Jake Carter of Aiken, S.C. and Bing Singhsumalee of Naperville, Ill. claimed titles in their respective divisions at the AJGA Junior All-Star at Eagle Ridge in Galena, Ill on June 21.
Carter, the Boys’ division winner, edged Kyle Suppa of Honolulu, Hawaii by one stroke with a three-round score of 1-over 217. Suppa was the first-round leader after posting a 3-under 69. A 6-over 78 by the Hawaiian in the second round allowed Carter, who shot an even-par 72 and 1-under 71 in the first two rounds, to take a four-stroke lead over Suppa into the final day.
In the third round, a 1-under 71 by Suppa put him in striking distance, but Carter held firm. Despite bogeying the last two holes, Carter retained his advantage through his final stroke. The narrow victory was Carter’s first AJGA championship.
The South Carolinian admits it did not come easy with Suppa in his rearview mirror. “Kyle’s a good player,” Carter said. “On No. 16, I hit it on the green, and he did too, but he hit it out for birdie. On No. 17, I hit the green and he missed. I kept my focus by just taking deep breaths. This win means a lot.”
Matthew Walker of Ottumwa, Iowa made a final round push to claim third place by carding a low-round 70. He finished the tournament at 5-over 221. Walker was followed by Eduardo Carrete of Howey in the Hills, Fla., who shot a 6-over 222 and Chase Roswall of Bristol, Tenn., who shot a 7-over 223.
On the Girls’ side, Singhsumalee led after all three rounds for a commanding 5-stroke victory. In rounds one and two, Singhsumalee, playing in her home state of Illinois, carded a 2-over 74 and a 1-over 73 for both rounds’ low scores. She kept steady with a 5-over 77 on the final day to finish the tournament at 8-over 224.
Singhsuamlee, who entered the final round with a 6-stroke lead, did not try to do anything to further her lead during her last 18 holes. “I just wanted to get as many pars as I could today,” she said. “On hole No. 15, I almost had a birdie, but my putt was just short of the pin. I didn’t have any birdies today so that’s unfortunate, but I still played well so I’m glad.”
The victory was Singhsumalee’s first AJGA title and third top-ten finish.
Hong Kong, China’s Oi Lam Michelle Yan posted the championship’s second-best score with a 13-over 229. Rounding out the top five were Madasyn Pettersen of Rockford, Ill. with a 14-over 230, Elsa Moberly of Science Hill, Ky. with a 15-over 231 and Hiu Lam Venessa Yan of Hong Kong, China with an 18-over 234.