McDaniel, Mao win first titles at Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star
Early round leaders hang on to take home championships
RINGGOLD, Ga. — Tyler McDaniel of Manchester, Ky., posted a 1-under-par 69 on the final day and finished with a 6-under-par 204 tournament total to win the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star. Janet Mao of Johns Creek, Ga., carded a 6-over-par 216 tournament total to claim the Girls Division.
The Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star is one of 10 events in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series. Specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series presents opportunities for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments. The Series concludes with the Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series events. The Boys Division played the par-70 WindStone Golf Club at 6,349 yards, while the Girls Division played at 5,660 yards.
McDaniel was able to hang onto his lead after the first two days, and finished strong with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to win his first AJGA tournament.
“I mishit my tee-shot a bit on No. 18, but it still ended up in the fairway,” he said. “The approach shot was pretty funny. It was about 180 yards uphill, which could be a 5 iron on some days. I just felt the adrenaline pumping and took out a 7 iron and landed it a little bit short, which is what I planned to do, and it rolled up to about 8 feet short of the hole. Then I had a clutch putt.”
Zachary Healy of Norcross, Ga., finished second with a 4-under-par 206, and Sam Burns of Shreveport, La., came in third with a 3-under-par 207. Corey Carlson of Green Cove Springs, Fla., was fourth with a 1-under-par 209, and Zachary Hoskins of Orlando, Fla., finished fifth carding an even-par 210.
Mao won her first tournament after hanging on to her lead after the first two rounds, but started off a bit shaky.
“I began the round with back-to-back bogeys, and I was trying to make up for that all day,” she said. “It was a really tough course, especially the front nine.”
Taylor Tomlinson of Gainesville, Fla., came in second place with an 8-over-par 218 tournament total. Isabella Skinner of Cumming, Ga., and Sabrina Long of Alpharetta, Ga., both finished with a 10-over-par 220 to tie for third.
GARY GILCHRIST GOLF ACADEMY, a full-time signature golf instruction program located in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., began as an Official Partner of the AJGA in 2009. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series for juniors ages 12-15.
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, 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 on the Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.