CLEVELAND JUNIOR OPEN
Red Tail Golf Club
Avon, Ohio •
June 28 - July 1
First-Time Champion Ruffino Conquers Cleveland
Luo wins second-career playoff with a victory at Red
Tail Golf Club
Ohio — Francesco
Ruffino of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., finished with a total of 7-over-par 223 Thursday
to take the Boys Division win. Linda Luo of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., battled through
a sudden-death playoff to win the Girls Division at 8-over-par 224.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf
Association, the Cleveland Junior Open was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Red
Tail Golf Club in Avon, Ohio. The 120-player field featured 88 boys and 29
girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and
Colombia. The par-72 course was played from 6,954 yards in the Boys Division
and 6,151 yards in the Girls Division.
With the lead heading into the final
round, Ruffino started the day with a double bogey, but continued with seven
straight pars and picked up a pair of 20-foot putts to make back-to-back
birdies on Nos. 14 and 15.
Ruffino bogeyed No. 16 to tie with Avon,
Ohio local, Beau Titsworth.
“I knew I was tied after No. 17,”
Ruffino said. “I wasn’t sure what he (Titsworth) did on No. 18, so I thought,
alright just make a par and maybe get into a playoff. I really wasn’t sure.”
In only his second AJGA Open event,
Ruffino gained his first ever win with a par on No. 18 to card a 76 for the day.
Just last week, Ruffino tied for 12th at the Natural Resource
Partners Bluegrass Junior in Ashland, Ky.
“It’s only my second AJGA event, so it’s
nice to win,” Ruffino said. “You see those players who are fully exempt and it’s
been a goal of mine. It’s nice that my name is finally there.”
Tied for second in the Boys Division at
9-over-par 225 were Titsworth, Sebastian Barnoya of Guatemala, Guatemala, and
Andrew Fogg of Greenwood, Ind. In fifth at 11-over-par 227 was Scott Smith of
Pepper Pike, Ohio.
A five-way tie for first at 8-over-par
224 forced Luo, Samantha Swinehart of Lancaster, Ohio, Allison Harper of
Columbus, Ohio, Pei-Chun Chen of Bradenton, Fla., and Laura Murray of Tipp
City, Ohio to compete in a sudden-death playoff.
The four-hole playoff ended with
Swinehart and Luo on the par-5 13th hole. Luo made a four-foot putt
for birdie to beat Swinehart who made par after a two-putt.
This wasn’t Luo’s first experience with
a playoff. In June, Luo won the AJGA Sarasota Junior after a three-way sudden
“I’ve done this before so I was just
calm,” said Luo who carded four birdies to shoot 73 on the day. “After you’ve
been in a playoff, you are more relaxed and less nervous.”
Tied for second after the playoff were
Swinehart, Harper, Chen and Murray.
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. 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. 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
For more information about the Cleveland
Junior Open, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at 770-868-4200 or visit
the website at www.ajga.org.
The American Junior Golf Foundation is the primary recipient of all charitable giving to the AJGA and as such administers a variety of programs designed to compliment the AJGA and the members and families who make up our community. Learn more about these important programs and how your contributions to the Foundation secure the AJGA’s financial future for future generations to come.
The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program provides financial assistance to junior golfers who wish to play in AJGA events. Its goal is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources. This program helps to fulfill the AJGA’s mission of developing young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
What is Leadership Links?
Leadership Links is a new program whereby the AJGA is able to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the AJGA youth development programs. Please click here to learn more about the program and the different opportunities available.
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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.