While Blessings Golf Club may have been the most grueling venue ever to host an AJGA invitational, Ryan Lavner encountered no such difficulties. Lavner made the biggest jump of the year, gaining 80 points with two solid picks at the Rolex Tournament of Champions to cut into Julie Williams’ big lead.
No Golfweek staffer selected a player who finished outside the top 11 at Blessings, an unusual display of prognosticating excellence.
JULIE WILLIAMS (25 points/205 overall): Shun Yat Hak was in position to win entering the final two rounds of the Rolex ToC, but a third-round 80 doomed his chances; he settled for T-4. Emma Talley never broke 75 and tied for 11th.
RYAN LAVNER (80 points/175 overall): Finally, a breakout week: Anthony Paolucci avoided another final-hole meltdown to win by two shots over Justin Rodgers, and Emily Tubert, recent winner of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, had a chance coming down the stretch in the final round but finished second in the girls’ division.
DAN MIROCHA (30 points/95 overall): Again, Yat finished T-4, and Ariya Jutanugarn, stroke-play medalist at the WAPL, tied for eighth after a final-round 77. Actually, her older sister, Moriya, placed higher (fourth).