MALLY'S EVEN-PAR PERFORMANCE GOOD FOR BOYS MEDALIST HONORS
Lee claims Girls Medalist honors by one stroke
ACUSHNET, Mass. — Thomas Mally of Boca Raton, Fla., managed the Acushnet River Valley Golf Course meticulously and efficiently throughout his round and earned medalist honors in the Boys Division Qualifier after shooting an even-par 72. In the Girls Division, Suzie Lee of East Northport, N.Y., stood tall amongst the field and also earned medalist honors after carding a 2-over-par 74.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Qualifier for the Fidelity Investments Junior Classic at The Bay Club was held at the Acushnet River Valley Golf Course. The 100-player field featured 79 boy and 21 girl golfers from 14 states and Thailand. Thirty players hailed from the home state of Massachusetts. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,625 yards and the Girls Division played at 6,047 yards.
All afternoon, Mally, 17, stayed at an even keel and never let a bad hole get the better of him, though they were few and far between. After a bogey on his second hole of the day, the par-5 No. 9, Mally responded with six pars and two birdies to help him shoot under par through his first nine holes. Mally closed out his round with an up-and-down on the par-4 No. 7 and put an exclamation mark on the day with a 20-foot putt on the tricky green.
“I got a couple lucky breaks today, especially with my irons,” Mally said. “But I definitely thought I played well and I am really excited for the tournament to start.”
Qualifying for the Fidelity Investments Junior Classic at The Bay Club were David Denlinger of Lancaster, Pa., Jared Adams of Barrington, R.I., Kip Webber of Boxborough, Mass., Ricky Stimets of Paxton, Mass., Chris Melvin of Medfield, Mass., Cole Childs of Holliston, Mass., Will Boyle of Wellesley, Mass., Ryan Prinzo of Glenmont, N.Y., and Michael Buenaventura of Weston, Mass.
Also qualifying but opting to take a tournament exemption in lieu of playing in the event were Alex DiClemente of Burlington, Conn., Dennis Driscoll of Manhasset, N.Y., Adam Larkin of North Bellmore, N.Y., Dillon Corbo of Montville, N.J., Brian Jaeger of McLean, Va., Samuel Brourman of Pittsburgh, Pa., Alex Edfort of Somerset, N.J., Dylan Murray of Westport, Conn., Joe Toland of White River Junction, Vt., Cal Hedberg of South Windsor, Conn., and Blake LeBrew of Milton, Mass.
Lee, 16, came into the qualifier with as much experience as any girl in the field, having just played in one of the most prestigious tournaments on the AJGA schedule, the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls Championship. She used that experience and confidence to help her effectively navigate the track in Acushnet, almost shooting even-par, had it not been for a double-bogey on her final hole of the day, No.10. Lee birdied Nos. 4, 5 and 7 to vault her to the top of the leaderboard and earn the Girls Medalist honors.
“My putting was what saved me today; it was amazing,” Lee said. “My drives were straight almost every time, and those two factors really helped me play well.”
Also qualifying in the Girls Division was Olivia Chang of San Lorenzo, Calif.
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.
The first-round tee times for the Fidelity Investments Junior Classic at the Bay Club will run from 7:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m., off the No. 1 tee at the Bay Club at Mattapoisett. For more information, please contact Tournament Director Preston Etheridge at (770) 241-5294, or visit the AJGA Web site, ajga.org.