SHIN BOUNCES BACK TO FINISH ON TOP AT AVILA
Yang takes the Boys Division for his first AJGA win at First American Title Junior Classic
TAMPA, Fla. — Michelle Shin of Cape Coral, Fla., shot a final-round 3-under-par 69, for a tournament total 1-over-par 217, to solidify her spot as the champion of the Girls Division at the First American Title Junior Classic Thursday. In the Boys Division, Yao-Chun Yang of Bradenton, Fla., earned his first AJGA victory with a 2-under-par 70 in the final round for a three-day total of 3-under-par 213.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the First American Title Junior Classic was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Avila Golf & Country Club. The 84-player field featured players from 13 states, the Cayman Islands and Columbia. The Girls Division played it at 6,071 yards, while the Boys Division played the course at 6,911 yards.
Shin took home her first AJGA Open Event win of 2007 after two top five finishes earlier this summer. The title was her first since her last win at this event in 2005.
“It definitely feels good to win this year finally,” Shin said. “Today was much better compared to yesterday, I was really steady on the course and made a lot of pars.”
Shin finished the round with only two bogeys and five birdies, including birdies on three of her last five holes to seal the victory.
“Wednesday was double [bogeys] and triples, today it was the opposite,” Shin said. “I wish I could just erase yesterday, but I am really happy to have the win.”
Rounding out the Girls Division, tied for second, were Devon Brown of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Andrea Messer of Largo, Fla., who both finished at 10-over-par 226 for the tournament.
Yang got his first victory in just his third AJGA event, it was also his second top finish of the week. He was the medalist at the Srixon Qualifier for this event Sunday.
“I'm so excited,” Yang said. “I was really aggressive near the end and glad I was able to win.”
Yang was two strokes behind the leader after 14 holes, but managed to play his best game over the last four holes, including birdies on Nos. 16-18, to seal the victory.
It was really close all day out there with these other guys,” Yang said. “I feel kind of guilty beating my friends, but it feels so good to win.”
Behind Yang in second in the Boys Division was Zeyu He of Bradenton, Fla., who finished with a tournament total of 1-under-par 215. Zhong Yang Fu, also of Bradenton, Fla., finished in third with a three-day total of 2-over-par 218. In fourth was Devin Patel of Celebration, Fla., with a total of 3-over-par 219. Matthew Ceravolo of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Daniel Charen of Langhorne, Pa., finished tied for fifth with totals of 5-over-par 221.
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.
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 First American Title Junior Classic, please contact national headquarters at (877) 373-2542.