WHITSETT CONTINUES STELLAR 2006 WITH WIN AT DODGE/BOB ESTES ABILENE JUNIOR
Kwon erases three-shot deficit to win Girls Division
ABILENE, Texas — Cory Whitsett of Houston, Texas, shot a 2-under-par 70 in the final round for a three-day total of 211 to record his second AJGA win of 2006 at the Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior. Diane Kwon of Fremont, Calif., shot a final-round 73 for a three-day total of 2-over-par 218 to win the Girls Division by three strokes.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior was held at Fairway Oaks Country Club. The tournament, celebrating its 26th anniversary, was held at Fairway Oaks for the 16th year. The par-72 course was set up at 7,005 yards for the Boys Division and 6,042 yards for the Girls Division. The tournament field consisted of 90 boys and 30 girls, ages 12-18, from 16 states Ecuador, and Indonesia. The field included 77 Texas residents, six of which reside in Abilene.
Whitsett, who won the first-ever AJGA event held in Mexico earlier this year, entered the final round two shots behind second-round leader Andrew Green. He birdied the first hole of his final round to shoot an even-par 36 on the front nine. Whitsett recorded four birdies on the back nine, including three consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 14, 15 and 16. Whitsett shot a 2-under-par 34 on the back nine for a final-round total of 2-under-par 70. Whitsett said he was happy to win, especially after losing in a playoff at an AJGA event earlier in the summer.
“I feel like I've redeemed myself,” Whitsett said. “I'm really pleased with the way things turned out, and I can't wait to see what happens in upcoming tournaments.”
Jordan Russell of College Station, Texas, fired a final-round 69 to finish in second place at 4-under-par 212 for the tournament. Andrew Green of Edmond, Okla., finished the tournament in third with a three-day total of 3-under-par 213. Stephen Carney of Tulsa, Okla., Nicholas Brady of Los Alamos, N.M., and Blake Johnson of Brownwood, Texas, each finished the tournament tied for fourth with a three-round total of 1-under-par 215.
Kwon had two bogeys on the front nine, but added a birdie on the ninth hole to finish the front nine with a 1-over-par 37. She recorded a birdie and a bogey on the back side to shoot even-par for a final-round total of 1-over-par 73. Kwon said she was happy to win her first ever AJGA event.
“I'm feeling great about winning this event,” Kwon said. “I came into the final round just trying to shoot even par, so I was very happy with my round and with winning the tournament.”
Stephanie Hwang of Heath, Texas, Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif., Kelsey Kirkpatrick of Golden, Texas, Morgan Chambers of Purcell, Okla., and Ines Chandra of Kuta-Bali, Indonesia, each finished tied for second after finishing the tournament with a three-day total of 5-over-par 221.
The sixth annual Todd Moore Sportsmanship award was presented to Whitsett and Heather Smith of Fort Worth, Texas. The award is presented to one junior boy and girl who exemplified good sportsmanship throughout the tournament.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA 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, which enters its third decade of support, 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, Candie Kung, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer.
For more information on the Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior, or any other AJGA event, call AJGA headquarters at (770) 868-4200, or visit ajga.org.