Thomas, Gojuangco, and Rudy Share Victory at Preseason Junior at Oak Valley
Vu wins Girls Division Oak Valley Golf Club
BEAUMONT, Calif. — Zane Thomas of Las Vegas, Bobby Gojuangco of San Diego, and Andrew Rudy of San Diego each shot a 3-over-par 147 36-hole total to tie for medalist honors at the Preseason Junior at Oak Valley. In the Girls Division, Lilia Vu shot a 2-under-par 70 Sunday to finish four shots clear of her nearest competitor. All four medalists were playing in their first AJGA tournament.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Oak Valley featured 95 boys and girls, ages 12-18, from nine states and Canada. The 36-hole stroke play event was held at the par-72 Oak Valley Golf Club. The Boys Division played the course at 6,812 yards while the Girls Division played at 5,831 yards.
The Preseason Junior at Oak Valley is one of eight events held as part of the Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series. The Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.
Thomas was in and out of the lead all day. He and Gojuangco both played in the final group, as they traded birdies and bogies with no knowledge that Rudy was posting a low number several holes ahead.
“Bobby got off to a quick start and I thought that if I caught him I would win,” Thomas said. “I grinded it out all day. I made a 30-foot putt to save bogey on No. 17 and I knew it was in my grasp.”
Gojuangco started off on a torrid pace, making birdie on three of his first four holes. A high school teammate of Rudy, he is excited to return home with a victory.
“We can bring two trophies home to our coach now,” Gojuangco said. “I came in with no expectations this week. I just hit it close and made putts.”
Rudy totaled five birdies on his card, including three in his last five holes. He indicated that his putting got him into a rhythm.
“I started making everything,” said Rudy, who shot 69, the low round of the day. “When you see the ball go in the hole, it puts less pressure on your ball-striking.”
Brett Silvernail of Ventura, Calif., and Justin Pagila of Dublin, Calif., tied for fourth at 4-over-par 148.
In the Girls Division, Vu, who started on No. 10, played the back-nine at 2-under-par, creating distance between herself and the field. She never looked back, as she putted her way to her first AJGA victory. A 12-footer for birdie on No. 18 gave her confidence at the turn.
“Playing in my first AJGA tournament, I was nervous,” Vu said. “But I tried to play my game and not care about anything else.”
In second-place, Raegan Bremer of Anaheim Hills, Calif., finished four shots behind Vu at 6-over-par 150. Alexia Gariepy of Murrieta, Calif., finished third at 10-over-par 154.
GOLF ACADEMY OF AMERICA, with campuses located in San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando and Myrtle Beach, is the oldest and largest two-year golf career college in the world. GAA's 16-month program balances classroom studies, practical experience and comprehensive understanding of the business of golf. For more information, call 800-342-7342 or visit http://www.golfacademy.edu.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
For more information about the Preseason Junior at Oak Valley, please call AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.