Burns earns first AJGA win at Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational
Brooks fires 5-under-par 67, captures first Invitational win
Montverde, Fla. — Second-round co-leader Sam Burns of Shreveport, La., shot a final-round 72 to outlast the field in the Boys Division and notch his first AJGA victory at Bella Collina Monday. In the Girls Division, Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Fla., overcame a one-stroke deficit with her final-round 5-under-par 67 to finish atop the leaderboard for the third time in 2011.
The Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational was a 45-hole stroke play event held at Bella Collina. The 78-player field consisted of junior boys and girls, ages 12-15, who have had success in this season's Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series. In all, 15 states were represented along with players from 11 foreign countries. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,784 yards while the Girls Division played at 5,890 yards.
After finding himself in a five-way tie for the lead entering the final two holes, Burns knew he had to perform well to bring home the champion's trophy. He stuck his second shot on the par-4 No.8 to four inches and tapped in for birdie to take sole possession of the lead. His tournament total of 1-over-par 181 is his first win and fourth top-10 finish of the year.
“It's the first tournament I've played in a few months, and I've really been looking forward to it and working hard to get ready for it,” Burns said. “It means a lot to win here and get my first AJGA win.”
In second, one shot behind Burns, was Dylan Wu of Medford, Ore., and in third was Jorge Garcia of Miami. In a two-way tie for fourth was Carter Patterson of The Woodlands, Texas, and William Brueckner of Walnut Creek, Calif.
Brooks began the final round one shot behind the second-round leaders, but after a 1-under-par front nine, she knew she could be back on top. She began her back nine by holing out for eagle on the par-4 tenth, and followed it with birdies on Nos. 12, 15 and 16. Her tournament total of 2-over-par 182 gave her a two-stroke advantage and her first Invitational victory.
“My putting was really on today,” Brooks said. “I knew that if I kept making putts and stayed on the right track that I could win.”
Finishing in second, two shots behind Brooks, was Lilia Vu of Fountain Valley, Calif., with a tournament total of 4-over-par 184. Alone in third was Abbey Carlson of Lake Mary, Fla., with a 5-over-par 185.
Founded in 1912, Montverde Academy is an independent college preparatory school located in Montverde, Florida. The Academy prepares junior golfers, student athletes and students from across the world with world-class academics and nationally-recognized athletic programs.
Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, a full-time signature golf instruction program located in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., began as an Official Partner of the AJGA in 2009. The partnership features an endowment of an Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant and the naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series.
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 Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit the AJGA website at ajga.org.
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