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Aug. 4, 2014

AJGA juniors sweep Junior PGA Championship

AJGA juniors Sam Burns and Kristen Gillman won the 39th Junior PGA Championship presented by Under Armour and Genesis Networks hosted at Miramont Country Club in Bryan, Texas. Gillman, of Austin, Texas, pulled away from the competition early and never looked back, carding a 16-under-par 268. Her score broke the four-round record at Miramont Country Club by three strokes, previously held by AJGA alumna Aree Song.
 
The Girls Division champion held a seven-stroke lead over fellow AJGA player Bethany Wu entering the final round, but she opened with three birdies to set the tone for her victory. The other four players in the top five were also AJGA juniors, Wu of Diamond Bar, California, Hannah O’Sullivan of Paradise Valley, Arizona, Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Florida, and Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Florida, taking second through fifth, respectively.
 
Gillman followed up her 2013 Rolex Junior All-America honors with another strong summer, finishing in the top six in her three AJGA appearances, including a runner-up finish at the Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions. The Alabama verbal-commit holds one AJGA victory at the 2013 Genesis Shootout presented by the Valero Texas Open.
 
In the Boys Division, Burns, a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, had to hold off stiff competition through all four rounds. Burns’ consistent play earned him the championship, shooting at or below par in all four rounds and carding a 10-under-par 274.
 
His third-round score of 6-under-par 65 was enough to establish a four-stroke lead heading into the final round to hold off fellow AJGA junior Gordon Neale, who surged in the final 18 holes, firing eight birdies en route to a 4-under-par 67 round to finish second. Neale, of Dove Canyon, California, also posted the lowest individual round in the Boys Division during the second round, carding a 7-under-par 64. The top five also included AJGA boys Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas, and Brad Dalke of Hobart, Oklahoma, tied for third, and Phillip Barbaree, also from Shreveport, Louisiana, in fifth.
 
Burns is enjoying a summer of success, having won the Rolex Tournament of Champions in June. Additionally, he took third place at the Thunderbird International Junior in May and was a Wyndham Cup participant, playing for the West. The LSU verbal-commit is also a two-time Rolex Junior All-American.