AJGA ROLEX TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Chateau Elan Resort, The Legends and Chateau Courses
July 6-11, 2003
TODD CLAIMS FIRST AJGA TITLE IN A MAJOR
Park steals the show with eight-shot victory
BRASELTON, Ga. - After navigating through a round
with a number of ups and downs, Brendon Todd of Cary, N.C.,
claimed his first AJGA title at the AJGA Rolex Tournament
of Champions after carding a final-round 1-under-par 71 on
Friday. Todd's tournament total of 9-under-par 278 gave him
a two-shot victory over Brian Harman of Savannah, Ga.
In the Girls Division, In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla., continued
her stellar play from the third round as she raced away from
the field after firing a 3-under-par 69. Park's tournament
total of 2-under-par 285 left her eight shots clear of Hannah
Jun of San Diego, Calif.
The 72-hole stroke play event, conducted by the American Junior
Golf Association, featured 169 juniors during the first two
rounds, including 51 Polo Golf Junior All-Americans, ages
13-18, from 33 states and four foreign countries. The event
was held at Chateau Elan Resort on The Legends and Chateau
Courses. Play took place on The Legends and Chateau Courses
Tuesday and Wednesday before the field was cut to 61 boys
and 21 girls. The final two rounds were contested at The Legends
on Thursday and Friday.
The AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions is the longest-running
event on the AJGA schedule, now going into its 26th year.
Past champions of the event include David Duval, Charles Howell
III, Phil Mickelson, Beth Bauer and Grace Park.
Todd's victory turned out to be a well-earned one as he and
fellow competitor Harman battled it out Friday. Through four
holes, Todd was six shots clear of Harman and appeared to
be on his way to an easy victory. However, the tables began
to turn on the par-5 fifth when Todd hooked his tee shot out
of bounds en route to a double-bogey seven. Harman took advantage,
knocking his approach shot to within inches of the hole and
tapping in for birdie, cutting the lead to three.
The two continued to trade barbs throughout the afternoon
until Harman finally tied Todd at 7-under-par for the tournament
after making a birdie on the par-5 14th. However, Todd rose
to the occasion and recorded birdies on the 16th and 18th
holes to ensure the two-shot victory.
"To finally win an AJGA tournament and have it be a major
is really, really special," Todd said. "My goal
was definitely to win. I like the course a lot and I had been
playing really good."
Todd went on to stress the quality of golf that was played
in the final round.
"It was a lot of fun. Brian and I are great friends,"
Todd said. "Yet again, he was a warrior and played to
the last hole. Playing with him this Friday afternoon was
Harman recorded six birdies during his run, finishing the
day with a 3-under-par 69 and a tournament total of 7-under-par
Not to be forgotten in the mix was Daniel Im of La Habra,
Calif. Im, who struggled on the front nine, recorded a 3-under-par
33 on the back nine to finish with a four-day total of 5-under-par
282. Benjamin Alvarado of Santiago, Chile, finished in fourth
place with a tournament total of 3-under-par 284. Chris Kirk
of Woodstock, Ga., rounded out the top five with a total of
In the Girls Division, Park gave no one a chance to chip away
at the five-shot lead that she held going into the final round.
Last year's AJGA Rolex Girls Junior Championship winner and
Polo Golf Girls Junior Player of the Year took advantage of
consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 4 through 6, all but guaranteeing
the eight-shot victory.
"I'm just very happy," Park said. "It gives
me a lot of confidence going into the U.S. Junior Amateur."
Park, who on Thursday said that a score between even-par and
2-under-par in the final round would be a satisfactory performance,
was able to go beyond her aspirations with a final-round 69.
"My putts went in today," Park said. "That's
why I shot 3-under today. It was just better than yesterday."
However, Park did not record the low round of the round or
the tournament. Jun's 4-under-par 68, which included seven
birdies, gave her a tournament total of 6-over-par 293, enough
to vault her into sole possession of second place. Jenny Suh
of Fairfax, Va., rounded out the top three after firing a
final-round even-par 72. Suh's 7-over-par 294 left her seven
shots behind Park.
For more information on the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions,
call national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.
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