Behr Prowls The Country Club of the South for First AJGA Victory
Feng finishes on top in girls division of Exide Technologies Junior Open
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Stephen Behr, Jr., of Florence, S.C., and Simin Feng of Orlando, Fla., both took advantage of the fresh start at the Exide Technologies Junior Open on their way to winning their respective divisions. Behr fired a 3-under-par 69 and Feng shot a 1-under-par 71 after both got off to shaky starts on Saturday in what would have been the first round before inclement weather cancelled the round.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, The Exide Technologies Junior Open was an 18-hole stroke play event held at The Country Club of the South. The 78-player field featured players from 16 states, Canada and Northern Ireland. The Boys Division played The Country Club of the South at 6,901 yards, while the Girls Division played at 6,203 yards.
Behr got off to a hot start by carding birdies on three of his first six holes and felt confident in his putter all day. He only used one putt on each of his first seven holes on his way to a two-stroke victory in his first AJGA win.
“It's a tight course and that puts a lot of emphasis on my short game and that is the best part of my game,” Behr said. “This course really sets up well for my game.”
Billy Kennerly of Alpharetta, Ga., finished in second place on his home course after shooting a 1-under-par 71. Drew Czuchry of Auburn, Ga., and Stewart Jolly of Birmingham, Ala., tied for third place at even-par 72. Tom Lovelady of Birmingham, Ala., JD Tomlinson of Gainesville, Fla., and Clancy Waugh of North Palm Beach, Fla., each shot 1-over-par 73 and tied for fifth place.
After Feng got off to a strong start on the front nine, shooting a 3-under-par 33, she ran into a road bump with a double bogey on No. 14. However, she bounced right back with consecutive birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 that included hitting her 112-yard approach shot on No. 15 to five feet from the flagstick.
“After the double bogey, I was feeling a little down,” Feng said. “I had a good drive on No. 15 and a good shot in. I left myself with a good chance for birdie and I was able to make it.”
Samantha Wagner of Clermont, Fla., had a 40-foot putt on No. 18 that would have forced a playoff with Feng, but her attempt came up two feet short. Wagner finished in second place with an even-par 72. Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga., shot a 3-over-par 75 on her way to a third place finish.
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 Exide Technologies Junior Open, call AJGA Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.