NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS BLUEGRASS JUNIOR
Bellefonte Country Club
Ashland, Ky. •
June 14 - 17
ASHLAND, Ky. --
results from the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Bellefonte Country Club.
Boys Par: 35-35--70. Yardage: 6002. Rating: 68.6. Slope: 125 Girls Par: 35-35--70. Yardage: 5603. Rating: 71.8. Slope: 127
Duffield, Talley Earn Championship Honors at Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior
Talley earns second consecutive championship at Bellefonte Country Club
ASHLAND, Ky. — After firing a final-round low 7-under-par 63, 16-year-old Nick Duffield of Chesapeake, Ohio, claimed first-place honors Friday in his first ever AJGA event. In the Girls Division, it was Princeton, Ky., native Emma Talley who earned her second consecutive title at the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior after shooting a final round 2-over-par 72.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Bellefonte Country Club. The field featured 144 competitors, 108 boys and 36 girls, ages 12-18, from 22 states and seven foreign countries. The par-70 course played at 6,002 yards for the Boys Division and 5,603 yards for the Girls Division.
Despite starting the day five strokes behind leader Stephen Stallings, Jr. of Louisville, Ky., Duffield raced up the leaderboard posting seven final-round birdies en route to earning championship honors with a 5-under-par 205.
With the win, Duffield becomes the second local participant in the tournament's 28-year history to walk away with championship hardware which has brought excitement to himself and his fellow members at the course. Duffield's final round score also ties the lowest score recorded at the course in an AJGA event.
“Having the members coming to watch is very cool,” Duffield said. “But I told myself I just had to keep playing how I was playing in order to have a chance for the win.”
While always attempting to play his best in every round he plays, earning championship honors in his first AJGA event comes as a bit of a surprise to Duffield who rolled through his pre-tournament goals he had previously made.
“It felt good collecting all of those birdies today,” Duffield said. “I came into the tournament shooting for a top-five finish seeing that it was my first ever AJGA event.”
Finishing three strokes off the lead and tied for second place were Tyler McDaniel of Manchester, Ky., and Fred Allen Meyer of Nicholasville, Ky., who finished at 2-under-par 208. Capturing fourth place with a 1-under-par 209 was Stallings, while Matthew Hardman of Gettysburg, Pa., finished fifth after posting even par 210.
In the Girls Division, Talley was able to maintain her one-stroke lead as she successfully defended her title at the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior after finishing 3-over-par 213. The win also marks her second win in as many attempts in summer tournaments as she was victorious last week at the AJGA Junior at Quad Cities.
Talley, No. 33 in the Polo Golf Rankings, trailed by two shots to Kelly Tan of Bradenton, Fla., on the back nine of the final round as she bogeyed holes No. 9-11. However, Talley connected on a 36-foot putt on hole No. 13 which put her back on track and helped lead her to her eighth career AJGA tournament victory.
“After bogeying No. 9-11, I can't tell you how mad I was at myself,” Talley said. “I just wanted to put myself back in gear. I knew coming back after three consecutive bogeys was going to be hard, but I knew I could do it if I just started hitting the ball.”
Talley and second-place finisher Tan were tied entering the final hole before Talley was able to score the tournament clinching birdie while Tan finished her day with a par.
“She (Tan) played really well and kept it close all day,” Talley said. “It was a very competitive tournament and I'm just excited that I was able to pull it out.”
Tan finished the final round 2-over-par 72 giving her a 4-over-par 214 three day total. Finishing tied for third was Becky Sharpe of Williamsburg, Ky., and Mikayla Harmon of Gilbert, Ariz., who finished 11-over-par 221.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex, 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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
For more information on the Natural Resources Partners Bluegrass Junior contact National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.
The American Junior Golf Foundation is the primary recipient of all charitable giving to the AJGA and as such administers a variety of programs designed to compliment the AJGA and the members and families who make up our community. Learn more about these important programs and how your contributions to the Foundation secure the AJGA’s financial future for future generations to come.
The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program provides financial assistance to junior golfers who wish to play in AJGA events. Its goal is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources. This program helps to fulfill the AJGA’s mission of developing young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
What is Leadership Links?
Leadership Links is a new program whereby the AJGA is able to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the AJGA youth development programs. Please click here to learn more about the program and the different opportunities available.
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.