Preseason Junior at White Hawk Presented by South Shore Sports Features Down-to-the-Wire Finishes
Utter, Tenhundfeld edge out competitors to claim medalist honors at White Hawk Country Club
CROWN POINT, Ind. — In a race to the finish in the Boys Division, Ryan Utter of New Lenox, Ill., beat out fellow competitors to claim medalist honors with his 8-over-par 152. Similarly, Megan Tenhundfeld of Loveland, Ohio, claimed medalist honors in the Girls Division with her 14-over-par 158.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at White Hawk presented by South Shore Sports was a 36-hole stroke play event at White Hawk Country Club on the Red and Silver courses. The Boys Division played the course at 6,629 yards while the Girls Division played at 5,573 yards. The 92-player field featured players from 10 states and Canada.
Tied in second place behind the leader by three strokes after the first round, Utter knew he had some obstacles to overcome in order to come out on top in his first AJGA appearance.
“I was grinding all day out there,” Utter said. “The wind made it tough, but I love playing in these conditions. You really have to get creative with your shots and use your imagination.”
Utter's biggest obstacle was his final hole, No. 18, where he started the hole tied for the lead with first-round leader Austin Cuervo, of Westerville, Ohio.
“Austin and I both hit good drives on No. 18, so I knew it would come down to our putting,” Utter said. “I started to feel the pressure when I hit my ball into the bunker, but I got up and down. My putting really saved me.”
Cuervo bogeyed No. 18 while Utter made par to edge him one stroke ahead for the win.
After fighting hard during the final round, Cuervo of Westerville, Ohio finished in second place with a 9-over-par 153. Chad Ransom of Blacklick, Ohio, posted a 10-over-par 154 to finish in third place. Tied in fourth place with a 11-over-par 155 was Jake Andrews of St. Louis and Harrison Boling of Hinsdale, Ill.
Appearing in the Preseason Junior at White Hawk Presented By South Shore Sports for the second straight year, Tenhundfeld wanted her finish this year to be much better than the last. Even though Tenhundfeld struggled with the wind yesterday, she was pleased with her overall score but knew she came up short on some drives.
“Today I really wanted to focus on the length of my drives more,” Tenhundfeld said. “I wanted to make sure they were in the fairway, but not too short.”
Tenhundfeld had solid fairway shots, but recalls No. 11 as the key to her victory.
“No. 11 is a difficult par-5 hole and yesterday I had a double bogey,” Tenhundfeld said. “But today, I had a birdie that tied me with the leader going into the final hole.”
Tied for second place in the Girls Division was Meghan McDougall of Markham, Ontario and Ellen Kehoe of Campbellsville, Ky., with 15-over-par 159s.
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 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.
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 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 Preseason Junior at White Hawk presented by South Shore Sports, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.