PADUNGSIRISETH RALLIES TO WIN JUNIOR ALL-STAR AT SPRING CREEK
Sritragul leads to the end and finishes first at Spring Creek Golf Club
GORDONSVILLE, Va. — The final-round result came down to the wire Wednesday at the Junior All-Star at Spring Creek, but it was Meechai Padungsiriseth of Bradenton, Fla., who came out on top with a one-stroke victory at 6-under-par 210. Paveenuch Sritragul of Bangkok, Thailand won the Girls Division with a tournament total of 3-under-par 213.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star at Spring Creek was a 54-hole stroke-play event with a 36-hole cut held at Spring Creek Golf Club. The field was made up of 98 boys and 32 girls, ages 12-15, from 23 states, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines and Thailand. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,675 yards and the Girls Division played at 5,796 yards.
Padungsiriseth and Hank Lebioda were tied for first with one hole to go, but a closing birdie by Padungsiriseth was enough to win the tournament.
“I hit a good approach shot to four feet and was putting for birdie.” Padungsiriseth said. “I was nervous because I knew what was on the line, but I made it.”
Playing in his fifth Junior-All Star event this summer, Padungsiriseth fired a 4-under-par 68 and hit all 18 greens.
“This is my first AJGA win this summer and I'm glad I gradually played better and worked my way up,” Padungsiriseth said. “I didn't give up and I am proud to get this win.”
Lebioda of Winter Springs, Fla., had a tournament total of 5-under-par 211to finish second. In third at 1-under-par 215 was Julian Taylor of Greenville, S.C. Tied in fourth place was Stanhope Johnson, Jr., of Greensboro, N.C., and Jonathan DiIanni of Kernersville, N.C., at even-par 216.
Playing in her first AJGA event, Sritragul was the Girls Division leader throughout the event and shot a final-round 1-under-par 71, winning the tournament by five strokes.
“I had six birdies today, my approaches were good and my putting was better than the last two days,” Sritragul said. “On No. 17 I almost got a hole-in-one. The ball lipped out, but I was so excited because I didn't expect that shot.”
Irina Paulin Gabasa of Cebu, Philippines carded the low final-round 2-under-par 70 to put her in second place with a tournament total of 2-over-par 218. In third at 9-over-par 225 was Cha Cha Willhoite of Palm Desert, 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 50 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 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.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series is a collection of nine events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15 and presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into Open tournaments. Juniors are limited to a maximum combination of five AJGA Open and Junior All-Star Series events during a calendar year. The series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events.
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, a full-time junior golf training and development program, enters its first year as an Official Partner of the AJGA. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, which will provide juniors access to national competitive golf opportunities.
For more information on the Junior All-Star at Spring Creek call National Headquarters at 770-868-4200.