Brueckner Captures First Career AJGA Win in Junior All-Star at River Ridge
Vu pulls away from the field to take Girls Division title
OXNARD, Calif. — William Brueckner of Walnut Creek, Calif., earned the first AJGA win of his young career after posting a final-round 1-over-par 73 for a tournament total of 1-over-par 145. Lilia Vu of Fountain Valley, Calif., took home the Girls Division trophy with a 2-under-par 70 in the final round and a tournament total of even-par 144.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Junior All-Star at River Ridge was a 36-hole stroke play competition played on the par-72 Victoria Lakes Course. The Boys Division played at 6,609 yards, while the Girls Division played at 5,776 yards. The 96-player field featured players from 11 states and Mexico.
Brueckner's day could be chalked up as an example of responding to mistakes and earning back lost strokes.
“I had a good start and went par and birdie on the first two holes, then doubled the next one but came back and birdied No. 4,” Brueckner said. “Then I had three straight bogeys on 15, 16, and 17 but closed out 18 with a birdie.”
Brueckner's ability to adapt to the windy conditions at River Ridge also played a major role in his win.
“I always hit the ball low so the wind didn't affect me as much,” Brueckner said. “I used to play with older kids and wanted to hit it as far as them so I had to learn to keep the ball down.”
Edwin Yi of Beaumont, Calif., and Brandon Mai of Poway, Calif., tied for second at 5-over-par 149. Justin De los Santos of Chatsworth, Calif., Ryan Knop of Pleasanton, Calif., and John Oda of Honolulu each finished in third at 8-over-par 152.
Vu came into the tournament as the favorite and didn't disappoint on Sunday, shooting a final round that was six strokes better than the nearest competitor and winning the tournament by 10 strokes overall.
“I was nervous coming in as the top player in the field, but the win gives me something to say that I've won and motivates me to get better and keep going,” Vu said.
Stephanie Lau of Fullerton, Calif., finished in second at 10-over-par 154. Marianne Li of Bellevue, Wash., took third at 13-over-par 157.
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 naming rights to the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series for juniors ages 12-15.
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 Junior All-Star at River Ridge, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.