Tomlinson's five birdies on back nine gives him victory at Exide Technologies Junior Open
Stackhouse wins Girls Division in playoff at The Country Club of the South
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. —JD Tomlinson of Gainesville, Fla., fired a 4-under-par 140 tournament total to capture the victory at the Exide Technologies Junior Open, while Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga., survived a sudden-death playoff to win the Girls Division at The Country Club of the South.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Exide Technologies Junior Open was a 36-hole stroke play competition played at The Country Club of the South. The par-72 course played 6,941 yards for the boys and 6,072 yards for the girls. The 78-player field featured players from 13 states, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Colombia and Mexico, with 32 participants hailing from Georgia.
Tomlinson climbed up the leaderboard fiercely on the back nine with birdies on Nos. 13, 14, 15 and 18. The University of Florida bound 17-year-old relied on his irons during the round and was able to sink a 3-foot putt for birdie on No. 18 to bring home the win.
“I knew what I had to do going into today,” Tomlinson said. “I had a double on No. 2 and that wasn't the start I was looking for, and I knew I needed to make a ton of birdies the rest of the day.”
Billy Kennerly of Alpharetta, Ga., came in second place after shooting a 1-under-par 143. Joshua Martin of Pinehurst, N.C., finished in third after carding a 1-over-par 145, while Justin Cho of Norcross, Ga., shot a 2-over-par 146 to place fourth. Tanner Owen of High Point, N.C., and Michael Hines of Acworth, Ga., tied for fifth place at 7-over-par 151.
In the Girls Division, Stackhouse and last year's runner-up Samantha Wagner of Windermere, Fla., finished 36 holes tied at 9-over-par 153 and went to a sudden-death playoff to determine the champion. Stackhouse sunk a 5-foot putt for birdie on No. 1 to seal the victory.
“My mindset for the day was to work my way back into second place and I knew I could give myself a chance,” Stackhouse said. “This win was special to me because I'm from the Atlanta area and it's nice to win with people who know me pretty well and around my supporters.”
With Wagner finishing in second place, McKenzie Talbert of Edgefield, S.C., rounded out the top three girls with an 11-over-par 155.
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 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. 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 about the Exide Technologies Junior Open contact AJGA National Tournament Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.