Emily Kurey’s win last week in Memphis was an extra special one.
Not only did the Alpharetta, Ga., native claim her first AJGA victory, but she also notched her first competition hole-in-one en route to a nine-shot win at the AJGA Junior at TPC Southwind on Aug. 7-9.
The shot came at the par-3 fourth hole. From about 145 yards out, Kurey opted for 9-iron.
“I hit the perfect shot and I looked up into the sun and lost the ball,” Kurey said. “Sydney [Needham, Kurey’s playing partner] screamed ‘go in the hole’ but I thought she was just joking, and then it actually hit the pin and slid down in. I didn’t see it, I just heard it and heard all the volunteers on the green screaming. It was pretty cool.
“My 9-iron is my new best friend.”
Kurey finished the round with a 3-over 74 – the ace helped offset six bogeys – and ended up with an 8-over 222 for the tournament. Needham was second with a 17-over 231.
Kurey had put together a slew of top-10 finishes over the past three years, including a sixth-place finish at the 2009 AJGA Junior All-Star at Ballantyne and a T-6 at the 2012 Charles Howell III Junior. Now she’s finally earned the title “AJGA tournament champion.”
“This has been a dream of mine for the longest time,” Kurey said. “On my mirror I look at it every day and now it’s finally coming true. It’s pretty cool that I know that I can do it and that I have a bright future in golf.”
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SCAVO BREAKS THROUGH: With a T-2 finish at the Aspen Junior Classic and a fourth-place finish at the Junior All-Star at Cypress Ridge already this year, Kathleen Scavo knew her time was coming.
That time was last week, as Scavo, of Benicia, Calif., won her first AJGA event – the Stockton Convention and Visitors Bureau Junior All-Star on Aug. 7-9 at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, Calif.
“It definitely boosts my confidence,” Scavo said. “It is always nice to get a win every once in a while. This win helps reassure me that I am making progress towards my ultimate goal, which for me is to become a professional golfer on the LPGA tour after college.”
Scavo made five birdies, including four on the back nine, during her final round. She shot 2-under 70 to finish the tournament at 7-under 209.
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PARK LEADS STRONG FIELD: Kaitlin Park, a Northwestern signee and one of the top juniors in the country, is part of a competitive field at the AJGA Junior at Robinson Ranch Golf Club in Santa Clarita, Calif. The event, held Aug. 14-16 at the Valley Course, also features Anne Cheng, Cal-Berkeley commit Alice Jeong, Sarah Cho, UC-Davis signee Andrea Wong and UC-Irvine commit Luciane Lee.
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WINNERS: Mackenzie Perez of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., shot a 7-over 77 in the final round, but held on to win the Philadelphia Junior at Huntingdon Valley (Pa.) CC on Aug. 6-8 by one shot with a 10-over 220 total. . . . Alexandra White of Honolulu beat Jordy LaBarbera in a one-hole playoff to win the Goodman Networks Junior on Aug. 7-9 at Timarron CC in Southlake, Texas. . . . Catherina Li of Kent, Wash., won her second career AJGA title, shooting 4-under 206 to win the AJGA Junior at Fox Hill Club in Longmont, Colo., on Aug. 7-9. . . . Muni He of Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, shot 3-over 219 to win the Randy Wise Junior Open on Aug. 7-9 at Warwick Hills G&CC in Grand Blanc, Mich.
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LOOKING AHEAD: Aside from the event at Robinson Ranch, the AJGA has three other tournaments on the schedule this week, including the Sooner Junior All-Star in Norman, Okla., the Webb Simpson Junior, and the Peninsula Junior at Millsboro, Del. . . . The Texas Legends Junior Tour’s George Hannon Junior at Spanish Oaks CC will take place Aug. 13-14. . . . The New England Junior at Taconic GC in Williamstown, Mass., and the Junior Tour of Northern California’s Tour Championship at Mayacama GC in Santa Rose, Calif., are scheduled to end Aug. 14.
Information from the AJGA was used in this report