REXON SURVIVES SUDDEN-DEATH PLAYOFF TO WIN BOYS DIVISION
Sheary leads wire to wire to win CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior
ELVERSON, Pa. — Dan Rexon of Haddonfield, N.J., won the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior with a win in a sudden-death playoff over Alexander Park of Ithaca, N.Y. Natalie Sheary of West Hartford, Conn., led all three rounds to win her first American Junior Golf Association tournament of the summer with a final round score of 70.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior was held at the French Creek Golf Club. Ninety-eight junior golfers from 21 states, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, including 18 from Pennsylvania, competed in the 54-hole stroke play event.
Rexon shot a 5-under-par 66 in the final round to capture his first AJGA tournament title. He was nearly speechless after the playoff on No. 18. Rexon made par, while Park double bogeyed.
“I really haven't played like that, ever, in tournament play,” he said. “It's amazing to me how I played. Everything just kind of clicked all at once.”
With a 32 on the front nine, Rexon said he was just hoping to par the back nine, but with three birdies on Nos. 12, 15 and 16, he carded a 2-under-par 34. Rexon had seven birdies in the final round, helping him finish with a tournament total of 4-under-par 209.
Sean Brannan of Hollidaysburg, Pa., and Kevin Foley of Somerville, N.J., tied for third with tournament totals of 1-under-par 212. Tied for fifth at par 213 were Christopher DeForest of Cottekill, N.Y., and Cody Paladino of Kensington, Conn. DeForest had a final-round score of 65, which ties the course record.
Other highlights in the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior included a hole-in-one on the 117-yard No. 5 by Michael McKenzie of Cambridge, Ontario.
In the Girls Division, Sheary, who set a course record with her second-round score of 3-under-par 67, said she was hoping to card a 65 in the final round. She was on track after consecutive birdies on Nos. 3, 4 and 5.
“After the front nine, I thought I was going to,” she said. “Everything came together in this tournament. Usually when I play, something isn't at its best, but here, it kind of evened out.”
Sheary made the turn 3-under-par, but bogeys on Nos. 15, 16 and 17 put her 1-over-par for the round. But on No. 18, she dropped a 10-foot putt for birdie to end strong. She said, coming into the tournament, she was going for the win.
“I've come in second so many times,” she said. “I really wanted to go to Polo this year, so I'm really excited.”
With this win, Sheary will be invited to play in the Polo Golf Junior Classic at Sea Island, Ga., in November.
Michelle Grilli of Lutherville, Md., was second with a tournament total of 8-over-par 218. Third was Andrea Watts of Lone Tree, Colo., with a tournament total of 221.
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 and Cristie Kerr.
For more information on the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior, call AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.