FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Leigh Chien of Irvine, California, and Jack Usner of The Woodlands, Texas, won the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational.
In addition to individual stroke play champions, a boys versus girls team champion was crowned as the top four boys and girls scores are tallied to determine the team winner. The Girls extended their three-year winning streak to tie up the all-time series 3-3 with a total of 29-under-par 835 by five strokes.
The 54-hole stroke play event was founded by Stacy Lewis and partner KPMG in 2015 as a unique addition to the AJGA’s schedule designed to promote equity, friendly competition, and reinforce the importance of ethics, integrity and leadership in junior golf. The 56-player field consisted of an equal number of top boys and girls, ages 12-15, from the around the world who compete in mixed twosomes. Past champions have earned Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors, top 25 Rolex AJGA Rankings status, and 39 AJGA wins.
Blessings Golf Club has hosted the event since its inception, other than its redesign year in 2017, as well as the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Individual and Team Championships.
Reigning KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational champion Chien extended her lead in the final round, ultimately winning by nine strokes. Her 5-under-par 67 in the final round contributed to a 54-hole total at 11-under-par 205. The total marked the lowest girls’ 54-hole score played at an AJGA event at The Blessings. The win was Chien’s third AJGA victory after capturing the 2019 event and 2019 Lockton Kansas City Junior presented by UHY.
"This golf course is really difficult and being able to shoot lower than last year is amazing. I know I worked hard and being able to do that just shows that I have been working hard."
Chien also secured a Symetra Tour exemption into the Founders Tribute at Longbow, in Mesa, Ariz., from August 14-16 at Longbow Golf Club.
Kiara Romero of San Jose, California, finished second after a 4-under-par 68 in the final round. She was one of five in the field with a 54-hole total under par, at 2-under-par 214. Jasmine Koo of Cerritos, California, also shot a 4-under-par 68 in the final round to finish third. Tying Chien for the TayorMade headcover with a low-final round (67) in the Girls Division was Katie Li of Basking Ridge, N.J., who finished fourth with a 2-over-par 218. Bailey Shoemaker of West Edmeston, N.Y., and Caiyi (Flora) Zhang of (China) Bradenton, Florida, tied for fifth with 6-over-par 222.
Usner was tied for second moving into the final round and two shots off the lead. After a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine, he strung together four birdies and a career first hole-in-one on the back nine to combine for a 5-under 67. Usner won his first AJGA event by two strokes with a 4-under-par 212 total. The finish was his fifth top 10 in an AJGA event. He is currently No. 128 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Sihao Cong of Irvine, California, moved up the leaderboard to finish second with a 2-under-par 214. Second-round leader Kush Arora of Pleasanton, California, finished third at 1-under-par 215. Jaivir Pande of Houston, finished fourth at even-par after carding each round at even-par 72. Sihan Sandhu rounded out the Boys Division top five at 2-over-par 218, carding a 3-under-par 69 in the final round.
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