McCoy, Wagner both finish strong to claim victory at Exide Technologies Junior Open presented by Mizuno
McCoy earns first AJGA win while Wagner achieves victory at Exide after two straight second-place finishes
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. Lee McCoy of Clarkesville, Ga. and Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla. came out as champions at the 2012 Exide Technologies Junior Open presented by Mizuno at The Country Club of the South. McCoy shot a 2-under-par 70 in the first round, and was the only player in the Boys Division to finish both rounds under par after carding a 1-under-par 71 in Sunday's final round. Wagner held onto her lead by finishing the second round with a 2-under-par 70, to put her two-round tournament total at 6-under-par 138, also the only player in her field to finish both rounds under par.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Exide Technologies Junior Open presented by Mizuno was a 36-hole stroke play competition at The Country Club of the South. The boys played at par-72, 6,893 yards, and the girls played at par-72, 5,941 yards. The 78-player field featured boys and girls from 17 states and eight foreign countries.
McCoy shot 1-over-par on the front nine, but finished strongly by shooting 2-under on the back nine, including a 20-foot birdie on No. 18 that would eventually turn out to be the deciding factor to seal his first AJGA win.
The putt for birdie on 18 was the longest putt I made all week, he said. I wasn't completely sure it was going to go in, but it felt great when it did.
McCoy came into Sunday's final round tied for second place, three strokes behind first-round leader Brandon Pierce of Covington, La.
I was keeping track of the leader group by looking back at the standard bearers behind us and going into No. 17 I knew that I was 2-under, McCoy went on to add. I was thinking to myself, I wonder what third is right now, do I need to make a par?', so my goal on No. 18 was to make par and earn some performance stars and be on my way. I didn't expect to make a birdie and win.
In the Boys Division, Joshua Martin of Pinehurst, N.C. finished one stroke behind McCoy with a tournament total of 142, 2-under-par. Grant Daugherty of Alcoa, Tenn. finished in third place with a two-round total of 1-under-par 143, and tied for fourth place in the Boys Division were Nick Hardy of Northbrook, Ill. and Zachary Healy of Norcross, Ga., who both finished with a tournament total of even par 144.
Wagner entered the second round as the Girls Division leader after carding a 4-under-par first-round 68. She had been quite close to victory at The Country Club of the South the past two years, finishing in second place in 2011 and 2010.
I was trying to stay calm and not get too nervous, she said. I didn't want to get ahead of myself. I just wanted to come out here and hit some fairways and greens and just do what I did [in the first round].
In the Girls Division, Wagner finished five strokes ahead of second-place finisher Cindy Ha, of Demarest, N.J., who carded a tournament total of 143, 1-under-par. Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga., Rachel Dai of Milton, Ga., Annie Park of Levittown, N.Y., Jessica Haigwood of Roswell, Ga. and Sophia Schubert of Oak Ridge, Tenn. all tied for third place with a tournament total of 2-over-par 146.
About the AJGA
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 5,500 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 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.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
For more information about the Exide Technologies Junior Open presented by Mizuno, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.