HOFFENBERG'S SCORE SINKS AS WIND SOARS
17-year-old Simi Valley, Calif., resident medals with 147 tournament total
LAGUNA VISTA, Texas - Danny Hoffenberg of Simi Valley, Calif., claimed medalist honors at the AJGA Ashworth Postseason Junior at South Padre Island after firing a 74-73-147 tournament total Sunday. His 1-over-par final round 73 came amid a stiff Gulf of Mexico wind that had gusts upward of 30 miles per hour.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ashworth Postseason Junior at South Padre Island featured 54 junior boys from six states. Forty-three players in the field hail from the Lone Star State.
Hoffenberg's round, which began on No. 10 after an 8 a.m. shotgun start, got off to a steady start. He made par on his first six holes before double-bogeying the 420-yard par-4, 16th, the only blemish on his first nine. After making the turn to the front side at 4-over-par for the tournament, he birdied No. 1, a 395-yard par-4, and tried to set the tone for the remainder of his round.
"After I made double, I just tried to make birdie on every hole," the high school junior said. "I didn't think an over par score would win, so I just tried to make birdies. I play my best when I'm playing for birdie, no matter how hard the hole is."
He had two more hiccups as he came down the stretch when he bogeyed both Nos. 4 and 5. He played his final five holes at 2-under-par, though, with birdies on Nos. 7 and 9, giving him the outright one-shot lead.
"After I had those two bogeys, I knew I couldn't make any more mistakes," he said. "I got my confidence back and the birdies just sort of followed."
By firing the low 36-hole total, Hoffenberg received three AJGA Open tournament exemptions into 2004 events.
"Now that I know I can play, it sets up my whole next summer," he explained. "Next summer is really important if I want to get a golf scholarship for college. Now I know I will be where the coaches are watching."
Justin Bond of Rockwall, Texas, closed with an even-par 72 to card the low round of the tournament and grab runner-up honors at 148. Brandon Eaton of Houston, Texas, finished alone in third place at 73-78-151. Houston natives Douglas Schnitzer and Blake Nommensen round out the top five at 152.
In addition to the three exemptions earned by Hoffenberg, players in the top five earned two exemptions, while those who finished in the top 15 earned one.
The AJGA Ashworth Preseason/Postseason Junior Series is a boys-only series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those who have yet to compete in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or AJGA Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event. For those who are eligible, participation is limited to one Preseason event and one Postseason event per calendar year as long as the junior did not participate in any of the above events.
The series is now in its fourth year and has grown to 10 events nationally, all conducted by the AJGA. Other Postseason events will also be taking place in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Hagerstown, Md., Gainesville, Fla., and Norman, Okla.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA, the largest association of its kind, has a junior membership of approximately 5,000 juniors (boys and girls ages 13-18) from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
For more information about the AJGA Ashworth Postseason Junior
at South Padre Island, or any AJGA tournament, please contact
the Association's National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542.