Stackhouse Repeats Playoff Victory at Steelwood Country Club
McBride wins first AJGA tournament at AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T
LOXLEY, Ala. — Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga., battled back from a seven-stroke deficit to earn her way into a playoff with Michelle Butler of Dunedin, Fla., for the second consecutive year. After 54 holes, the girls were tied at 2-over-par 218 with Stackhouse coming out on top. Jake McBride of Hartville, Ohio won an AJGA tournament for the first time with a 4-under-par 212.
The AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T was a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Steelwood Country Club in Loxley, Ala. The tournament field boasted 72 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 10 states and two countries. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,995 yards and the Girls Division played at 5,932 yards.
Stackhouse completed her second round in a shotgun held on Thursday morning, due to a weather delay on Wednesday. She played consistently throughout the day and ended with an even-par 72. Tied with Butler at the end of regulation, two playoff holes were necessary to determine a champion.
“I drove through the green on the par-five No. 18 in two, but I didn't get up and down for birdie,” Stackhouse said. “I really didn't want [a playoff] situation, but I said, ‘Okay, this is the same thing as last year.' I stuck my shot to about three feet or so, but I missed the putt. I said, ‘Okay, back to the tee box again, and we'll see what we can do.' Thankfully, a par pulled it out for me in the end. “
At the 2010 AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T, Stackhouse recorded a hole-in-one and a birdie in her last two holes to earn her way into a playoff with Butler, and emerged victorious.
“Winning two years in a row is something that I really wanted,” Stackhouse said. “It's always nice to repeat, so I'm happy that everything just came together. Everybody knows that the AJGA is the top for junior golfers, and when you can win out here, that's saying something. I'm just happy that I've established myself with multiple victories. That lets me know that I'm playing solid golf.”
Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division behind Stackhouse and Butler was Elizabeth Doty of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., with a tournament score of 3-over-par 219.
McBride held onto his second-round lead to win the title by four strokes. Although he had three top-five finishes in 2010, this was his first AJGA victory.
“My goal this week was to come out and play three consistent rounds of golf. I wanted to play three rounds under par and see where it got me,” McBride said. “It feels really special to be at the top with the other great names of the AJGA. To pull through and win one feels great.”
Tied for second place were Hank Lebioda of Winter Springs, Fla., and Ben Wood of Florence, Ala., finishing the tournament with scores of even-par 216. Rounding out the top five were Justin Cho of Norcross, Ga., and Robby Prater of Birmingham, Ala., with scores of 1-over-par 217.
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 about the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T, please contact the National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.