ZHANG VICTORIOUS AT NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL FINANCIAL NETWORK - BLUMBERG GROUP JUNIOR CLASSIC
Brightwell captures title in Girls Division at Richter Park Golf Course
DANBURY, Conn. — David Zhang, 18, of South Glastonbury, Conn., shot a 1-under-par 71 and played steady golf despite over a one-hour rain delay en route to his first American Junior Golf Association victory at the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network — Blumberg Group Junior Classic. Elizabeth Brightwell, 17, of Nellysford, Va., shot a final-round 1-over-par 73 and a tournament total of 6-over-par 222 to claim victory in the Girls Division at Richter Park Golf Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network — Blumberg Group Junior Classic featured 144 players from 20 states, two foreign countries and the District of Columbia. The field consisted of 108 boys and 36 girls, ages 12-18. The Boys Division played the par-72 Richter Park Golf Course at 6,699 yards while the Girls Division played the course at 6,021 yards.
Zhang, who entered the final round with a four-stroke lead, had three birdies on the day, two immediately following a one-hour rain delay on Nos. 7 and 9. He finished the tournament at 5-under-par 211 and credited his mental game to his success.
“I don't hit the ball as far as some of the other guys out here,” said Zhang, who will be heading to William & Mary in the fall. “I made a lot of pars today and just focused on playing my own game.”
Shooting the low final round of the day, a 3-under-par 69, and finishing in second with a tournament total of 4-under-par 212 was Michael Miller of Brewster, N.Y. Mark Mumford of Rye, N.Y., finished in third with an even-par 216. In fourth was Jason Zhou of Skillman, N.J., with a 1-over-par 217. Rounding out the boy's top five was Bradley Kushner of Mendham, N.J., with a 2-over-par 218.
In the Girls Division, Brightwell, who recorded three birdies and one eagle on the day, traded the lead with Brittany Altomare throughout the round, but came out on top with a tournament total of 6-over-par 222. She holed her approach shot from the fairway on the par-4 No. 9 to record an eagle and play the front nine at 1-under-par 35.
“I got a couple lucky breaks out there today, especially on No. 9,” Brightwell said. “I also made a lot of long putts including one on my first full hole after the delay on No. 11 for birdie.”
Finishing tied for second at 9-over-par 225 were Marisa Kamelgarn of Mahopac, N.Y., and Brittany Altomare of Shrewsbury, Mass. First-and-second round leader Harin Lee of Bayside, N.Y., finished tied for fourth with Christine Shimel at 12-over-par 228.
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 an annual junior membership — boys and girls ages 12-18 — of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 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 AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information regarding the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network - Blumberg Group Junior Classic, please contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.