Celebration Golf Club
Celebration, Florida
September 20-22, 2002

Florida native preserves lead to win with 6-under-par 138 tournament total

CELEBRATION, Fla. - Eddie Peckels of Delray Beach, Fla., fired a round of 2-under-par 70 Sunday to maintain his lead and claim victory at the second annual AJGA Ashworth Postseason Junior at Celebration, a 36-hole stroke play competition held at the par-72 Celebration Golf Club.

The Ashworth Postseason Junior at Celebration, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, featured a field of 84 boys (ages 13-18) representing 17 states and Canada.
Forty-five juniors from Florida were included in the field.

Peckels, a 16-year-old junior at Pope John Paul High School in Boca Raton, Fla., fired the low rounds during both tournament days (68-70-138) and finished with a nine stroke lead over the rest of the field.

"The rounds I played these past two days weren't very different," Peckels said. "I didn't have as many birdies today, but I still feel like I definitely had a solid round. My 2-iron was the right club again off of every tee. I think I touched my driver just four or five times this weekend."

On the par-4, 390-yard 8th, Peckels' drive landed short and left him with 215 yards to the green. After hitting a 3-iron over the marsh to the back of the green, Peckels made a 25-foot putt for birdie, one of his six birdies on the day.

"Making birdie on No. 8 was big after I bogeyed the seventh," Peckels said. "It really helped me get my momentum back and pushed me through the rest of my round."

Consecutive birdies on Nos. 4, 5 and 6 aided in a front nine score of 2-under-par 34. Two bogeys and two birdies on the back nine completed Sunday's round of 34-36-70.

As the round came to a close, mounting winds and a rising storm affected many of the players on the final few holes.

"I've been working on punch shots recently," said Peckels. "Those shots really clicked today and the wind didn't affect me as much because I was able to get under it."

Daryl Fathauer of Jensen Beach, Fla., was nine shots off the lead and finished in second place at 76-71-147. Larry Lee of Tamarac, Fla. posted rounds of 70-78-148 to place third. Rounding out the top five in a tie for fourth place were Florida natives, Raj Nahal of Longwood, and George Gandranata of Bradenton, at 6-over-par 150 for the tournament.

The AJGA Ashworth Preseason/Postseason Junior Series expanded to eight tournaments in 2002 from the six featured last year. The series is designed to provide playing opportunities to juniors who have not yet played in an AJGA Tournament. Players who finish in the top 15, including ties, receive at least one automatic entry into future AJGA Tournaments depending on their finish.

For more information on the AJGA Ashworth Postseason Junior at Celebration, or other events, please call AJGA National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542.

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