AJGA PRESEASON JUNIOR AT DIABLO GRANDE
Diablo Grande, Ranch Course
March 1-3, 2002
GRUBE HAS JUST ENOUGH
TO CLAIM VICTORY
Four-Over-Par 76 Gives Illinois Native First AJGA Victory
PATTERSON, Calif. - Rob Grube
of Hinsdale, Ill., followed his opening round 68 with a 4-over-par
76 to secure a victory at the AJGA Preseason Junior at Diablo
Conducted by the American Junior Golf
Association, this event featured 85 junior golfers from 13
states. The two-day, 36-hole tournament was played on the
par-72 Ranch Course at Diablo Grande, one of Northern California's
premier golf courses.
The Preseason Junior at Diablo Grande
is one of eight events in the AJGA Preseason/Postseason Series,
a boys-only series, designed to provide playing opportunities
to juniors who have not yet played in an AJGA tournament.
Grube came to the first tee Sunday
with a one-stroke lead over Christopher Hirahatake of Tustin,
Calif., and four in front of Ryan Thornberry of Ceres, Calif.,
and Kevin Chappell of Fresno, Calif., both at even par.
"I actually enjoyed being the
one everyone was gunning for," Grube said after his round.
"I had all last night to think about it, and I knew that
if I took it one shot at a time that they would have to catch
Grube went out in 1-over-par 37 fashion,
with eight pars and one bogey coming on the par-4 ninth. Making
the turn at 3-under-par for the tournament, he "chopped
it around" on the back side for a 3-over-par 39, making
him even-par for the tournament. His 144 tournament total
was just enough to give him the win over Thornberry who fired
a final-round 73 for a 145 tournament total.
"It was really tough out there
- a lot harder than I anticipated," Grube said, who now
has three national tournament victories. "I had just
enough today. I would have liked to have gone a bit deeper,
but I did what it takes and I got the win."
Grube's victory at Diablo Grande gave
him his first AJGA victory and three well-earned exemptions
into AJGA Open events.
"This is going to open up even
more doors for me," Grube said. "I'm relieved to
have at least three chances to show my game against the best
The top-15 finishers in the event received
one automatic entry into an AJGA Open event, while those who
finished in the top five picked up two automatic entries.
Thornberry's 145 left him alone in
second. Chappell followed at 147. Hirahatake and Grant Kester
of Santa Cruz, Calif., at 149, round out the top-five finishers.