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Tour highlights: Walker, Jutanugarn win first majors

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By Layne Saliba, AJGA Communications

 

Jimmy Walker earned his first major title at the PGA Championship after shooting 14-under-par 266. His bogey-free final round helped him edge runner-up Jason Day by one stroke and keep a comfortable distance from Daniel Summerhays who finished third at 10-under-par 270. With the win, Walker jumped from No. 48 to No. 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

The Baylor University graduate had four top-15 finishes as an AJGA member, including a win at the Valero Junior Texas Open in 1996. He was also named a Rolex Junior All-American in the same year.

Walker is set to host his own AJGA tournament, the Jimmy Walker Challenge, in October. The event will be held at his home club, The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch, in hopes of giving junior boys a chance to gain experience competing in Ryder and Presidents Cup formats. The Jimmy Walker Challenge will be completely funded by Walker with personal and Presidents Cup money, as he aims to ensure that boys are exposed to four-ball and foursome formats.

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Ariya Jutanugarn became the first Thailand native to win a major title after her victory at the RICOH Women’s British Open. The title was her first major championship and fourth LPGA Tour victory this year. Her 16-under-par 272 was three strokes better than Mirim Lee and Mo Martin who both finished T2 as Stacy Lewis finished in fourth place. The win pushed Jutanugarn up four spots in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking to No. 2.

Jutanugarn excelled as a junior golfer, especially within the AJGA. She played in 13 AJGA events and won four of them, three of which came in 2012. She finished outside of the top-10 just two times. She was a two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year and a three-time Rolex Junior All-American.

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Emma Talley finished just one stroke behind Peiyun Chien at the Kansas City Championship to tie for second place with Jackie Stoelting at 8-under-par 136 while Stephanie Connelly came in fourth place. This is Talley’s second runner-up finish of the season which has moved her to No. 21 on the Symetra Tour money list.

Last round cancelled, thankful for 2nd place this week. @ROAD2LPGA and Staley Farms Golf Club thank you for a great week! #GlorytoGod

Emma Talley (@talley_emma) July 31, 2016

Talley, a recent University of Alabama graduate, played in 33 AJGA tournaments from 2006-11. She won 10 of them, including four in 2011, when she was selected as a first-team Rolex Junior All-American. Connelly had eight top-10 finishes in AJGA events and was a two-time Rolex Junior All-American in 2003 and 2004.

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Brandon Hagy finished T3 with Xander Schauffele at the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae, behind the new scoring record-holder Stephan Jaeger who finished 30-under-par 250 and Rhein Gibson who finished seven strokes back in second. Hagy’s 21-under-par 259 marks his fifth top-10 finish this season and has helped him break into the top-25 on the Web.com Tour regular season money list. Schauffele now has two third-place finishes this season and jumped 16 spots to No. 27 on the money list. Alex Prugh rounded out the top-five at 18-under-par 262.

Hagy played in 14 AJGA tournaments, including a runner-up performance at the Medicus Preseason Junior at Rancho Mirage in 2006. Schauffele also had one runner-up finish in 2010 at the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior while Prugh competed in four AJGA tournaments from 2000-01.