AJGA PING/MARSICO FUNDS COLORADO
Walking Stick Golf Course
June 3-6, 2003
BLUMENHERST, HERMES CLAIM TITLES
AT PING/MARSICO FUNDS COLORADO JUNIOR ROUNDUP
Blumenherst goes deep, while Hermes wins playoff
PUEBLO, Colo. - The roads they took were different,
but the destinations were the same for Amanda Blumenherst
of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Jake Hermes of Durango, Colo., who
claimed the titles Friday at the PING/Marsico Funds Colorado
The 54-hole event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association,
took place at Walking Stick Golf Course and featured an 84-player
field with 63 boys and 21 girls.
For her part, Blumenherst made it look easy. With 12 birdies
and only five missed greens for the week, she finished the
tournament 13 strokes above the competition, shooting 5-under-par
with rounds of 73-70-68-211. Blumenherst led wire to wire,
and as her scores fell lower each round, her lead grew larger.
"The first round showed me where I stood among the competition,"
she said. "From there, I just focused on my own game.
I just want to play my best."
Although she played consistently throughout the tournament,
Blumenherst played the front nine at Walking Stick exceptionally
well, carding a 31 and 32 on the front side in the final two
rounds. On Friday, she made consecutive birdies on holes 7,
8, and 9, then coasted through her final nine holes with nine
pars. Blumenherst said her confidence in her approach shots
helped her focus more on her putting.
"I was dropping a lot of putts today," she said.
"And I've been hitting my irons so well, I can just trust
I'll play all right."
Heather Wright of Houston took second place with 77-75-72-224,
while third place went to Ashley Rollins of Austin, Texas,
who totaled 79-75-72-226.
Unlike the girls, the boys' title was up for grabs heading
into the final hole. Playing together in the final pairing,
Hermes trailed Derek Tolan of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and
Geoff Mead of Rapid City, S.D., by one stroke as the group
teed off on 18. There, Hermes drained a 30-foot birdie putt
over a ridge on the 18th green to force a sudden-death playoff
with Mead, who got up and down from a bunker to save par.
Tolan three-putted from 70 feet on the severely undulated
green to fall one shot behind Hermes and Mead.
In the playoff, Hermes and Mead took another shot at the 18th
hole, but this time, a par was all Hermes needed to secure
his second career AJGA victory after Mead lipped out his par
Hermes led after firing a 68 in the first round of the tournament,
but fell behind Tolan and Mead when he shot a 77 in the stormy
second round. After starting the final round three shots behind
the leader Tolan, Hermes said it was the high level of competition
that drove him to finish strong.
"I like being in the final group and watching what the
other guys are doing," said Hermes, who finished at 4-over-par
with rounds of 68-77-72-217. "It was great for me to
feed off of Derek and Geoff."
Mead carded rounds of 70-73-74-217 to earn his highest career
AJGA finish, while third-place finisher Tolan narrowly missed
his second straight AJGA victory with rounds of 70-72-76-218.
Three players shared fourth place at 223, including Zach Fullerton
Jesse Barnsley, both of Albuquerque, N.M., and Dean Merrill
of Kansas City, Mo.
For more information on the PING/Marsico Funds Colorado Junior
Roundup, please contact AJGA headquarters at (877) 373-2542.
Polo Golf Rankings
1. Eugene Hong
2. Davis Shore
3. Andy Zhang
(China) Winter Garden, Fla.
4. Noah Goodwin
5. Norman Xiong
Canyon Lake, Calif.
|| 1. Kaitlyn Papp
|| 2. Mariel Galdiano
Pearl City, Hawaii
|| 3. Kristen Gillman
|| 4. Jaravee Boonchant
(Thailand) Bradenton, Fla.
|| 5. Yujeong Son
(South Korea) Norman, Okla.
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* Won via sudden-death playoff