions Sunday. Third-round leader Ashleigh Simon of
Johannesburg, South Africa, fended off a charging Girls Division to win
her first-ever American Junior Golf Association tournament at Hiwan
by the AJGA, the Rolex Tournament of Champions was a 72-hole
stroke-play event with a cut in both divisions after two rounds. The
144-player field featured 67 Rolex Junior All-Americans and players
from 30 states and five countries. After Friday’s round, the field was
cut to 77 players with the cut line at 7-over-par, 147, in the Boys
Division and 15-over-par, 155, in the Girls Division. In the event's
29th year, the Rolex Tournament of Champions was one of 10
Invitationals on the AJGA schedule and is the longest running AJGA
into Sunday’s final round, Francis carried a one-stroke lead, and even
with inclement weather conditions, he was able to carry his momentum
throughout the final round.
felt really good with my swing,” Francis said. “I went out and somewhat
struggled, but I kept playing solid golf and I ended up winning.”
win at the Rolex Tournament of Champions gave Francis his second AJGA
Invitational victory of the summer after winning The Thunderbird
International in May. Francis said coming in he had one goal in mind.
“This is my second major this season, and I went in with the goal of winning,” Francis said.
stroke behind Francis in second place was Peter Uihlein of Bradenton,
Fla., carding a four-day total of 1-under-par 279. Rounding out the
Boys Division were Andrew Yun of Tacoma, Wash., who finished in third
place, two strokes back and Drew Kittleson of Scottsdale, Ariz., in
fourth place with a score of 281. Gregor Main of Danville, Calif., and
Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., tied for fifth place with four-day
totals of 283.
came out firing in Sunday’s final round after leading the Girls
Division by five strokes after three rounds. The win at the Rolex
Tournament of Champions is Simon’s first AJGA victory and she said to
win an invitational is something special.
a special feeling to come over here to America and compete against the
best,” Simon said. “I’m not use to playing against juniors and to win
in America is a great feeling.”
1 hour, 51 minute fog delay made play difficult for the 84 juniors, and
Simon said the weather only made the course that more difficult.
“It was a very tough day out there,” Simon said. “I somehow managed to get the job done and I’m happy.”
Karle of Scottsdale, Ariz., finished the tournament in second place one
stroke behind Simon with a four-day total of 287. Defending champion
Esther Choe of Scottsdale, Ariz., finished Sunday’s final round in
third place, two strokes behind Simon with a 288.
Watch USA, which is in its third decade of support, became the
inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. Along with sponsoring the Rolex
Tournament of Champions, Rolex is also the title partner of the Rolex
Girls Championship and the proprietors of the Rolex Junior All-America
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 an annual
junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000
junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force
behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is
in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier
Partner in 2004.
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 on the Rolex Tournament of Champions please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.