THE PING INVITATIONAL
Stillwater, Okla. • October 6 - 9
YUN SHOOTS 2-UNDER-PAR 70 TO WIN THE INAUGURAL PING INVITATIONAL
STILLWATER, Okla. — Andrew Yun of Tacoma, Wash., shot a 2-under-par 70 for a tournament total 6-under-par 210 to win the Boys Division at the inaugural PING Invitational Monday. Esther Choe of Scottsdale, Ariz., carded a 4-under-par 68 to also finish with a tournament total of 6-under-par 210 to capture the Girls Division by five strokes.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the inaugural PING Invitational was a 54-hole stroke play event being held at Karsten Creek Golf Club. The 85-player field featured players from 21 states, Sweden and Australia. The Girls Division played Karsten Creek Golf Club at 6,252 yards, while the Boys Division played at 7,221 yards.
Yun began the day with a one-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., and was determined to continue to play smart and consistent Monday. Yun felt his ball striking was off all day, but was extremely pleased with his putting.
“My putting kept me in it today,” Yun said. “This was the best putting I've ever done. Most of my putts were the exact speed and right on line.”
Yun fell behind Fowler early in the round, but changed his luck at the turn. He chipped in on No. 9 for birdie, which got his momentum going for the back nine. Yun drained a 10-foot putt for birdie on No. 10 and followed with a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 11. He sank two more birdie putts for a back-nine total of 3-under-par 33.
“When I first played here, I wondered if anyone would shoot under par,” Yun said. “This is probably the biggest win of my career because this course is so hard and I had to play better.”
The win is Yun's second AJGA major victory of the year. In June, he won the FootJoy Boys Invitational. Yun also placed in the top five at the Rolex Tournament of Champions and the HP Boys Junior Championship, both in July.
Conrad Shindler of Coppell, Texas, fired a tournament low 5-under-par 67 and sole possession of second place with a 213 tournament total. Fowler shot a 74 to finish in third place with a three-day total of 215. Connor Driscoll of Encinitas, Calif., Sihwan Kim of Buena Park, Calif., and William Kropp of Edmond, Okla., tied for fourth with 216 tournament totals.
In the Girls Division, Choe tied the competitive-course record 68 she shot during Saturday's first round to capture her second AJGA major victory of 2006. The 17-year-old began her round with a three-shot lead over Glory Yang of Murrieta, Calif. Choe lost her lead in the final round at several events during the summer and was determined to maintain her lead Monday.
“I am really happy that all my hard work paid off,” Choe said. “I struggled this summer and I am so excited to end the season on a good note.”
Choe, who has verbally committed to the University of Arizona for the fall of 2007, played consistently all round. She had four birdies on the day, including one on the difficult par-4 No. 10, and no bogeys. Choe, who has not finished outside the top three in any AJGA event during the 2006 season, adds this win to her first-place finish at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship in June.
Yang finished five shots back in second place with a three-day total of 215. Mina Harigae of Monterey, Calif., shot a 216 tournament total for sole possession of third place.
This week's tournament title partner, PING, designs, manufactures and markets a complete line of golf equipment including metal woods, irons, putters and golf bags. The family-owned company was founded in 1959 by the late Karsten Solheim. Solheim is the only person to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as a golf club manufacturer. Today, the Phoenix-based company is under the direction of Solheim's youngest son, John A. Solheim. PING game-improvement products can be found in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.pinggolf.com.
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 49 states and 25 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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel.
For more information on The PING Invitational, please contact national headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.