LEVITT COMES FROM SIX BACK TO WIN AT MADERAS GOLF CLUB
Morris wins Girls Division in sudden-death playoff at the Emerson Junior Golf Classic
POWAY, calif. — The final round of the Emerson Junior Golf Classic proved to be exhilarating after both the Boys and Girls Divisions were forced to go to sudden-death playoffs. Andrew Levitt of Laguna Niguel, Calif., Michael Moorhead of Newport Beach, Calif., and Preston Valder of Yorba Linda, Calif., entered a three-way sudden-death playoff after each shot three-day totals of 6-under-par 210. Levitt held strong through two playoff holes to take the win. After shooting a three-day total of 2-under-par 214, Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif., took home the win for the Girls Division defeating Emily Tubert of Burbank, Calif., on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Emerson Junior Golf Classic was a 54-hole stroke-play event held at Maderas Golf Club. The tournament field featured 57 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 10 states and Canada. The Boys Division played the par-72 course from 7,084 yards, while the Girls Division played at 6,065 yards.
Levitt started the round six shots behind Moorhead, who was the leader after the second round. He began the day with hopes of securing himself a top-five finish, but didn’t expect to win. He started the round off on the right foot with a birdie on No. 1. Despite a bogey on No. 5, Levitt remain levelheaded and managed to birdie No. 8, which lead into a streak of four birdies in five holes.
“It wasn’t until I hit those three birdies on Nos. 10, 11 and 12 that I thought, ‘wow I could win this thing’,” Levitt said.
Levitt’s phenomenal round only got better as the round went on. As he approached the 450 yard par-4 No. 16, Levitt began to feel the weight of the day on his shoulders.
“I was 5-under-par for the day and feeling the pressure to make birdie,” Levitt said. “I was about 170 yards away from the pin and I stuck it to two feet for the birdie.”
Levitt went on to birdie No. 18, and found himself waiting and hoping for a playoff. After two more birdies on No. 18 during the playoff, Levitt walked away with his first AJGA victory.
Moorhead and Valder tied for second, each with three-day totals of 6-under-par 210. Trevor Simsby of La Costa, Calif., and Ramsey Sahyoun of Reseda, Calif., tied for fourth after each shot 4-under-par 212.
In the Girls Division, Morris took the win at Maderas Golf Club. She entered the round excited and eager to play.
“I have been playing really well, so I was really excited and anxious to get out on the course all morning.” Morris said.
Her confidence was evident as she effortlessly birdied Nos. 2, 3 and 4. She struggled with Nos. 6 and 9, but finished the front even-par. Morris continued her steady play on the back and finished the round even-par for a three-day total of 2-under-par 216. The Emerson Junior Golf Classic marks Morris’s last golf event of the summer.
“It’s a nice way to end the summer,” Morris said. “It’s been a solid summer for me and this was really the icing on the cake. I am really proud of how I played this week.”
Tubert finished with a three-day total of 2-under-par 214 for second. Coming in third, after shooting 69, to finish the tournament even-par was Danielle Kang of Thousand Oaks, 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 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 Emerson Junior Golf Classic, please call National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.