Lucy Li cruised to the title in the girls division at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, while Garrett Barber escaped with a victory among the boys.
The action finished up Thursday at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., with two worthy champions emerging.
Li, of Redwood Shores, Calif., entered the day with a five-shot lead and closed in 3-under 69 at the Fazio Course to retain that margin. The Class of 2020 prospect is the top-ranked girls’ junior in the country by Golfweek and earned her third AJGA invitational win of 2017 with her 13-under 275 performance at PGA National.
This is another in a long line of the young star’s exploits. Li first burst into the picture when, in 2013, she became the youngest competitor in U.S. Women’s Amateur history at 10 years, 10 months and 4 days. The following year she became the youngest qualifier for the U.S. Women’s Open, doing so at 11 years, 8 months and 19 days.
She’s backed up those early successes since, winning the 2016 Girls Junior PGA Championship and reaching the quarterfinals this summer at the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Aneka Seumanutafa finished a distant second at 8 under. Michaela Morard, a multi-talented 2020 Alabama commit, closed in 65 to finish solo third at 5 under. Seumanutafa, a 2019 Ohio State commit, is ranked 19th by Golfweek while Morard is 23rd.
The girls played the Fazio Course in the first and final rounds, moving to the Champion Course for Rounds 2 and 3. Li took an eight-shot lead with a 10-under 62 in Round 2 before a 73-69 follow-up allowed her to finish things off.
In the boys’ contest, Barber took a much less smooth process to triumph. The Stuart, Fla., product was tied for the lead entering the final round at the Champion Course and was one shot ahead over Canon Claycomb (who was in the clubhouse) as he played the 72nd hole.
Barber’s approach barely missed the water and he left himself a 5-footer for par to seal his first AJGA invitational title. He buried the putt, and with that, Barber had his first AJGA win since 2014.
He did so despite a closing 4-over 75 that pushed him to an 8-under 278 total. The boys played the opening and final rounds on the Champion Course (which played for them as a par 71) and took on the Fazio (a par 72) in Rounds 2 and 3.
Barber, an LSU signee, outlasted Claycomb by a shot for the win. Barber is Golfweek‘s No. 8, with Claycomb, a Class of 2020 player who’s just getting started, slated at No. 11.
Ricky Castillo, a 54-hole co-leader, closed in 6-over 77 to fall to third at 6 under. The 2019 Florida commit is ranked No. 10 by Golfweek.
Aden Ye, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 2 and a Florida signee, finished in a tie for 10th at 2 under.