By Layne Saliba, AJGA Communications
With help from Gerina Piller, Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr were able to bring the United States its first title at the UL International Crown. The team held off runner-up Republic of Korea and No. 1-seed England en route to its victory. In her final match, Lewis defeated Japan’s Mika Miyazato, three and-two, while Kerr clinched the victory after defeating England’s Mel Reid, three-and-two, as well.
Altogether, Lewis, Thompson and Kerr have played in 50 AJGA events. Thompson won the 2009 Laredo Energy Junior at Traditions, while Kerr was named a Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 1995. Lewis, who has hosted the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational since 2015, finished in fourth place at the 2002 Abilene Reporter-News Junior.
Dustin Johnson has five top-five finishes in his last six starts on the PGA TOUR, including a T2 finish at the RBC Canadian Open. Johnson entered the final round trailing Brandt Snedeker by one stroke, but ultimately fell to Jhonathan Vegas by the same margin after shooting 11-under-par 277. Snedeker finished T5 with Ricky Barnes and two others at 10-under-par 278.
During his four years as an AJGA player, Johnson competed in five tournaments with his best finish being T10 at the AJGA Greater Greensboro Chrysler Junior, now known as the Haas Family Invitational, in 2001. He then went on to play collegiately at Coastal Carolina University where he shot a career-low round of 64 in the final round of the NCAA East Regional at the Golf Club of Tennessee. Snedeker played in 16 AJGA, events including a win at the 1998 AJGA Music City Junior Team Challenge, while Barnes competed in more than 20 events from 1995-99.
Ally McDonald birdied her final hole at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship to finish runner-up at 9-under-par 135, six strokes behind the winner Laura Gonzalez Escallon. With their finishes in the Symetra Tour event, the two have secured spots in the LPGA’s final major of the season, the Evian Championship in France. Although only the top two spots make it to Evian, Augusta James and Briana Mao both finished T3 at 8-under-par 136.
McDonald played in five AJGA events with four top-10 finishes before competing collegiately at Mississippi State University, where she now serves as an assistant coach. James won the 2008 Medicus Junior All-Star at Oakwood while Mao won both the Junior All-Star at Kingwood and the AJGA Southeast Junior Open in 2009.
J.J. Spaun finished just two strokes behind the winner at the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank to claim his fifth top-10 finish on the Web.com Tour and earn his PGA TOUR card for next season. Xander Schauffele started the final round back seven shots, but finished in third place at 12-under-par 272 while Austin Cook finished in fourth place.
Spaun had a top-10 finish at the TomatoBank Southern California Classic in 2007 before playing collegiately at San Diego State University. Schauffele played in nine AJGA events and finished second at the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior in 2010 while Cook competed in eight tournaments.