YI FIRES FINAL-ROUND 69 TO EARN FIRST AJGA VICTORY AT PING JUNIOR AT THE WOODLANDS
Rah claims fourth tournament title in the AJGA by three strokes
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Sang Yi of Carrollton, Texas, posted a 3-under-par 69 and a three-day total of 4-under-par 212 to come from behind and win the PING Junior at The Woodlands Sunday by three strokes. In the Girls Division, Jane Rah of Torrance, Calif., carded a final-round 75 for a three-day total of 1-over-par 217 to hold on for a three-shot victory at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center's Panther Trail Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the PING Junior at The Woodlands was a 54-hole stroke play event held at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center's Panther Trail Course. The 126-player field featured players from 20 states, Washington D.C., and three countries, Australia, Canada and Chile. The Girls Division is playing the Panther Trail Course at 5,996 yards, while the Boys Division is playing it at 6,959 yards.
Yi sank an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole to go 2-under-par on the front nine and followed with a 1-under-par 35 on the back nine to wrap up his comeback win.
“I started out well, but I didn't play that great on the back nine. I started spraying my drives and I did get lucky several times because I ended up having a shot each time,” said Yi, who claimed his first-ever career victory. “My putting and short game was great today; I made a lot of key putts. It's my first win, so I'm very excited for sure.”
Yi finished in front by three strokes over Kelly Kraft of Denton, Texas, who posted a 1-under-par 215 tournament total for second. Hunter Hamrick of Montgomery, Ala., took third place with an even-par 216, while four players, Cody Gribble of Dallas, John Peterson of Fort Worth, Texas, Geoffrey Shaw of Edmond, Okla., and Conrad Shindler of Westlake, Texas, finished in a tie for fourth at 217.
Yi's next big event is his local high school district tournament in the coming month.
In the Girls Division, Rah was 3-over-par after just three holes, but recovered by playing her final 15 holes at even-par.
“I'm excited to win, but I'm also sad because I didn't play as well as I wanted to,” said Rah, a two-time Rolex Junior All-American . “I was so fortunate to have a six-stroke lead going into today. Nothing really worked today and everything went bad, but the main thing was I found a way to hold on.”
Rah finished three shots ahead of Brianna Do of Lakewood, Calif., who seized second with a final-round 72 and a three-day total of 220. Lisa McCloskey of Montgomery, Texas, claimed the third spot with a tournament total of 223 after a 75 on the last day.
Now a four-time AJGA champion, Rah returns to action at the Thunderbird International Junior at Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor Course in Scottsdale, Ariz., May 25-28.
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 49 states and 25 foreign countries.
PING, a long-time supporter of junior golf, will support four AJGA events in 2007, two Open Events and two Invitationals: the PING Junior at The Woodlands, PING Phoenix Junior, PING Junior Solheim Cup and The PING Invitational. PING also sponsors the PING Schedule Magnet and PING College Golf Signing Day Web site.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel.
For more information on the PING Junior at The Woodlands, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.