Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – Cayden Pope of Lexington, Kentucky, shot a final round score of 4-under-par 68 to win his first-career AJGA tournament at the Team TaylorMade Invitational at The Country Club at Mirasol.
With rounds of 65-67-68, Pope finished with a tournament total of 16-under-par 200. He birdied hole 18 to force a playoff, where he birdied No. 18 again to win. His first round 7-under-par 65 was tied for the lowest round of the 54-hole tournament.
I drove the ball well again today which was important. We weren't able to play the ball up, so driving it well helped.
In the final round of his AJGA career, Pope started with a share of the lead. He was even-par through 14 holes before finishing with four consecutive birdies.
I just know there was no reason not to play aggressive. Pars really weren't going to get it done.
At No. 24 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Pope will attend Auburn University to play college golf in the fall. He finished in second at the 2022 Wyndham Invitational presented by Truist, and T6 at the 2022 Rolex Tournament of Champions.
Pope held a share of the lead throughout all three rounds. He is a 2022 Rolex Junior All-American.
Finishing runner-up, second round co-leader Miles Russell of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, nearly notched his third straight AJGA victory coming in at 16-under-par 200. After lipping out on No. 18, he was forced into a playoff in which he made a par and lost by one stroke. At No. 76 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Russell had 19 birdies and three bogeys on the week. He shot four-under-par 68 in his final round and also tied for the lowest second round at six-under-par 66. In his first appearance at the Team TaylorMade Invitational, the 14-year-old was competing in just his fourth AJGA event.
In third place, William Jennings of Greenville, South Carolina, finished at 15-under-par 201. The University of Alabama verbal commit now has six top-five finishes in AJGA events. His first round of seven-under-par 65 was tied for the lowest round of the tournament.
Tied for fourth place, Will Hartman of Marvin, North Carolina, finished at 14-under-par 202. The 16-year-old shot was 7-under-par through the first 10 holes of his final round.
Also tied for fourth place, Bryan Kim of Brookeville, Maryland, finished at 14-under-par 202. The Duke University commit now has nine top-10 finishes in AJGA Invitationals since September of 2021.
Rounding out the top 10:
6. Ethan Paschal (-13)
T7. Jaeyoung (Jeffrey) Kwak (-10)
T7. Henry Guan (-10)
T7. Carson Bertagnole (-10)
T10. Byungho Lee (-8)
T10. Nicholas Prieto (-8)
The Team TaylorMade Invitational is part of a rich history of all-boys events including the AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods, Wyndham Invitational presented by Truist, and The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by Rolex. This event, and the Jack Burke Jr. Invitational, debuted in 2021 and are the first two AJGA boys stroke play Invitationals added to the schedule since 2007.
The Team TaylorMade Invitational field featured 51 former AJGA champions, 26 Rolex Junior All-Americans, and 10 of the top 20 boys in the current Rolex AJGA Rankings at the Country Club at Mirasol.