BECK SHOOTS 69 TO WIN BOYS DIVISION OF NIKE GOLF JUNIOR AT QUAD CITIES
DiGrazia goes wire-to-wire to win Girls Division
LONG GROVE, Iowa — Evan Beck of Virginia Beach, Va., shot a 3-under-par 69 in the final round to take his first AJGA win in the Boys Division of the Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities. In the Girls Division, Gianna DiGrazia of Addison, Ill., held the lead she established in the first round to win by five strokes.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities was held at Glynns Creek Golf Course. The tournament was a 54-hole stroke-play event that hosted a field of 83 players. Twenty-three states were represented in the field that consisted of 68 boys and 15 girls, ages 12 — 15.
The Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series is a collection of 10 events specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12 — 15 years old. The competition provides an opportunity for younger members to develop their skills and earn entry into open tournaments. The series concludes with an invitation-only Nike Golf Junior Championship, Sept.1 — 3, 2006 in Aurora, Ore.
Beck made five birdies in the final round to card a 10-under-par 206 tournament total. Coming into the final round, Beck held a two-shot lead and was able to stretch his lead to five strokes by the time the last putt dropped.
“It got kind of intense, but I kept playing well,” Beck said. “Now I know I'm capable of playing well so winning is a confidence booster.”
Alexander Lyall of Novi, Mich., and Paul McConnell of Garland, Texas, tied for second place with 211 tournament totals. Fourth place went to Kyle English of Bloomington, Ill., who carded a tournament total of 212. In a tie for fifth place, with 214 tournament totals, were Ryan Kelley of The Woodlands, Texas, and Jack Schultz of Whitefish Bay, Wis.
In the Girls Division, DiGrazia followed her first and second round 73s with a final-round 77, to win with a 223 tournament total. For DiGrazia it all came down to putting.
“I don't think I have putted this well in a long time,” DiGrazia said. “Your score is always better when you putt well.”
DiGrazia, 15, said this is also her first AJGA win.
“I'm really excited,” DiGrazia said. “This tournament was a really great experience, and I played some good golf here.”
Second place went to Lauren English of Bloomington, Ill., who scored a final-round 75 for a tournament total of 228. In third place was Alexis Holmes of Lincoln, Neb., with a final-round 78 and a 231 tournament total.
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 an annual 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 is in 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
For more information about the Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities call AJGA National Headquarters at (877) 373-2542.