LACH FIRES 11-UNDER-PAR TO WIN THE LESSING'S AJGA CLASSIC
Julie Kim takes home first AJGA tournament victory with a 3-under-par 213
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — Bryant Lach of The Woodlands, Texas, entered the second round of the Lessing's AJGA Classic just one stroke ahead of Warren West of Chestertown, Md. The boys were neck and neck throughout the day, but birdies on Nos. 16 and 18 for Lach sealed his first American Junior Golf Association victory. Julie Kim of Bayside, N.Y., ended the first round tied for fourth, but fought her way through the ranks to claim the Girls Division title.
Conducted by the AJGA, the Lessing's AJGA Classic was held at the Eisenhower Park Golf Course — White Course. Eighty-four junior golfers from 13 states, including 24 from New York, competed in the 54-hole stroke play event.
Lach said he started the week wanting to play aggressive. He led all three rounds, despite waiting 3 hours, 49 minutes for a rain delay during the second round. He bogeyed No. 1 in the final round, but felt the extra stroke worked in his favor and served as motivation to finish the front nine even par. In the final round, he carded seven birdies — five on the back nine — to end the day with a 4-under-par 68, 11-under-par 205 for the tournament.
“Coming into the tournament, if you would have told me I would come out on top after the third day, I wouldn't have believed it. It's hard to stay that aggressive,” he said. “It feels unbelievable.”
West finished in second place with a 7-under-par 209. Tied for third at 210 were Jimmy Arbes of Westfield, N.J., and Sam DaSilva of Wyckoff, N.J. Morgan Hoffman of Wyckoff, N.J., and David Lipsky of La Canada, Calif., finished at 4-under-par 212 to tie for fifth place.
In the Girls Division, Kim hit 11 fairways and 14 greens and secured her victory with a chip from the right rough onto the No. 18 green for a 1-foot-putt for birdie.
“Right now I can't explain it,” she said. “Lately I've been playing well, but this tournament I really played a lot better.”
She said she started the day nervous, but her confidence grew as she carded five birdies. She hopes the confidence boost will continue next week as she prepares to play in the Randall Parker Shootout at Wild Quail in Wyoming, Del.
“I feel pretty confident with my game now,” she said. “Everything was pretty good today.”
In second place, four strokes behind Kim, was Megan Grehan of Mamaroneck, N.Y. with a 1-over-par 217. In a three-way tie for third place at 219 were Courtney Ellenbogen of Blacksburg, Va., Kaitlin Conway of Wading River, N.Y., and Marlowe Boukis of Lutherville, Md.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12 - 18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about the Lessing's AJGA Classic, call AJGA national headquarters at (770) 868-4200.