Eagle Helps McLeod Soar to the Top at Mexican Golf Federation Junior Open
Ruiz tops Girls Division in sudden-death playoff at El Tigre Golf & Country Club at the Riviera Nayarit
NUEVO VALLARTA, Nayarit, Mexico — Kraig McLeod of Pebble Beach, Calif., posted a tournament-total even-par 216 to take home the title at the Mexican Golf Federation Junior Open. Ana Ruiz of Chihuahua, México, fought through a sudden-death playoff to claim the top spot in the Girls Division with a three-day total 10-over-par 226.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Mexican Golf Federation Junior Open was a 54-hole stroke play event held at El Tigre Golf & Country Club at the Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallarta, Narayit, México. The 67-player field featured junior golfers from six states, México and Canada. The Boys Division played the course at 6,960 yards while the Girls Division played at 5,987 yards.
McLeod credited his putting game as an essential tool to help him win the tournament. He rounded out the back nine with an impressive eagle on No. 14.
“I hit a big drive, and the downwind was perfect for a 6-iron which left it 10 feet from the hole,” McLeod said. “Then I hit it right in the heart.”
Patrick Sanchez of Mazatlan, México, and Christopher Macasaet of Rancho Murieta, Calif., tied for second place with a score of 2-over-par 218. Andrew Buchanan of Los Altos Hills, Calif., Sam Chun of Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., and Domenico Geminiani of Bradenton, Fla., all tied for fourth place with scores of 3-over-par 219.
Playing in her native country, Ana Ruiz stayed focused throughout the round. After a double-bogey on the last hole, which led to the sudden-death playoff, Ruiz shook off the nerves to sink in the winning putt.
“Throughout the playoff, I felt a little pressure but controlling the pressure is key,” Ruiz said. “I'm at home here in México, so knowing that made me feel more comfortable.”
Finishing in second place was Ana Laura Gomez of Morelia, México, with a score of 10-over-par 226. Robynn Ree of Redondo Beach, Calif., rounded out the Girls Division shooting a 12-over-par 228.
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 Pressel.
For more information about the Mexican Golf Federation Junior Open, please contact AJGA Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.