Two Invitationals dominated the scene this week, with nine champions and the USA coming out on top:
PING Junior Solheim Cup: The United States team won the PING Junior Solheim Cup, 14.5-9.5, for a fifth consecutive victory in the biennial event’s history. The event was staged at Des Moines Golf and Country Club and for the first time domestically at the same host venue. The United States now leads the all-time series 6-2-1 and has won the previous four contests, including 2015, which was the first time either team won on foreign soil. The American triumvirate of Emilia Migliaccio of Cary, North Carolina, Alyaa Abdulghany of Newport Beach, California, and Kaitlyn Papp of Austin, Texas, led the team in their final event of junior golf. Migliaccio (Wake Forest), Abdulghany (USC) and Papp (Texas) begin college in the next week but ended their careers on a high note.
Swinging Skirts AJGA Invitational: One year after coming up just short, Yujeong Son of (South Korea) Norman, Oklahoma, came back to win at the Swinging Skirts AJGA Invitational at 6-under-par 210. She finished as the runner-up at the 2016 tournament at Ruby Hill Golf Club, but the 16-year-old earned a three-stroke victory in 2017. Son carded three birdies on the back nine to pull away at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. With the win, Son earned an exemption into the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship in October. She also adds her name to an accomplished list of former champions including Nelly Korda, Andrea Lee and Miranda Wang. Son recently competed for the West Team at the Wyndham Cup and earlier this year won the prestigious Kathy Whitworth Invitational. The 11th-ranked player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American.
Enagic Junior Championship: Ethan Ashbrook of Santa Maria, California, claimed his first AJGA victory with a final round 4-under-par 67. The seventeen-year-old carded a total of 13 birdies with a tournament total 4-under-par 209. This is rising senior's third top-10 finish in four events this season. He is No. 272 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Kornkamol Sukaree of Huntington Beach, California, claimed her fourth AJGA victory with a final round 2-over-par 73 and a tournament total of 214. The seventeen-year-old won the 2014 BBCN Bank Junior Championship, 2015 Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior at Centennial and 2016 New Era Junior Championship. She is No. 90 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and is committed to play college golf at the University of Illinois.
Under Armour® / Jordan Spieth Championship presented by American Campus Communities: Charles Osborne, the 17-year-old of Reno, Nevada, went wire-to-wire to clinch first place in the Boys Division for his first career win. He won after a stipulated nine-hole final round with the Girls Division playing the front nine and Boys Division playing the back nine. Osborne closed out the round with a 2-under-par 34 on the back nine for a tournament-total 10-under-par 170. The Southern Methodist University verbal commit made the most of his time at his future home course, totaling 12 birdies and an eagle for the tournament. Sadie Englemann of Austin, Texas, came from behind to win the Girls Division to earn her third AJGA victory. The 15-year-old entered the day trailing by two strokes but erased that deficit to clinch the Girls Division with a final round score of 2-under-par 34 for a tournament-total 3-under-par 177. Englemann carded a birdie on her first hole, the par-5 No. 1, to get momentum going, and she followed that up with two more birdies to finish the tournament with eight total birdies. The three-time AJGA champion is No. 33 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and is a two-time ACDS Junior All-Star Team member.
AJGA Junior at Blue Hill: Luke Clanton of Miami Lakes, Florida, won the Boys Division carding a tournament total 9-under-par 204. The 13-year-old sealed his win with six birdies, including consecutive birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 and again on Nos. 16 and 17. Clanton has competed in three AJGA tournaments in 2017, and this win marks his first AJGA victory. Anina Ku of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, took a one-shot lead to earn a victory in the Girls Divisions after posting a tournament-total 4-over-par 220. Ku carded three birdies during her final round to clinch her second AJGA win with a 3-over-par 75.
AJGA Junior All-Star at Irish Creek: Carson Bacha of York, Pennsylvania, won after finishing with a tournament total of 8-under-par 205. Bacha shot 2-under-par 69 in the final round, carding another five birdies to bring his final tournament total to 13 birdies. This is the 15-year-old’s second AJGA win. He won the 2017 AJGA Junior All-Star at Talbot supported by The Frana Family. Amanda Sambach of Davidson, North Carolina, won the Girls Division after a sudden death playoff. The 14-year-old finished with a tournament total of 3-under-par 210 after shooting 2-under-par 69 in the final round. Sambach went bogey-free on the back nine and carded four birdies in the final round. Prior to the 2017 AJGA Junior All-Star at Irish Creek, she had three top-five finishes out of the four AJGA events she had played in her career. Sambach won the 2016 Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star. She is verbally committed to the University of Virginia.