Oak Tree Country Club, East Course
Edmond, Okla.
June 24-27, 2002

Best outlasts Dresser in Boys Division to win first career title

EDMOND, Okla. - Ashley Rollins of Austin, Texas, secured her second AJGA title of the year with a six-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff with Taylor Leon of Dallas to win the AJGA OSSO Junior at Oak Tree. In the Boys Division, 17-year-old Matt Best of Pauls Valley, Okla., led wire-to-wire at the 6,942-yard, par-70 Oak Tree Country Club's East Course to claim his first career AJGA tournament win.

The 54-hole event, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured 144 players hailing from 18 states and included 49 Oklahoma natives and 46 juniors from Texas. The tournament is one of the largest of the year on the AJGA circuit. Past champions of the event include PGA TOUR players Brian Watts, Bob Estes and LPGA TOUR player Kelle Booth, who claimed the 1991 title.

Rollins (72-71-72--215) entered No. 18 trailing by one and knew she would have to card at least a par in order to have a chance to force a playoff. Leon (73-73-69--215) bogeyed the finishing hole and the two then headed to the 319-yard, par-4 tenth for a sudden-death playoff. One hole would not be enough to crown a champion as both scored par on the first two-playoff holes. On No. 11, Rollins, 17, left herself with a 30-foot birdie putt and needed to two putt to keep the playoff going as Leon's par putt was just a few feet from the cup. Rollins rolled her birdie try eight feet past the hole and decided it was time to go for broke.

"Taylor's ball was right by the hole," Rollins said. "I knew she was going to make it. There was no point in trying to baby it in and let the brake take it, so I hit it firm and it rolled in."

On the third playoff hole, the 493-yard, par-5 twelfth, Rollins canned her eight-foot birdie putt and Leon missed her birdie putt to the left securing the title for Rollins.

"There was a sigh of relief," Rollins said. "I have been in a few playoffs before, so it was not as stressful as it could have been," Rollins said. "Playoffs are more exciting and more intense-each hole can be the end of you."

Leon finished second after a spectacular final round. She began the day three shots off the lead, but was 4-under after 13 holes to overtake the top spot. She carded the low round of the day with a 69 and was the only girl to break par for the tournament.

Ashley Knoll of The Woodlands, Texas, finished in third with a three-day total of 218.
In the Boys Division, Matt Best (68-72-72--212) never looked back as he led from start to finish to win by one over Andrew Dresser of Carrollton, Texas. Best said he entered the tournament with a fresh mental approach to the tournament and decided to just go out and play golf instead of worrying about scores.

"The main thing I did was not worry about anybody else's scores or my own score," Best said. "I was trying to go out there and hit a golf ball around. It feels great to win. It is unbelievable how good it feels."

Best, who entered the day tied with Dresser (69-71-73--213), said he was more worried about his nerves than his play.

"Coming into today I was really nervous," said Best, who drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the first hole to help ease his nerves. "That birdie helped calm me down, but on the last three holes it really hit me and I was kind of shaking. That two footer on No. 18 looked like 100 feet. I breathed as deep as I could and tried to forget about everything."

Dresser finished in second at 213. Erik Olson of Renton, Wash., and Zac Reynolds of Edmond, Okla., tied for third with a tournament total of 217. Martin Ureta of Wesley Chapel, Fla., finished fifth at 218.

In other action, Bryan Vahlberg of Norman, Okla., recorded a hole-in-one on the 178-yard, par-3 eighth. He one hopped a seven iron into the cup for the ace.

For more information on the AJGA OSSO Junior at Oak Tree, contact our national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.


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