Bellefonte Country Club
Ashland, Kentucky
June 18-21, 2002

Wade Runs Away With Girls Division Title

ASHLAND, Ky. -- In a dramatic finish to the AJGA Henry-Griffitts Bluegrass Junior Invitational, Jessie Mudd of Louisville, Ky., captured the Boys Division crown and picked up his first national win with a 64-68-70-202 Friday. In the Girls Division second-team Polo Golf Junior All-American, Whitney Wade of Glasgow, Ky., carded a 70-72-70-212 to win by six strokes.

The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 120 players from 24 states and Mexico, including 27 Kentucky natives.

Mudd, a second-team Polo Golf Junior All-American, led by two strokes over high school teammate Michael Haverfield of Louisville, Ky., and three strokes over Jared Jones of Kenova, W. Va., after seven holes, but after a quintuple bogey on No.8, a par-4, 338-yard hole, he fell behind Haverfield by three strokes.

"I tried not to think about it," Mudd said. "I whiffed on the ball in the rough, then I topped it and it bounced off a branch and off my thigh. I just pretended like it never happened. In my mind I made a par, and I moved on with my round."

Leaving nothing to chance, Mudd staged a furious comeback on the back nine as he carded a 31, which included four birdies and five pars, to best the previous tournament record by two strokes.

"I don't hope for other players to mess up," Mudd said. "I am the type of player that wants to go out and win it."

Winning in Ashland is significant to Mudd who celebrated his 17th birthday with a win.
"This win means so much to me," Mudd said. "It's not the most prestigious tournament that the AJGA holds, but it's the first AJGA tournament I ever played in, it's held in my home state, the community does such a great job and (tournament co-chairmen) Bill and Mary Jo Thompson have always treated me so well."

Jones matched Mudd shot-for-shot, but fell two strokes shy to finish second (65-69-70-204). Will Osborne of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Haverfield finished at 3-under-par 207 to tie for third. Tied for fifth were Chris Wilson of Dublin, Ohio and Brandon Lawson of Elburn, Ill., at 210.

In the Girls Division, the 16-year-old Wade remained consistent in her play as she fended off numerous attempts at a comeback by Lincicome. While no particular part of Wade's game carried her to the win, her overall steady play was the key.

"I've just been pretty consistent," Wade said. "I didn't do anything really well or anything really bad."

After a third place finish at the AJGA Golfweek Chicago Junior, last week, Wade had a day off before participating in the Bluegrass event.

"I made a few changes in my one day off between tournaments," Wade said. "I practiced my chipping, my iron game and my driving too."

Wade was visibly elated to clinch a title, her sixth national victory, in her own backyard.

"This win is pretty big because it's in my home state," Wade said. "It shows that Kentucky has some great players."

Rounding out the top three girls were Lincicome at 218 and Leah Wigger of Louisville, Ky., at 223.

For more information on the Henry-Griffitts Bluegrass Junior Invitational or other AJGA events, please contact our national headquarters at (877) 373-2542.


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