EDGES PAST COMPETITORS IN PLAYOFF TO TAKE WIN
White survives marathon week to win first AJGA title
N.C. - Glenn Northcutt of Dothan, Ala., is the champion
in the Boys Division of the AJGA IRI Golf Group Highland Creek
Junior after making a birdie putt in a four-way sudden-death
playoff. Qualifier medalist Dolores White of Lakeland, Fla.,
shot a 2-over-par 74 to earn her way to the top of the Girls
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the field featured 102 players, 81 boys and 21 girls, from 16 states, France and England. The field featured 45 North Carolina natives and 12 from the Charlotte area.
Northcutt had a rough start after being 3-over-par after the first two holes, but he pulled it together with three birdies on Nos. 3, 12, and 14, for a score of 4-over-par 76 and a spot in the sudden-death playoff.
"Honestly I did not hit the ball well," said the 16-year-old. "But I never got down and tried to stay focused," he said.
The playoff included Clint Smith of Asheboro, N.C., Noah Goldman of Longwood, Fla., and Ryan Leveque of Charlotte, N.C. Smith and Goldman were tied with Northcutt for a share of the second-round lead. Leveque carded a 1-over-par 73 in the final round for his spot.
Northcutt (74-71-76221) decided before his round to take out his gap wedge and replace it with his 5-wood.
"I am so thankful I exchanged my clubs because I could not have won the playoff without it. I thought it would be tough for me because two of the guys could hit irons off the tee and I knew I needed a five-wood."
Northcutt won the playoff on the first hole after Smith and Goldman carded a par and Leveque bogeyed the hole.
Rounding out the Boys Division top-five are Leveque (80-68-73221); Goldman (75-70-76221); Smith (70-75-76221). Mark Harrell of Hazelhurst, Ga., (70-82-72224) and Tully Colyle of Charlotte, N.C., (76-69-79224) tied for a fifth-place finish.
In the Girls Division, White played steady as she was even through eight holes but then bogeyed No. 9. White rebounded on No. 11 for her lone birdie of the day after she hit a 6-iron pin high and putted in a ten-foot birdie. White credits her win to her adjustment in her swing.
"I tweaked my swing a couple of weeks ago and now it is finally coming together," said the 15-year-old. "I knew it would take time, but I am happy it finally worked for me in this tournament."
White, who hit 14 greens on Thursday, felt her putting stroke had better rhythm today than the other days of the tournament.
"I was focused more today than I was the past two days,"she said.
Rounding out the top three girls are Margaret Shirley of Rosewell, Ga., (74-78-76-228) and Stephanie Derrey of Neuilly sur Seine, France, (84-75-78-237).
The tournament marks White's first win with the AJGA. White placed eighth at the AJGA Nike Golf Junior All-Star at Jacksonville and twelfth at the AJGA Buick Junior Open presented by Golfweek.
For more information of the AJGA IRI Golf Group Highland Creek Junior call AJGA national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.