GRAHAM EXCELS IN PLAYOFF TO GRAB HOLD OF VICTORY
Chung stays strong through playoff to win first-ever AJGA victory
ROME, Ga. — Wesley Graham of Port Orange, Fla., birdies final hole in a three-hole playoff to earn his first-ever American Junior Golf Association tournament victory at the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic. Grace Chung of Fullerton, Calif., finished the third round with a 2-under-par 69 to earn her first AJGA victory after winning in a two-hole playoff.
The Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic was a 54-hole event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Coosa Country Club. The tournament featured 98 players representing 13 states and Canada with 30 from the host state of Georgia. The Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic is one of the AJGA's longest running tournaments and returned to Coosa Country Club for its seventh year in a row. While the Boys Division par was 70, the Girls Division par for the course was 71.
After playing 21 holes due to a playoff in Thursday's final round, Graham finished with a final-round score of 69 to go 6-under-par 204 for the tournament. Going into the round, Graham felt the need to be at the top of his game to contend with the leaders.
“All I wanted to do was hit a good shot when I needed it,” Graham said. “I felt like I needed two or three birdies on the back nine to stay in contention.”
Finishing the final round with three birdies and 13 pars, Graham explained that regularity is what helped him throughout the tournament.
“I consistently hit my fairways the whole week,” Graham said. “Whenever I needed to get up and down, I got it done.”
Taking home a second-place finish in the Boys Division after a two-hole playoff, Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, Ala., carding a three-day total of 6-under-par 204. Tied for third with scores of 205 were Alex Frankel of Atlanta, and Bobby Bode of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Rounding out the Boys Divsion in fifth place was Lion An of Duluth, Ga., with a tournament total of 206.
Having fired a low-round score of 69 in the Girls Division, Chung took first-place honors after finishing the tournament with an overall score of even-par 213. Coming into the final round, Chung said she was aiming for a score that would stand with the leaders.
“I wanted to play my best so that I could be in the top three in the end,” Chung said. “ I wasn't looking to be in first, but all I wanted was to stick a lot of shots from the fairways.”
When it came down to the playoff, Chung said that she was amazed to be in it, but at the same time nervous about what was going to take place.
“This was my first big playoff,” Chung said. “When I chipped on to No. 9, I felt like the victory was so close.”
Hannah Yun of Bradenton, Fla., took home second-place honors with an overall score of 213 after being defeated by Chung in the two-hole playoff. Rounding out the Girls Division was Tia Gannon of Hilton Head Island, S.C. with a three-day total of 215.
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 an annual 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 is in 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 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiles 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 Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.