HOME COOKING: REINERT SHOOTS SECOND STRAIGHT 70, CLAIMS LOCKTON KANSAS CITY JUNIOR
Salazar goes wire-to-wire for two-stroke victory in Girls Division at The National Golf Club of Kansas City
PARKVILLE, Mo. — Chris Reinert of Parkville, Mo., fired his second straight 2-under-par 70 and finished at even-par 216 for the tournament, as he won the Lockton Kansas City Junior at his home course with a daylong climb up the scoreboard. Lauren Salazar of Santa Clara, Calif., completed her three-day stay on top of the leaderboard with a 6-over-par 78 for her first AJGA victory.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Lockton Kansas City Junior was a 54-hole stroke-play event held at The National Golf Club of Kansas City in Parkville, Mo. The tournament field consisted of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 20 states, China and Canada. The Boys Division played The National Golf Club of Kansas City course at 6,762 yards, and the Girls Division played the course at 5,928 yards, par-72.
Reinert started the day five strokes back and one group in front of the 36-hole co-leaders, but he didn't make much noise until he birdied Nos. 8 and 9 to close out the front nine. He attributed his daylong focus to a little bit of rest and relaxation Wednesday night.
“Last night I took my mind off golf,” Reinert said. “I went to the Platte County fair and watched the demolition derby…It really helps a lot [getting away from golf]. This is the biggest tournament I've ever won; it hasn't really sunk in yet.”
He was still one stroke off the pace when he arrived at the 418-yard, par-4 No. 17, but he changed that when he struck his approach shot to 18 feet and read his birdie putt correctly to pull to even-par for the tournament.
“[No.] 17 is a tough hole, but I've always played it well,” Reinert said.
Tied for second and one stroke behind Reinert were Curtis Yonke of Overland Park, Kan., and Kyle Lewis of Shawnee, Okla. Both finished with a tournament total of 1-over-par 217. Blake Waller of West Des Moines, Iowa., and Landon Lyons of Baton Rouge, La., tied for fourth with tournament totals of 3-over-par 219.
In the Girls Division, Salazar played the front nine at 2-under-par to build a safe advantage for the last nine holes. Her pair of birdies on Nos. 5 and 6, mixed with seven pars, had her feeling confident as play moved to the other side of the clubhouse.
“After nine, I pretty much felt like I had it,” Salazar said. “I just told myself shooting even on the back would win it.”
Salazar finished with a tournament total of 8-over-par 224.
Courtney Hooton finished in second place, two strokes back of Salazar after finishing at 10-over-par 226. Joyce Kim of Carlsbad., Calif, and Elizabeth Doty of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., checked in with a tie for third place at 14-over par 230.
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 Lockton Kansas City Junior, please call AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.