LOZA SINKS PUTT ON FINAL HOLE TO WIN BY ONE AT TEXARKANA GOLF RANCH
Gutgsell grinds out 3-under-par 141 to earn medalist honors at Medicus Preseason Junior at Texarkana
TEXARKANA, Texas â€” Maria Loza of Bucaramanga, Colombia, capped off a 154-tournament total with a 79 in the final round to hold off Tessa The of Los Altos, Calif., by one stroke in the inaugural Medicus Preseason Junior at Texarkana. In the Boys Division, Austin Gutgsell of Mandeville, La., fired a 2-under-par 70 for a 141 two-day total to earn the title by three shots.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Medicus Preseason Junior at Texarkana was a 36-hole stroke play event held at Texarkana Golf Ranch. The 83-player field featured players from 20 states and Colombia. The Girls Division played Texarkana Golf Ranch at 5,732 yards, while the Boys Division played it at 6,465 yards.
In the Girls Division, Loza made her only birdie of the day on No. 6, but drained a key 12-foot putt for a sand-saving par on No. 18 to seize the one-shot victory.
â€śI'm very excited because I've never won in the states,â€ť said Loza. â€śI didn't know it was to win, so it was really good to win like that. It wasn't a really good round, but I just tried to stay as calm as I could; I just putted good on my last few holes.â€ť
The Colombia native finished a shot ahead of The, who posted a tournament total of 155 following a final-round 77. Kristen Hamel of Chesterfield, Mo., and Lauren Salazar of Santa Clara, Calif., each totaled 161 to tie for third place.
In the Boys Division, Gutsgell's three straight birdies on Nos. 5, 6 and 7 led to a standout 4-under-par 32 opening nine en route to his three-stroke triumph.
â€śIt's very exciting to win in my first AJGA event,â€ť said Gutsgell, whose 30-foot birdie putt on No. 6 kept his momentum rolling on the front nine. â€śThis is a real nice track; the greens were very undulating and rolling very nice and the course was very firm, so position was the key out there.â€ť
Stetson McMillan of Hideaway, Texas, and Andrew Presley of Fort Worth, Texas, each totaled even-par 144 for the tournament to tie for second place. Ryan Dagerman of Dallas and Chandler Rusk of Edmond, Okla., finished with 145s to tie for the fourth spot.
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.
Medicus Golf and The Medicus Golf Institute are dedicated to enabling all golfers to â€śLive Their Visionâ€ť in reaching their potential. By expanding its corporate vision, mission, products and services, Medicus Golf will enable golfers to learn and grow â€” both as a person and as a player â€” in a series of new and exciting developmental formats.
Medicus Golf enters its second year of sponsorship of the AJGA by supporting the Medicus Preseason Series. The Medicus Learning System, a comprehensive series of golf training aids, is dedicated to assisting golfers of all ages.
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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information on the Medicus Preseason Junior at Texarkana, please contact AJGA headquarters at (770) 868-4200.