I just returned home to Georgia after an amazing three weeks of golf in Florida. I had some awesome experiences playing in four women amateur events that included playing 17 tournament rounds in 20 days. I have never played that much golf in a row without at least a day off. This was good practice for me since I already know my summer schedule will be just as hectic. It also gave me a look at what tour players go through playing three to four weeks in a row.
After the Harder Hall, my mom, Shannon Aubert and I drove to the Sally (South Atlantic Amateur Championship) in Ormond Beach, Fla. We stayed with a great host family again which I really enjoy. It is nice to get to know people in the communities where we are playing and see how much they enjoy being part of the tournaments. After realizing my lack of distance off the tee was a big issue in my previous two events, I had a new PING driver sent to me with a lower 9.5 loft. This helped me gain a little more distance into the wind and was a factor in ...
ORLANDO, Fla. – When Bethany Wu’s final putt dropped for her Annika Invitational victory Jan. 21, a soft rain was falling at the 18th green of Reunion Resort’s Watson Course. By the time Wu ducked into the scoring tent with a 5-under 67, the day had turned from very scorable to very wet.
It was a quiet way to end a big round and a big week for the 16-year-old Wu, who landed her most significant career victory to date with the Annika title. At 10-under 206 for 54 holes, Wu also owns the tournament scoring record. She’s the first player in the event’s five-year history to get in the red by double digits. The next-lowest score was Victoria Tanco’s winning 5-under 211 in 2010.
Tuesday, it’s back to high school for Wu. She had to move back her flight home to Diamond Bar, Calif., after playing her way into Monday’s final group, but an AJGA invitational title is well worth the inconvenience. There will be plenty of homework when she returns.
Wu’s next goal golf-wise is a spot on the 2013 U.S. Junior Solheim Cup team. A spot on the Wyndham ...
REUNION, Fla. – If you know Bethany Wu only by her Twitter handle, then you might expect that the 16-year-old has a good sense of humor. She added a few extra vowels to the end, and now is known as @bethwuuuuu.
Wu’s game merits equal attention, and through two rounds at the AJGA Annika Invitational, there have been many reasons to “woo.” The Diamond Bar, Calif., native is leading the tournament in this, her third start, by two shots. She is at 5-under 139 after two rounds at Reunion Resort’s Watson course.
Wu offers a big grin at talk of her upbeat Twitter handle, and then she displays the same quality in her personality. Wu seems to be able to find the positive in any situation. The key to succeeding at Reunion is learning to make use of the rolling mounds that border many a green and fairway. Said Wu, “It helps me because of the uneven fairways. Sometimes I hit wayward shots, and they just kick it back in.”
Wu had four birdies in her second-round 1-under 71. Increased attention to her iron play and short game have resulted in better results for Wu, and a victory at ...
REUNION, Fla. – If someone would have told Amy Lee she was going to shoot even par in her first round of the Annika Invitational, she wouldn't have believed it.
Due to tendinitis in her right wrist, Lee, of Brea, Calif., had restricted herself from all things golf. She only played three times in the last two months.
“I went to my sports medicine doctor, and sure enough he told me it was tendinitis,” Lee said. “I’ve been wearing my wrist brace and tendon tape everyday, as well as icing it every night.”
Her practice round Friday was her first round of golf of 2013, which made Saturday's performance – an even-par 72 at Reunion Resort's Watson course – all the more surprising. The USC verbal commit is in a tie for seventh.
Lee got off to a fast start with birdies on two of her first four holes. On No. 3, her ball landed about 4 feet short of an ace and she would settle for a tap-in birdie.
She made bogey on the 397-yard, par-4 fifth, but came right back with a nice sand save at No. 6 and carried her momentum to make birdie on par-3 ...
One of three AJGA Invitationals taking place this weekend is at Reunion Resort in Reunion, Fla. The Annika Invitational is a girls, invitation-only event featuring juniors from 17 states, 11 countries and Puerto Rico. In the 72-player field, 38 participants were named Rolex Junior All-Americans and 21 players have made commitments (either verbally or via a binding national letter of intent) to play college golf. This one of the top girls fields on the junior circuit.
Since the tournament's inception in 2009, three (of four) international players have won the Annika Invitational (Simin Feng of China, Victoria Tanco of Argentina and Celine Boutier of France). Last year, Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., won and broke the consecutive-years streak by foreign-born players winning.
Lee is not back this year to defend her title.
Let’s take a closer look at 5 players to watch when the -nvitational starts on Saturday, Jan. 19:
• • •
Shannon Aubert, Reunion, Fla. (2014)
No. 8 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, Aubert is coming off a runner-up finish at the South Atlantic Amateur in Ormond Beach, Fla., last weekend and top-20s at the Harder Hall Women's Invitational and the Dixie Women’s Amateur. “I’m really ...
2013 Junior competition schedule
• Jan. 11-13: AJGA Winn Junior Cup Challenge, Henderson, Nev.
• Jan. 19-21: AJGA Annika Invitational, Reunion, Fla. (Scores: Girls)
• Jan. 19-21: AJGA Puerto Rico Junior Open, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico (Scores: Boys)
• Jan. 19-21: Carolinas/Georgia Junior, North Augusta, S.C ...
Its been a busy couple of weeks for me here in Florida! I played in the Dixie Amateur in Coral Springs, Fla., and finished up with the Harder Hall in Sebring, FL. I have three more tournaments in Florida, but I just wanted to share a little about my time here so far!
Starting out at the Dixie Amateur was a great experience. There were a lot of great college players as well as junior golfers who played in the event. I had the opportunity to play with some really nice girls who gave me some good advice about playing college golf (for a team and as an individual) and also how much fun theyʼve had playing in a team atmosphere. I shot 74-73-73-74 294 (+6) for a 24th place finish. I definitely didnʼt play my best, but I took away some positives and also it helped me realize what I need to work on. The last day I hit 16 greens, but had 36 putts and shot 74 so my putting was not the strongest part of my game that week.
After the Dixie, my mom, Taylor and I drove to the Harder Hall in Sebring Fla. The tournament ...
Brad Dalke remembers looking at the temperature right before the final day of play at the Winn Junior Cup Sunday at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev.
"Twenty-five degrees," Dalke said. “We were all bundled up. It was rough out there.”
But despite the frigid conditions, Dalke and the West team rolled to a 22-9 victory over the East. It was the second straight title for the West, as well as for Dalke and teammate Alison Lee.
Lee won both of her singles matches on Sunday, beating Nicole Morales, 7 and 5, and Casey Danielson, 5 and 4, while Dalke chipped in for a victory over former U.S. Junior Amateur champ Jim Liu.
“It feels good,” said Dalke, who, along with Lee, also played in this event last year. “They have some great players, but we did, too. They actually played pretty well, but we were able to barely outplay them in most of the matches. There were just some great matches out there. It was really fun.”
The West, captained by LPGA player Natalie Gulbis, took a 10-5 lead after Saturday’s first day of competition, rallying back from an early 5-0 deficit to Butch Harmon’s ...
With the departure of Thai super sisters Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn to the professional ranks, girls’ junior golf is looking for two heirs apparent atop leaderboards. Nicole Morales and Shannon Aubert are good bets.
Morales, of South Salem, N.Y., is No. 1 in Golfweek Junior Rankings for the Class of 2014, No. 7 overall. Her momentum into the 2012 season started in November 2011, when she won the Polo Junior Golf Classic after being 3 down through four holes. Since then, she has had four AJGA top-10 finishes, including a victory at the Genesis Junior Open and a runner-up finish at the TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook.
The Alabama-commit gave it her all at the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior when she played No. 1-ranked amateur Lydia Ko in the Round of 16. Morales took the match to the 17th hole. For the first time, she was named a Rolex Junior All-American.
Shannon Aubert of Reunion, Fla., has made some noise at the junior level. Aubert, No. 2 in the Golfweek Junior Rankings for the Class of 2014, has three top-5 AJGA finishes. In five years on the AJGA, she has seven runner-up finishes and no invitational titles. The ...
Casie Cathrea won the 2013 San Diego Junior Amateur after shooting a final-round 2-under 70 at Sycuan Resort on Jan 5. This is Cathrea’s third San Diego Junior Amateur title after winning the event in 2010 and 2009. The Livermoore, Calif., native finished six strokes ahead of the field. She will attend Oklahoma State in the fall.
The 6th annual San Diego Junior Amateur took place at Steele Canyon Golf Club and Sycuan Resort on Jan. 3-5.
In the boys 15-18 division, Corey Shaun of Encinitas, Calif., won by four shots over Aaron Wise. Shaun’s first round, 5-under 66, was tied for the low round of the tournament. He is ranked No. 48 in the boys junior Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, class of 2014.
In the girls 15-18 division, the 2010 and 2009 San Diego Junior Amateur champion Casie Cathrea won after shooting a final-round 2-under 70. The Livermoore, Calif., native finished six strokes ahead of the field. She will be a freshman at Oklahoma State in the fall. This is Cathrea's third San Diego Junior Amateur title.
My name is Ashlan Ramsey and I’m a senior at John Milledge Academy in Milledgeville, Ga. I have played AJGA events for six years and have played in various junior events for eight years. I have been extremely blessed to have traveled the places I have and I am thankful everyday that I am able to play a game that I love. There are many people, especially my family and friends that have motivated and encouraged me to follow my dreams, and they all have played a huge role in helping me get to where I am today.
I first picked up a golf club at the age of six when my dad took me in our backyard (a driving range) and let me swing while he was practicing his own game. We moved to Augusta, Ga., a year later and decided I wanted to play tennis instead of golf. My mind was quickly changed when my sister, Taylor, came home with a bunch of golf trophies and I had yet to win one (a trophy) playing tennis. Whether I was playing 4-hole tournaments at our country club or playing U.S. Kids events, I was always ...
The 31st annual Doral-Publix Junior Golf Classic took place at Doral Golf Resort & Spa on Dec. 17-23.
In the boy’s championship, Alexander Matlari of Bad-Wuer, Germany, shot 68-75-70 to win the title by two shots over Danny Guise of Greenwich, Conn.
In the girl’s championship, Emily Pedersen of Smoerum, Denmark, captured the title by one-shot over Lakareber Abe of Fort Worth, Texas, by shooting 74-70-71.
Puerto Rico’s Maria Torres and England’s Patrick Kelley won the Junior Orange Bowl International Golf Championship on Dec. 30 at The Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables, Fla.
Torres edged American Nicole Morales by one-shot on the 72nd hole of the tournament. Torres had a four-stroke lead at the 14th hole, but Morales didn’t go away quietly. She sunk a 40-foot putt to save par at No. 15, then she made a birdie at No. 16, where Torres three-putted. They were tied heading into No. 18. Morales made bogey and Torres tapped in for par to claim the title.
Kelley won the title by going wire-to-wire and winning by a 13-shot margin. He started the final round with a seven-shot lead and was never threatened. He struggled with illness throughout the week. Kelley’s 19-under 263 total was the second-lowest winning score in the 49 years of the championship.
Information from the Junior Orange Bowl was used in this report
PALM HARBOR, Fla. – He's just 13 years old, but Robin Wang proved Sunday that he can play with the older boys.
Wang sank a 5-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the boys 15-19 division of the CJGA World Junior Challenge at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club's Copperhead Course.
Maria Alejandra Villalobos won the girls division and Sam Jung took the boys 14-and-under crown.
"I was a little bit nervous [standing over that putt]," said Wang, who set up the championship-winning birdie with a clutch approach – a 9-iron that landed and stopped on the green just to the front-right of the pin.
The shot generated a loud roar from the gallery watching on the 18th green, especially Wang's father and those affiliated with Wang's academy, Eagles Dream, which is based out of Timacuan Golf and Country Club in Lake Mary, Fla.
“I knew I had to hit a close approach,” said Wang, who is ranked No. 57 in the Golfweek/Sagarin junior boys rankings. “I told myself I can do this. I can hit this close the hole.”
Wang entered the final round with a one-shot lead over Renato Paratore and Jose Mendez. Playing ...
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