DuPont Country Club, DuPont Course
Wilmington, Delaware
July 29 - August 1, 2002

Connecticut native becomes first back-to-back champion since Grace Park

WILMINGTON, Del. - Two resilient young players went head-to-head Thursday as defending champion Elizabeth Janangelo of West Hartford, Conn., and U.S. Girls Junior champion In-Bee Park of Eustis, Fla., battled for the AJGA McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls National Championship crown. The 18-year-old Janangelo fired a 3-under-par 68 to come back from a seven-stroke deficit and capture the title again in dramatic fashion.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls National Championship featured 62 girls, representing 26 states and Mexico and was held on the par-71, 6,017-yard DuPont Course at the DuPont Country Club.

Everything started to click for Janangelo today as she was hitting greens and the putts were falling.

"I had a good feeling when I made the turn," Janangelo said. "I had a couple of birdies and just tried to plug along."

The win came as a big surprise for Janangelo as the Connecticut native was only hoping for the best - a second-place finish.

"I really did not expect to be in this position," Janangelo said. "My goal coming into today was to finish in second."

After the tournament, Janangelo showed some classy sportsmanship as she approached Park to shake her hand and give the 14-year-old words of encouragement.

"In-Bee is so young and has so many tournaments ahead of her," Janangelo said. "I think experience has a lot to do with it and how you close the match. She will gain that experience one day."

Janangelo ends her regular AJGA season with another major title as she heads to college to play for the Duke Blue Devils this fall.

"This has always been a fun tournament for me," Janangelo said. "The atmosphere is wonderful and the volunteers are great. That's what makes this tournament different from the others."

After posting under-par scores in the first two rounds, the 14-year-old Park struggled in the final round and carded four bogeys and two double bogeys on the day. The Florida native gave up a five-stroke lead to finish in second with a 71-67-79-217 total.

"I don't know what happened today," Park said. "I tried to play my best but everything went wrong."

Last year's runner-up Brittany Lang of McKinney, Texas, finished in third after carding a 72 in the final round for a 69-78-72-219 total. May Wood (76-72-72) of Signal Mountain, Tenn., and Whitney Wade (73-74-73) of Glasgow, Ky., carded a three-round total of 220 to tie for fourth and round out the top five.

For more information on the McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls National Championship or other AJGA events, please contact the Association's national headquarters at (877) 373-2542.


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