Junior Notes: Weaver wins AJGA event in home state
A STUDY IN PLAYOFFS: Lindsey Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz. won her ninth career AJGA victory on June 7 at the PING Phoenix Junior in a two-hole sudden-death playoff. Weaver, the leader heading into the final round, finished at 1-under 209 (68-69-72) to tie with Allisen Corpuz of Honolulu (71-67-71) at ASU Karsten GC in Tempe, Ariz.
After both Weaver and Corpuz made par on the first playoff hole, Weaver birded the second while Corpuz had a chance for birdie as well, but left her putt short.
Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, Calif. missed the playoff by one stroke, finishing at even-par 210 (71-69-70) to take third place. Paige Lee of Folsom, Calif. and Hannah O’Sullivan of Cupertino, Calif. tied for fourth at 6-over 216.
Weaver, ranked No. 6 in the class of 2012 by Golfweek’s Junior Rankings, is a seasoned tournament player – she won her first AJGA title six years ago the 2006 Nike Golf Junior.
“I used to be really nervous, but I lost the whole ‘nervous thing’,” said Weaver of her experience with playoffs. “I just focus on my shots, which has worked.”
Her philosophy has indeed proven effective – Weaver also recently won a playoff at the AJGA Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic.
Given that she’s been playing the game since she was two years old and has amassed multiple tournament wins and top-10s, its logical that Weaver wouldn’t get as nervous as younger, greener players such as Corpuz, who isn’t even in high school yet.
Talent-wise, Corpuz has it all – playing experience (the eighth-grader picked up golf as a six-year-old) and the ability to compete against older players (she had a tournament-total of 11 birdies to Weaver’s nine). But she’s still young, and is therefore still in the lesson-learning process and subject to nerves.
This win was especially meaningful to Weaver as it is the last AJGA tournament she will play in her home state of Arizona before heading to Notre Dame in the fall, where she’ll play on the women’s golf team.
For the moment, Weaver is focused on preparing for the U.S. Women’s Open in July, but one day down the road, after college, Weaver would like to play as a pro in Europe, the impetus of which being her love of travel.
As for Corpuz? She has a valuable piece of advice to impart: “Don’t leave your birdie putt short.”
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BIG COMEBACK: Jaixin Yang of Lake Mary, Fla. shot even-par 216 (73-76-67) to win the Girls 15-18 Division of the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour’s 54 Hole Mid Season Championship at Falcons Fire GC in Kissimmee, Fla., played June 9-11. Yang was five shots back going into the final round, but carded a bogey-free 5-under 67 on the final day to secure the win.
With her win, Yang earned a spot in the HJGT’s Tour Championship in December.
Minita Yin, also of Lake Mary, finished in second, eight shots back at 8-over 224 (74-77-73). In third place was Amanda He of Windermere, Fla, who finished at 10-over 226 (72-75-79).
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GIRLS DIVISION WINNERS: Jordan Daniel of Newnan, Ga. shot 5-over 215 (70-73-72) to win the AJGA Evitt Foundation RTC Junior All-Star at WindStone GC in Ringgold, Ga., June 4-7. . . . Aliea Clark of Carlsbad, Calif. won the AJGA Junior at Steelwood CC in Loxley, Ala., June 4-7 via a sudden-death playoff after shooting shot 1-over 217 to tie for first with Cheyenne Knight of The Woodlands, Texas. . . . Naomi Ko shot 12-over 225 (69-77-79) to win the AJGA Aspen Junior Golf Classic at Aspen (Colo.) GC, June 4-7. . . . Evelyn Dole of Raleigh, N.C. shot 9-over 225 (76-72-77) to win the AJGA Junior at Quad Cities, played at Short Hills CC in East Moline, Ill., June 5-8. . . . Jordan Lippetz of Bradenton, Fla. shot 5-over 221 (75-72-74) to win the Girls 16-18 year-old division of PGA Junior Series at Kearny Hill GL in Lexington, Ken., June 5-7. Mika Liu, also of Bradenton, shot 1-over 217 (76-70-71) to win the Girls 13-25 year-old division. . . . Erica Stoner shot even-par 144 (70-74) to win the Florida Junior Tour Girls' Junior Amateur Championship at Black Diamond Ranch (Ranch & Highlands), in Lecanto, Fla. June 11-12.
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A LOOK AHEAD: The AJGA has several events this week, including the Rolex Girls Junior Championship at The Concession GC in Bradenton, Fla., June 11-15; the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic at Coosa CC in Rome, Ga., June 11-14; the Matt Snodgrass Las Vegas Junior at Stallion Mountain GC in Las Vegas, Nev., June 11-14; the FJ Invitational at Cardinal G&CC in Greensboro, N.C., June 11-15; and the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior at Bellefonte CC in Ashland, Ken., June 12-15. . . . The PGA Junior Series plays at ArborLinks in Nebraska City, Neb., June 11-13. . . . Next week the Texas Junior Golf Tour stops in Austin for the Falconhead (GC) Junior Championship, June 18-19. TJGT also plays the Tour 18 Junior Championship in Flower Mound, Texas, June 18-19.