WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. John Boehme of Jacksonville Beach, Fla., won a four-way sudden-death playoff Monday with an eagle on the second hole to win his first AJGA tournament. In the Girls Division, Lauren Salazar of Santa Clara, Calif., came from behind to win her second AJGA title at the Woodward Video Junior at The Greenbrier.
The Woodward Video Junior at The Greenbrier was originally a 54-hole stroke play event before being shortened to 36 holes, and was conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at The Greenbrier's Meadows Course in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. The tournament field consisted of 132 players from 26 states, Venezuela and Canada. The Boys Division played the par-70 course at 6,669 yards and the Girls Division played at 5,928 yards.
Two extra holes were necessary to determine the Boys Division champion after four players tied at 2-under-par 138. After each player birdied the first playoff hole at the par-5 seventh, they returned to the same tee. The second time around, Boehme was the only player to reach the green in two and earn the title with a long eagle putt.
When it came to the playoff, I was a little nervous. During the first hole of the playoff, all of us birdied. After that, I calmed down and was able to sink a 25-footer for eagle. It felt great to win my final AJGA Open tournament, and to have my parents there to see it.
Boehme had two birdies and an eagle during his final round to shoot a one-under-par 69 and earn a spot in the playoff.
I knew that we were going to have some bad weather, so the struggle was just to stay focused on my game, Boehme said. My goal for the day was just to have fun. I was able to start my round with a 15-foot birdie putt, and that gave me the confidence to keep playing well. On No. 7, I made a 15-foot putt for eagle.
Boehme also had top-10 finishes this year at the E-Z-GO Vaughn Taylor Championship presented by Electrolux and the AJGA Huntsville Junior.
Finishing in a three-way tie for second place were the remaining participants in the playoff. Thomas Walsh of High Point, N.C., Tyler McDaniel of Manchester, Ky., and Joshua Martin of Pinehurst, N.C., all carded scores of 2-under-par 138. Rounding out the top five for the Boys Division were Michael Monroe of Franklin, Tenn., Colin Proctor of Anderson, Ind., and Thadd Obecny, II of Wheeling, W. Va., all tied at 1-under-par 139.
Salazar had eight birdies to win the Girls Division by one stroke.
I had a pretty solid round today, Salazar said. I made a lot of birdies, so that obviously helped out a lot. I was hitting them close because the greens were so wet. It was easy to go flag-hunting and stick them close. I made two birdies right out of the gate, and I was able to capitalize on almost all of my other chances, including one from about 20 feet.
I've always wanted to win this event, Salazar said. This is my third year back here, and I just wanted to keep coming back until I won. I'm glad that I was able to finish it strong.
Salazar's previous AJGA win came at the Lockton Kansas City Junior in 2009.
Finishing in second place in the Girls Division was Kuriko Tsukiyama of West New York, N.J. with a tournament total of 2-under-par 138. Rounding out the top three with a score of 1-under-par 139 was Samantha Marks of Maitland, Fla.