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April 14, 2014 | 5:48 p.m.

Player of the week: Rodrigo Sanchez

Golfweek Staff

Rodrigo Sanchez of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, won the AJGA Preseason Junior at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club March 13 in Palm Harbor, Fla. It was the first career AJGA start for Sanchez, who finished at 3-under 137 to win by five shots over Felipe Torres of Apopka, Fla.

April 7, 2014 | 4:34 p.m.

Player of the week: Spencer Soosman

Golfweek Staff

Spencer Soosman of Westlake Village, Calif., shot a pair of 4-under 68s to win the AJGA Junior at River Ridge Golf Club's Victoria Lakes Course in Oxnard, Calif., by four shots. It was his first AJGA victory.

Andy Zunz
Davis Riley won the Terra Cotta Invitational by one stroke in Naples, Fla.
Davis Riley won the Terra Cotta Invitational by one stroke in Naples, Fla.

When Davis Riley hit his 7-iron on the 182-yard par 3 third hole, he thought he'd struck gold.

"I saw it land and saw it rolling and it went just past the edge to about 2 feet past the hole," Riley said. "It kind of got me there, thinking I had a hole-in-one."

That was the story of the weekend for Riley at the Terra Cotta Invitational in Naples, Fla. – not missed opportunities, but greens in regulation.

Riley, the No. 10 junior in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, cited his ballstriking as the key to a one-stroke victory at the ...

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Categories: Amateur, Men, Andy Zunz, Junior, Boys
Jim McCabe
NIne-year-old Kelly Xu won the 7-9 girls’ division of the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt contest at the finale at Augusta National.
NIne-year-old Kelly Xu won the 7-9 girls’ division of the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt contest at the finale at Augusta National.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Locked away for safe keeping is a priceless piece of information and should you question his credentials, Mark O’Meara could smile and remind you of how it is he came in possession of a certain green jacket.

It was 16 years ago when O’Meara on an April Sunday stared down a putt at the 72nd green at Augusta National Golf Club and curled it from right-to-left into the hole. The winning putt at the 1998 Masters is a memory worth talking about forever, any time, any place.

“About 18 to 20 feet,” O’Meara said, when ...

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Jim McCabe
Yep, just like Tiger Woods, the finalists of the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt competition will take to the practice green by the Augusta National clubhouse in front of a crowd.
Yep, just like Tiger Woods, the finalists of the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt competition will take to the practice green by the Augusta National clubhouse in front of a crowd.

It would be a dream moment that almost every golfer is born with, though precious few get to realize. Mark O’Meara accomplished it, but not until his 15th try and at the age of 41. Phil Mickelson? He did it, too, but he was 33 and in his 12th attempt.

Akshay Bhatia and Zell Wilson? They may pull it off in their first attempts – at 12 and 9, respectively.

We’re talking a winning putt at the 18th hole on an April Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club.

Now if you have no trouble recalling O’Meara’s right-to-left ...

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Brandon Smith during the Under Armour / Hunter Mahan Championship.
Brandon Smith during the Under Armour / Hunter Mahan Championship.

Brandon Smith had been dreaming about his first AJGA victory for a long time, and finally broke through on March 30 at the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship.

Smith is ranked No. 46 in the class of 2015 Golfweek rankings and has given a verbal commitment to attend Texas A&M.

Here are 5 questions with the recent winner:

• • •

1. It's easy to be nervous going into the final round in contention when you're trying for your first victory. Were you nervous entering the final day and if so, did starting with three straight birdies help calm you ...

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Categories: Junior, Boys
March 31, 2014 | 2:21 p.m.

Player of the week: Brandon Smith

Golfweek Staff

Brandon Smith recorded his first AJGA victory March 30 at the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship at Stonebriar Country Club in Smith's hometown of Frisco, Texas. He finished at 3-under 141, winning by a shot over Philip Barbaree of Shreveport, La.

Brentley Romine

Brandon Smith had been dreaming of winning his first AJGA event for quite some time.

“I’ve been dreaming about winning forever,” said Smith, of Frisco, Texas, who shot a final-round, 1-under 71 to wrap up a one-shot victory at the AJGA Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship Sunday at Stonebriar Country Club's Fazio Course in Frisco, Texas.

“I started calm, prepared, and composed off the first tee which led to my first three birdies (on the first three holes). I tried not to think too far ahead and fell into a good place. This win means a lot.”

Smith ...

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Categories: Junior, Boys, Girls
Nick Masuda
Sam Horsfield, No. 7 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, verbally committed to Florida on Saturday.
Sam Horsfield, No. 7 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, verbally committed to Florida on Saturday.

It was a good day to be a Florida Gator.

Not only did UF advance to the Final Four in men's basketball with a 62-52 victory over Dayton, the the school also verbally landed maybe the most prized 2015 men's golf recruit.

Sam Horsfield, No. 7 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings and third in the Class of 2015, told coach Buddy Alexander and the Gators that he plans on joining them in the fall of 2015.

He cannot sign his national letter of intent until November.

"It's only an hour and a half from my house ...

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Cassie Stein

Preston Fleenor and Benjamin Baxter share the lead at the Under Armour / Hunter Mahan Championship after the first round.

Fleenor, a junior at Pembroke Hill in Mission Hills Kan., and Baxter, who will attend SMU in the fall, shot 3-under 69s at Stonebriar Country Club in Frisco, Texas on Saturday.

Zach Partin, Yu-Chuan Hsiang, Charles Kim and Brandon Smith are tied for third at 2 under.

In the girls division, Alexis Sadeghy, Jordy LaBarbera and Maddie Szeryk are tied at the top of the leaderboard at 1-under 71 at Stonebriar.

Each girl is graduating in 2014 and will attend different ...

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Andy Zunz
SMU signee Benjamin Baxter is one of 43 Texans preparing to play at the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship.
SMU signee Benjamin Baxter is one of 43 Texans preparing to play at the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship.

If the Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship needs to find a new name any time soon, the Texas Shootout may not be a terrible choice.

Forty three Texans will compete Saturday through Sunday at the event at Stonebriar Country Club. Five of those players – Courtney Dow, Brandon Smith, Brielle Ward, Matthew Whitney and Sean Wilcox – will play in their hometown of Frisco, Texas.

The field of 78 golfers will play 36 holes over the weekend. Benjamin Baxter, an SMU signee and the No. 29 player in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, said he is excited to play in his home state ...

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Categories: Andy Zunz, Junior, Boys

Theo Humphrey first started making the trip to Sea Island, Ga., in October 2011 to work with swing instructor Todd Anderson. Before that, Humphrey said he was a self-taught golfer.

Now, the 18-year-old senior at Rye (N.Y.) Country Day School is one of the top junior golfers in the country. He's ranked 20th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and is signed to play at Vanderbilt in the fall.

“I didn’t have the swing," Humphrey said. "It was pretty ugly. Todd can definitely take a lot of the credit for that. He has helped me so much."

Said ...

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March 24, 2014 | 4:35 p.m.

Player of the week: Jack Comstock

Golfweek Staff

Jack Comstock of Jacksonville, Fla., topped a talented field at the Florida Junior Tour event at Timacuan Golf and Country Club in Lake Mary, Fla. Comstock shot 68-69 to finish at 7-under 137, one shot better than runner-up Andy Zhang and two shots better than third-place Robin Wang.

Andy Zunz
Doug Ghim, shown at the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur, is excited to join the Texas Longhorns in the fall.
Doug Ghim, shown at the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur, is excited to join the Texas Longhorns in the fall.

Doug Ghim is starting to feel a bit of senioritis.

You know, the anxious feeling high school seniors get when they look toward the future. It's the same for Ghim, who is slated to join the Texas Longhorns in the fall.

"I'm counting down the minutes," Ghim said, with a laugh. "I'll be on Instagram seeing pictures of the courses that they get to play and the stuff they get being on the team. Being on the team with a bunch of other really talented kids would be really cool. I can't tell you how excited ...

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Categories: Andy Zunz, Junior, Boys
March 18, 2014 | 2:26 p.m.

Player of the week: Zachary Campbell

Golfweek Staff

Zachary Campbell of Benbrook, Texas, won the Texas Junior Golf Tour's Traditions Spring Break Invite at Texas A&M. Campbell shot 74-73 to finish at 3-over 147, then won a six-man playoff for the title.

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