AJGA I.R.I. GOLF GROUP OAKRIDGE
Oakridge Country Club
August 11-14, 2003
LEON COMES FROM FOUR BACK TO WIN AT OAKRIDGE
Schultz goes wire-to-wire to record second AJGA title
GARLAND, Texas - Taylor Leon of Dallas overcame a
four-shot deficit and finished with a three-day total of 14-over-par
227 to win her first individual AJGA title by two strokes
at the AJGA I.R.I. Golf Group Oakridge Junior.
Kevin Schultz of Richardson, Texas, ran away with the Boys Division. His three-day total of 6-under-par 207 gave him a wire-to-wire win and his second AJGA title.
The I.R.I Golf Group Oakridge Junior, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, was contested at Oakridge Country Club in Garland, Texas. The field consisted of 99 juniors from eight states, including 78 from the state of Texas. The Boys Division measured out at 6,542 yards, and the Girls Division played to 6,038 yards.
In the Girls Division, Leon, who helped the West team to a victory in the 2003 AGJA Canon Cup last week, put some advice from her brother Trent to good use.
"He said 'Just go out and play for par every hole and birdies will come,'" Leon said. "So every hole, I just tried to play for par. He said that (strategy has) helped him lately, so I thought I'd take his advice."
Leon made par on 11 consecutive holes including eight of the nine on the back side. Leon also made par on the difficult 18th, which played as the most difficult hole on the course Thursday.
Rebecca Kuhn of Miami entered the final round with the lead, but Leon made it clear that the lead was not safe. On the third hole, Leon had drawn within one stroke, and after nine holes, Kuhn's lead had dropped to two strokes. Leon shot a 4-over-par 40 on the front nine.
Leon, who only made one bogey on the back nine, then drew even on the 13th hole. Leon moved into the lead on the 15th hole as she made par and Kuhn recorded a double bogey.
"I'm so excited; I can't believe I finally won," Leon said. "I've played really well lately. It's been a good couple of weeks."
Amanda Martinez of San Antonio, Texas, tied Leon for the low round of the day, a 5-over-par 76. The score moved Martinez up to second with a three-day total of 16-over-par 229. Stefanie Page of The Woodlands, Texas, hung with Leon for part of the afternoon but did not have enough to catch Leon. Page finished in third, three shots behind Leon with a three-day total of 17-over-par 230.
With a three-day total of 20-over-par 233, Kuhn dropped to fourth.
Because of the strong play of Schultz, who began the day with a four-stroke advantage, there was little doubt as to the finish. As he did the first two days, Schultz kept the field at arm's length by recording birdie after birdie. Schultz fired a final-round best 4-under-par 67 en route to a 10-shot win.
"To win one of these bigger (tournaments) means a lot to me," Schultz said. "To even do it wire-to-wire that's pretty cool because it's pretty hard to hold on to (the lead) for three days."
Schultz won his first event at a Callaway Golf Junior All-Star Classic in 2002.
Even though he gave back a shot at the par-4 eighth, Schultz picked up birdies on the third, sixth and seventh holes. Schultz followed his 2-under-par 34 front nine with a bogey-free 2-under-par 33 on the back nine.
The key to Schultz's ease in the final round was his solid play on the final four holes, where most of the players in the field had problems. He parred all four holes.
Schultz shared the low-final round honors with Brain Ault of Mesquite, Texas, as Ault also carded a 4-under-par 67.
Three players finished tied in a distant second place. Colton Williams of Jacksboro, Texas, Nick Olivarri of San Antonio, Texas, and Brian Ricketts of Highland Village, Texas recorded three-day totals of 4-over-par 217. Olivarri made a tournament-best 14 birdies, but because of a second round 7-over-par 78, did not contend for the title.
Weldon Martin of Houston, Texas, rounded out the top five with a three-day total of 5-over-par 218.
For more information on the tournament, please call AJGA national headquarters at (877) 373-2542.