THUNDERBIRD INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR
Grayhawk Golf Club, Raptor Course
May 23-26, 2003
HARMAN FINISHES AT 9-UNDER TO WIN
HIS FIRST NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
Knoll takes the title in the Girls Division
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga., picked up his first national win Monday with a final round of 3-under-par 69 and he did it amongst the best junior golfers in the world at the Thunderbird International Junior. Ashley Knoll of The Woodlands, Texas, took the title in the Girls Division for her first major championship.
The 54-hole stroke play event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 84 players from 20 states, Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Sweden. Sixty-six members of the Polo Golf Junior All-America teams were entered in the event held on the Raptor Course of Grayhawk Golf Club. The Thunderbirds, Grayhawk Golf Club, the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation and the AJGA are all partners in the international event. Mickelson served as the honorary tournament chairman at his home course.
Harman, a lefty, entered the final round with a one-shot lead over Song Jeon of Ocala, Fla., while Anthony Kim of La Quinta, Calif., was three shots off the pace. Harman carded three birdies on the front nine to make the turn at 3-under-par 33. He then parred all the way in for the one shot win.
"I knocked down about a 20-foot putt for birdie on No. 6 and after that, I thought I would probably play pretty well," Harman said.
Harman held off a strong charge from Kim who carded six birdies on the day. Harman headed to the tee on No. 18 with a two-stroke lead. Kim hit the par-5 18th hole in two, while Harman played it safe. Kim had a 15-foot putt for eagle to send the championship to a playoff. He lipped out the putt and tapped in for birdie while Harman made his par putt.
"When it (the eagle putt) was about half way to the hole, I saw it had too much speed and I knew I had won it," Harman said.
"This tournament was No. 1 on my summer schedule and I was really looking forward to it," he continued. "This is the best field all year and I really wanted to do well here. This is probably the most stressful tournament I have ever played in, though."
Harman finished with a tournament total of 9-under-par 207, while Kim who fired a 67 in the final round, finished one shot back at 8-under-par 208. Tied for third at 213 were Song Jeon of Ocala, Fla., and Brendon Todd of Cary, N.C. Rounding out the top five was Joshua Wooding of Riverside, Calif.
In the Girls Division, Knoll played a steady round and carded an even-par 72 to finish the tournament at 3-under-par 213. She finished with three birdies on the day, including one on No. 15 that she said got her back on track.
"I thought if I shot even-par today that I would win," she said. "After the birdie on No. 15, I was just trying to get it to 1-under for the day. I was just playing the course and not worrying about the other people."
"This win feels awesome," the Oklahoma State-signee said. "I played three great rounds and I just feel honored to win such a great event."
Two shots back after carding a 1-under-par 71 on the day to finish at 1-under-par 215 was local talent Amanda Blumenherst of Scottsdale. Brittany Lincicome of Seminole, Fla., took third place with a tournament total of even-par 216. Hannah Jun of San Diego, Calif., placed fourth at 217 while Lauren Todd of Phoenix and Julieta Granada of Bradenton, Fla., round out the top five at 220.