ROLEX TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Sunriver Resort ‚Äď Crosswater Course
July 5-9, 2004
LOVEMARK STORMS TO VICTORY IN ROLEX TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
Pressel comes from behind to capture Girls Division crown
SUNRIVER, Ore. ‚Äď Jamie Lovemark of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., fired a final-round 3-under-par 69 and broke away from a closely packed leaderboard to win the Rolex Tournament of Champions by six shots over Jarred Texter of Millersville, Pa.
Morgan Pressel of Boca Raton, Fla., overcame a four-stroke deficit in the Girls Division by firing a 5-under-par 67, winning her sixth American Junior Golf Association title by three shots over Angela Park of Torrance, Calif.
The Rolex Tournament of Champions was a 72-hole stroke play event conducted by the AJGA at Sunriver Resort ‚Äď Crosswater Course. The field was cut after two days to the low 57 boys and 21 girls, including ties. The tournament featured 150 players, ages 12-18, from 32 states and seven foreign countries, including Canada, China, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay and South Africa.
The 2004 Rolex Tournament of Champions featured 49 Rolex Junior All-Americans, and past champions include the likes of Phil Mickelson, Charles Howell III, David Gossett, Grace Park and Beth Bauer.
Lovemark entered the day with a six shot lead, but Texter put pressure on early. His 5-under-par front nine closed the gap to as little as three strokes.
But the unflappable Lovemark responded by birding three of his first four holes on the back nine to pull away from the field ‚Äď at one point leading by as many as seven ‚Äď and cruise to his first AJGA title. He finished at 12-under-par 276.
‚ÄúI wasn‚Äôt sure what to expect,‚ÄĚ Lovemark said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve never really been in this situation before. It‚Äôs my first national win and for it to come at Rolex is a great honor.‚ÄĚ
Texter fired an even par back nine to shoot 5-under-par 67 and finish alone in second place. Erik Flores of Grass Valley, Calif., and David May of Auburn, N.Y., finished tied for third at 5-under-par 283. Nicholas Smith of Ocala, Fla., and Kevin Schultz of Richardson, Texas, tied for fifth at 284.
In the Girls Division, three birdies on the front nine and three-straight birdies on the back nine catapulted Pressel into a lead she would never give up.
‚ÄúToday I played like I needed to,‚ÄĚ said Pressel, who is coming off a win at the North-South Amateur at Pinehurst‚Äôs No. 2 course. ‚ÄúMy grandpa kept saying, ‚ÄėDon‚Äôt give it away or try to make it all up on one hole.‚Äô So I just kept trying to hit good shots and put pressure on the leaders.‚ÄĚ
Park had a record-breaking final round, which included five-straight birdies on the front nine. Her 8-under-par 64 broke the competitive course record by three shots and the Rolex Tournament of Champions record by two.
Julieta Granada of Asuncion, Paraguay, shot a final-round 68 to finish six shots back in third place.
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 largest association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA‚Äôs National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association‚Äôs success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
For more information about the Rolex Tournament of Champions, please call the AJGA national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.