Berkeley Hall Club
Bluffton, S.C. • June 15 - 18

Stephens holds off charge for first AJGA win at Berkeley Hall

BLUFFTON, S.C. – Wesley McClain of Diboll, Texas fired a final-round 3-under-par 69 to erase a two-shot deficit and capture a one-shot victory at the Heritage Junior Championship. In the Girls Division, Haley Stephens of Greer, S.C., held off an early charge from her pursuers and carded a 3-under-par 69 en route to a five-shot win.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Heritage Junior Championship was a 54-hole stroke play event being held at the Berkeley Hall – South Course. The tournament field consisted of 58 boys and 21 girls, ages 14 to 18 from 14 states, Canada and Argentina. The Boys Division played the par-72 layout at 7,056 yards, while the Girls Division played the course at 6,226 yards.

McClain quickly jumped to the top of the leaderboard on the front nine, carding four birdies in his first six holes on his way to an opening-nine 32. After a bogey on No. 17, McClain held a one-shot lead going into the final hole. His approach shot to 10 feet allowed him to two-putt his way to his first AJGA win with a 5-under-par 211 total.

“I’m stoked and surprised, it’s been a long time coming,” McClain said. “I knew I had to shoot under par. I thought even par, I’d get lapped. I came out and made a few putts early and just really got my round going.”

Pete Kellermann of Jacksonville, Fla., finished in second place with a 4-under-par 212 total. Thomas Bradshaw of Columbia, S.C., fired a final-round 69 for a 213 total for a third-place finish. Zachery Sobel of Clearwater Beach, Fla., and Christian Hawley of Kernersville, N.C., finished in a tie for fourth at 2-under-par 214.

In the Girls Division, Stephens started on the back nine and quickly saw her four-shot lead reduced to two after two quick birdies from second-place finisher Collins Bradshaw. However, Stephens, who will attend the University of Texas in the fall, carded four birdies against only one bogey on her last 14 holes to card a 3-under-par 69 for a 54-hole total of 7-under-par 209.

“I wanted to maintain what I did throughout the first two days,” Stephens said. “I started playing a little more aggressively to get a few strokes back. My game plan kind of changed throughout, it was conservative then it kind of moved toward a little more aggressive route.”

Bradshaw of Columbia, S.C., finished in second after a 2-under-par 70 and 2-under-par 214 total. Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga., rounded out the top three with a 2-over-par 218 total.

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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and more than 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 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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 about the Heritage Junior Championship, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.

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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.