By Preston Smith, AJGA Communications
The David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior is held in a city renowned for its junior golf presence. Toms – a 13-time winner on the PGA TOUR originally from just outside of Shreveport – played with the AJGA from 1982-84 before attending Louisiana State University. Numerous high school golf champions from Shreveport and the surrounding area speak to Toms’ impact.
In addition to the David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior that annually brings the best junior golfers from across the country to Shreveport, the Foundation opened a 60-acre golf practice facility in 2013. The state-of-the-art facility, named 265 after Toms’ record-setting performance at the 2001 PGA Championship, features a nine-hole par-3 course, eight short-game practice areas, two driving ranges and a three-hole golf course.
“He’s really changed the golf community here,” said Mason Barr, a rising junior at C.E. Byrd High School which claimed the Louisiana state golf championship this year. “With a practice facility like 265, the people out there are the ones really trying to get better at the game. Everyone has the same hardworking mindset out there.”
Every participant at the David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior is able to practice at 265 during the tournament. While some are experiencing the complex for the first time, others see it as their second home in golf.
“I love 265,” said Alden Wallace, an upcoming sophomore at nearby Loyola College Prep. “I’ve probably lost 20 strokes off of my game since I started practicing there. It’s just really cool to have a really good professional golfer here. I’ve learned a lot from him out at 265.”
For the players competing in this week’s tournament, Toms and his Foundation serve as a banner of how a PGA TOUR professional can give back in his community and to the game of golf.
“It’s a huge honor to play in a PGA TOUR player’s tournament,” said Andrew Fernandes of Cerritos, California. “We are trying to emulate these people to eventually make it to the pros and it is just a special experience.”
By: Haley Hodoval, AJGA Communications
Inbee Park, a 10-time AJGA champion and five-time Rolex Junior All-American, won her seventh major title on the LPGA Tour this weekend, capturing the Ricoh Women’s British Open in Tunrberry, Scotland. Park carded a 12-under-par 276 to surpass Jin Young Ko by three strokes. The 27-year-old became the 7th player in LPGA Tour history to win four different majors, as well as the second youngest, following the likes of Annika Sorenstam, Karrie Webb and Mickey Wright.
“Every major was very, very special to me. But to wrap it up with the British Open is just much more special,” said Park when speaking with The New York Times.
Anna Nordqvist of Eskilstuna, Sweden, finished T7 alongside Mika Miyazato, at 5-under-par 283. Fellow AJGA alumni Minjee Lee of Perth, Australia, landed in a three-way tie for ninth with Melissa Reid and Amy Boulden, who all tallied a 4-under-par 284.
The PGA TOUR traveled to Gainesville, Virginia, for the Quicken Loans National at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club with Troy Merritt, 29, capturing his first win on the PGA TOUR. The Osage, Iowa, native carded an 18-under-par 266 to win over Rickie Fowler, the 2015 PLAYERS Championship victor, who had seven birdies in his final round but finished three strokes behind at 15-under-par 269. Justin Thomas, Danny Lee, Bill Haas, Justin Rose, Carl Pettersson and Jason Bohn all finished in a six-way tie for fourth at 12-under-par 272.
"I was able to kind of rally and make some birdies coming in, but really disappointed with how I went out," Fowler said to the Golf Channel. "Didn't get anything going. Made a few mistakes. Before I know it, I'm a couple over par and kind of fighting my way to get back in the tournament."
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, hosted the Symetra Tour’s PHC Classic at the Brown Deer Park Golf Course with former University of Southern California golfer Annie Park taking home the title. The 20-year-old birdied three of the last five holes to finish with a 5-under-par 211, tying Lee Lopez, former golfer at Long Beach State University, and defeating the Whittier, California, native in a three-hole playoff.
"I've been playing constantly since March, so I'm pretty worn out," she said to the Journal Sentinel. "This is pretty unexpected."
Elizabeth Nagel of DeWitt, Michigan, tallied a score of 1-under-par 215 alongside Nontaya Srisawang, to finish T3. Cydney Clanton, Chie Arimura and Madeleine Sheils all tied for fifth with an even-par 216. Dottie Ardina, Brittany Benventuo and Michelle Shin rounded out the top-10 at T8 with a 1-over-par 217.
Patton Kizzire of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, won the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank in Lehi, Utah, marking his first Web.com Tour win. Kizzire and Sung Kang of Jeju, South Korea, both finished at 19-under 269, which led to a two-hole playoff with the former Auburn University golfer taking top honors.
"I'm pretty relieved and excited," Kizzire said to The Salt Lake Tribune. "It was a big event. I'm glad this is the one I won. The victories seem to be a little sweeter after all the near misses."
Zack Fischer, Garth Mulroy, Alex Aragon, Tag Ridings and Scott Harrington all finished T3 at 14-under 274. Lucas Lee, Stephan Jaeger and Ryan Blaum each tallied a 13-under-par 275 to finish in a three-way tie for eighth.
Eugene Country Club hosted the 49th annual Pacific Coast Amateur in Eugene, Oregon, with rising Oregon University sophomore Aaron Wise winning by two strokes over University of Texas’ Beau Hossler and Stanford University’s Maverick McNealy. Wise birdied five of the first 10 holes, recording a tournament total of 4-under-par 274.
“I felt good on the putting green before I went out, so I knew if I could just give myself putts I’d have a chance,” Wise said to The Register Guard. “Birdying 7 and 8 in a row — those are two of the toughest holes on this golf course — that’s when I realized this could be a special day for me."
Will Zalatoris and Byrson DeChambeau finished at T4 followed by Jonathan Garrick, Scottie Scheffler, and Jared du Toit who finished in a three-way tie for sixth. Rising University of California at Berkley senior, Shotaro Ban came in ninth, recording a 1-over-par 281, with former University of Maryland golfer Andrew McCain and rising University of Washington sophomore Corey Pereira tallying a 2-over-par 282.
2010 Rolex Junior All-American Denny McCarthy and University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Carter Jenkins finished T1 in the Porter Cup at Niagara Falls Country Club, both carding an 11-under-par 269. After competing in a one-hole playoff, McCarthy parred No. 18 to triumph over Jenkins and take home the trophy after his fifth and final Porter Cup attempt.
“I’ve dreamed about this moment,” McCarthy told The Buffalo News. “I can’t describe how sweet it feels.”
Gavin Hall of Pittsford, New York, and Trever Cone of Concord, North Carolina, finished third and fourth, respectively. Anthony Maccaglia, Michael Johnson, Kyle Mueller and Scott Harvey all carded a two-under-par 278 to finish in a four-way tie for sixth. Lastly, William Gordon and Josh Whalen tallied a one-under-par 279 to come in at T10.
By Kelsey Marini, AJGA Communications
The Wyndham Cup is the tournament every player dreams of playing. With golf being an individual sport, having the opportunity to play in a team dynamic is a special experience. AJGA players work hard all year in the hopes to make it on to the East or West Team and represent their region with pride.
For six of the 10 girls on the East Team, their hard work has paid off as they get to play another year in one of AJGA’s finest tournaments. The six veterans are Shannon Brooks, Sierra Brooks, Rachel Dai, Jillian Hollis, Lauren Stephenson and Bailey Tardy. Sierra Brooks leads the pack with three previous Wyndham Cup tournaments and a career record of 6-5-0.
Having the majority of the girls returning is an asset for the East Team, and they have already delivered. Tuesday morning, Shannon Brooks teamed up with rookie Maddie Rose Hamilton and won 3 and 2, and Stephenson contributed with a half-point when she made a 20-footer and birdied No. 18.
All six players have made commitment to play college golf and for five of the girls this will be their last time participating in all the excitement Wyndham Cup brings.
In 2014, Stephenson tallied a 2-2-0 record, including a win in her singles match against the West’s Kaitlyn Papp, 4 and 3.
“My favorite part is when the whole team is together cheering each other on,” Stephenson said. “Golf is an individual sport so when you have 20 players all playing together it makes it a fun and unforgettable week.”
Stephenson is currently No. 7 in the Polo Golf Rankings and will be heading off to Clemson University in the fall.
“This is definitely the best way to end my junior golf career,” Stephenson said. “There’s no other tournament experience like this.”
Hollis is also back for her second consecutive year. Last year, she was able to halve her singles match against West player Bethany Wu after making a crucial putt on No. 17, which kept the West from winning the Cup outright.
“Wyndham Cup is everyone’s AJGA goal for the year, to make it here and play among the best players in junior golf,” Hollis said. “It’s such an exciting atmosphere you can’t find anywhere else.”
Hollis is wrapping up her AJGA career and is heading off to play golf at the University of Georgia this fall. She is currently No. 18 in the Polo Golf Rankings, and will always remember Wyndham Cup as a place where she got to play with her best friends.
“We become a big family and make friendships that last a lifetime,” Hollis said. “It’s exciting to become so close with everyone and see how well we all do later on in college golf and on Tour.”
AJGA alum and PGA TOUR professional Scott Stallings returned to his home course this week in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to help host the 2015 Under Armour® / Scott Stallings Championship. For the second consecutive year, 96 players competed in the 54-hole, stroke play event at Oak Ridge Country Club. This will be the third year in a row Stallings, who has amassed 11 top-10 finishes including three wins in his professional career, will host an AJGA tournament.
“Having an AJGA event at the place I grew up at is pretty special, but it is also the only AJGA event in East Tennessee,” Stallings said. “It’s a great way to showcase kids from the area and give them a chance to play and increase their status with the AJGA.”
Prior to Tuesday’s first round, Stallings held a “Big Break” type skills challenge during his Q&A clinic Monday afternoon. The challenge consisted of four used windshields set up at various yardages on the driving range, each worth 10-40 points. More than 20 teams of four juniors competed in the activity. Each team had 90 seconds to hit the windshields as many times as they could. The group with the most points after the allotted time won the challenge.
“I wanted the clinic to be interactive and be something that no one in a tournament had done before,” Stallings said. “It’s a cool way to kick off the event and create some excitement for the week.”
“The biggest key is attitude,” Stallings said. “I didn’t play at the biggest school and I didn’t always have the best record, but I knew if I continued to improve and continued to try to learn from my mistakes, I would get better. A solid attitude will make up for a lot.”
Stallings said he believes a college golf background and education is key to a solid future.
“It gives you an understanding of where you stand and where you need to get better,” Stallings said. “You need to get into that upper competitive environment where you take the cream of the crop from the junior golf environment and play against the next level. It helps you to figure out how you need to improve so you can move on and continue to get better.”
In Stallings’ eyes, it all starts with the AJGA.
“The AJGA has created an intense competitive environment for sure, but they have also created a lot of opportunity in all areas,” Stallings said. “They have created a gateway for competitive golf from middle school through the high school level.”
By: Haley Hodoval, AJGA Communications
Eight AJGA alumni finished in the top-10 at the RBC Canadian Open in Oakville, Ontario, on July 26, with Australian native, Jason Day capturing the title at a 17-under-par 271. Bubba Watson followed with a tournament total of 16-under-par 272 carding birdies on his final four holes en route to posting his fourth top-three finish this season. David Hearn was the low Canadian at 15-under-par 273, receiving the Rivermead Challenge Cup for the second time in his career.
Austin Connelly, currently No. 13 in the Polo Golf Rankings, and Blair Hamilton, a rising senior at the University of Houston, tied for the low Canadian amateur sharing the Gary Cowan Award. Jim Furyk landed in fourth, followed by Tom Hoge and Stewart Cink at T5 with Austin Cook, Matt Kuchar and Charley Hoffman finishing at T7.
“To tie with my teammate, Austin, for low amateur means a great deal to me and I feel very humbled,” Hamilton shared via Twitter. “I am very proud to be Canadian and can’t wait to play again in our national open.”
Three-time Rolex Junior All-American Lexi Thompson took home her sixth LPGA Tour victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thompson carded eight birdies in her final round of the tournament, finishing with an 18-under-par 266.
“It feels amazing,” Thompson said to LPGA.com. “It still hasn’t really hit me yet because everything happened so fast. But it was a great day out there and we had perfect weather for it, so couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Former University of Southern California player, Lizette Salas, tied for second along with Gerina Piller at 17-under-par 267. Kris Tamulis finished at T4 with Se Yeon Ryu while Brittany Lang, former Duke University golfer, and Brittany Lincicome, a five-time Rolex Junior All-American, finished 6th and 7th respectively. Hee Young Park and Alison Lee rounded out the top 10 as a part of the four-way tie for eighth.
Several AJGA alumnae scored in the top 10 at the Symetra Tour’s Fuccillio Kia Championship at Capital Hills in Albany, New York. Breanna Elliott of Australia carded a 13-under-par 200 and Flona Puyo of France finished one stroke back along with Canada’s Augusta James, a former North Carolina State golfer. Lindy Duncan, a three-time Rolex Junior All-American, Casey Grice, a 2009 AJGA Scholastic Junior All-American and Sue Kim tied for fourth at 10-under-par 203.
"I have really great hometown support and a great community that I live in,” said James to the Winnipeg Free Press. “They are very special and for them to come down here means a lot."
Vicky Hurst, a two-time Rolex Junior All-American and seven-time AJGA champion, tallied an 8-under-par 205 to come in at T7. Marina Choi, Catherine O’Donnell, Mia Piccio and Brooke Henderson all finished in the six-way tie for ninth.
2017 graduate and reigning Rolex Tournament of Champions victor, Philip Barbaree continued his summer success with his win at the U.S. Junior Amateur in Bluffton, South Carolina. The Louisiana State University verbal commit defeated Andrew Orischak, a University of Virginia verbal commit, in 37 holes. Barbaree made it to the finals after surpassing Won Jun Lee of Wesley Chapel, Florida, one up while Orischak beat Eugene Hong of Sanford, Florida, 3 and 2.
"It's definitely the biggest junior tournament out there and to win it means a lot," Barbaree said to ABC News. "It says a lot about how much I've been practicing for this and how hard I've been working for this."
Barbaree will compete in the Wyndham Cup this week on the West Team against Hong and Lee, who are members of the East Team. Learn more about the Wyndham Cup through the eyes of their captains.
By Laura Fellwock, AJGA Communications
For many junior golfers, the chance to play on a college team is a dream opportunity. To eat, sleep and live golf with teammates and share in the glories and tough times is a goal in the back of each junior golfer’s mind. But for ten juniors at the AJGA Junior at Owensboro, that dream will soon become a reality.
Ranging anywhere from a graduating senior to a rising junior in high school, the juniors have traveled from across the country to play at the Owensboro Country Club in Owensboro, Kentucky. But their next venture in life will have them on opposite coasts, from the University of Arizona to Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. For Samantha Hatter of Lafayette, Indiana, a member of the Class of 2015, the prospect of college golf is exciting.
“It’s a relief that you don’t have that kind of pressure on you when you’re playing,” the University of Findlay commit said. “You can just go out and play and you know that you’re already set for the future. I’m looking forward to the girls on the team and getting to know them and being able to play competitively after high school.”
Gavin Cohen of Tucson, Arizona, has two years before he heads to the University of Arizona on a verbal commitment. But that hasn’t stopped him from thinking about the thrilling opportunity.
“The fact that I was given the opportunity to even to play in college means everything to me,” Cohen said. “It was always a goal of mine, so the fact that I accomplished that and am given the chance to maybe make it to the next level is great.”
Other juniors in the tournament field who have accepted The Mission to play college golf are:
Allen Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky, verbally committed to the University of Kentucky
Tyler Green of Columbia City, Indiana, verbally committed to Purdue University
Olivia Cason of Owensboro, Kentucky, committed to the University of Louisville
Teri Doss of Paducah, Kentucky, verbally committed to Mississippi State University
Mary Joiner of Franklin, Kentucky, verbally committed to Western Kentucky University
Hannabeth Owens of Crab Orchard, Kentucky, verbally committed to Eastern Kentucky University
Judianne Speech of Nicholasville, Kentucky, verbally committed to Lee University
Tristyn Nowlin of Richmond, Kentucky, verbally committed to the University of Illinois
By: Haley Hodoval, AJGA Communications
Despite a significant weather delay, the 144th British Open wrapped up on Monday, July 20th with Zach Johnson crowned champion of his second major tournament. Johnson finished 15-under-par and entered into a three-way playoff with Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen. Johnson ultimately won the coveted Claret Jug.
"I’m grateful, I’m humbled, I’m thankful. I’m honored, this is the birthplace of the game, and that jug means so much in sports, specifically this tournament and golf. It hasn’t set in yet ... I felt great, I was patient, I had some scripture going in my head and I thank the Lord, I thank my friends, I thank my family. I’m just in awe right now," said Johnson to USA Today.
After a valiant effort, Jordan Spieth, champion of the 2015 Masters and U.S. Open, followed with a 4-under-par 274 to finish fourth while Jordan Niebrugge, the low amateur and AJGA alum, finished at 6-under-par for the tournament.
While the world was watching the action at St. Andrews, the PGA TOUR continued with the Barbasol Championship in Opelika, Alabama, at the Lake Course at Grand National on the Robert Trent Jones Trail with Scott Piercy of Las Vegas, Nevada, carding a 19-under-par 265 to secure his victory. Will Wilcox, a former University of Alabama - Birmingham golfer and native of Pell City, Alabama, tallied a 16-under-par tournament total to finish second with amateur Robby Shelton, a junior at the University of Alabama, following in third, tallying a 14-under-par tournament total.
“Having my family here, you always dream about doing something like that in front of them," Wilcox said to the media. "It just worked out so well. My aunt and uncles, they'd never seen me play. The fact that I could finish solo second in front of them was pretty shocking.”
The LPGA traveled to Sylvania, Ohio, for the Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-1 to play the Highland Meadows Golf Club. Chella Choi defeated fellow countryman Ha Na Jang in a one-hole playoff to capture the title, tallying a 14-under-par 270. Three AJGA alumni finished in the top 10 including Brittany Lang, a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and former Duke golfer, Azahra Munoz, a three-time member of the European PING Junior Solheim Cup Team, and the Inbee Park, a 15-time LPGA TOUR winner and five-time Rolex Junior All-American.
“To be the low American, we have so many good American players, absolutely, you hear that, you know you had a good week,” shared Lang when asked about her position as the low American.
Toronto is the site of the 2015 Pan American games and while the remainder of the sports finish up on July 26, golf wrapped up over the weekend naming the Men’s Individual, Women’s Individual and Mixed Team champions. Thirty-three of 63 competitors are current or former AJGA players. Columbia came out on top, winning the mixed team division with a 27-under-par tournament total. Half of the team was comprised of AJGA alumni including Marcelo Rozo and 2006 Rolex Junior All-American Maria Uribe.
The United States finished three shots back at 24-under-par with a team made up entirely of AJGA current and former juniors including Kristen Gillman, a verbal commit to the University of Alabama and No. 10 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Beau Hossler, a four-time AJGA champion and golfer for the University of Texas, Andrea Lee, the 2014 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and Lee McCoy, a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and current University of Georgia golfer. Argentina rounded out the top three mixed team with Delfina Acosta, Tommy Cocha, Alejandro Tosti and Manuela Re Carbajo, a four-time top-10 AJGA finisher.
Marcelo Rozo of Colombia won the championship title for the Men’s Individual competition with a 13-under-par 275 followed by Tommy Cocha of Argentina and Felipe Aguilar of Chile, with Cocha and Aguilar both finishing at 12-under-par. Current Georgia Bulldog McCoy finished in fourth with 10-under-par 178 followed by Canadian Austin Connelly, the 2014 FJ Invitational champion, who carded an 8-under-par 280 followed by Texas’ Beau Hossler, who tallied a 7-under-par 281.
Colombia’s Uribe carded a 9-under-par 279 to secure victory as the Women’s Individual champion at the Pan-Am games. USA’s Andrea Lee was two strokes back at 7-under-par 281 followed by Julieta Granada, the 2004 Rolex Tournament of Champions winner, at 5-under-par 283. Mexico’s Marijosse Navarro, USA’s Kristen Gillman, Mexico's Magarita Ramos and Ecuador's Daniela Darquea all finished within the top 10.
University of Southern California’s Annie Park, a four-time Rolex Junior All-American, carded a 16-under-par 272 to win the Toyota Danielle Downey Classic. Vicky Hurst, an eight-time AJGA champion and two-time Rolex Junior All-American, finished one stroke back at 15-under-par 273 followed by Canada’s Maude-Aimee Leblanc. Marina Choi, Brooke Henderson, Emily Talley, Dottie Ardina and Alejandra Llaneza all finished in the top 10.
"I didn't know I had it in me under pressure. Vicky was doing really well and putting great so I had to step up my game and literally gave it everything I had out there,” Park said when speaking to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
University of Texas golfer Taylor Funk captured the Southern Amateur Championship title at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi, with an 11-under-par 273. Taylor Hancock, a rising senior at the University of North Florida and Ben Suarez, a native of Sulphur, Louisiana, followed Funk with a 10-under par tournament total to tie for second. Matt NeSmith, the 2012 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, finished in fourth with Bryson Dechambeau. Will Starke, Joshua Lee, Cooper Musselman, Jonathan Hardee and Tyler Hitchner landed in the top 10.
"To be in that position and finally pull one out was fun," said Funk when speaking with The Dispatcher. "Gives me a lot of confidence in my game and what I've been working on with Cameron McCormick."
Pinehurst Country Club hosted the 113th Women’s North & South Amateur with future University of Georgia Bulldog Bailey Tardy defeating Bethany Wu, the No. 4 player in the Polo Golf Rankings, in 20 holes for the match-play final.
“It was just a tough match,” Tardy said when speaking to the Gwinnett Daily Post about competing against Wu. “We never conceded any holes. Nothing was conceded except for putts, short putts. I think we both played really well, and we were both exhausted.”
Wu defeated Katelyn Dambaugh, a 2011 Wyndham Cup (East) participant, 3 & 2 to advance to the finals against Tardy, who surpassed Anna Redding, an incoming freshman at the University of Virginia, to compete in the finals.
By Preston Smith, AJGA Communications
Opening in 2000, The Ledges sits more than 1,500 feet above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the city below. But for the juniors competing in the AJGA Huntsville Junior, those drop-off views offer a challenging dimension to the par-71 course.
“If you focus on your target, don’t let it get to you and hit it down the fairway then you can score low,” said Addison Nix of Auburn, Alabama. “Other than the fact that the course is in pristine condition, coming up here just to be up on top of the mountain is one of the reasons I love this tournament. Being able to look down on the city is amazing.”
The golf course – designed by Michael Hurdzan, who was named Designer of the Year by Golf Magazine for his work in 2003 – is highlighted by several distinctive features and hole-specific names. Following No. 2 (Old Stoney), golfers descend into the valley to play Nos. 3-6. Commonly referred to as “The Bench,” the four holes mark a particularly demanding collection of holes before returning up the slope to play No. 7.
“The valley is definitely the toughest stretch of the course to me,” said first-round leader Laken Hinton. “On those you look to hit the greens and be happy to go back up the mountain with your pars.”
Hinton, a resident of Edmond, Oklahoma, played “The Bench” at just 1-over-par in the first round and made his move on three picturesque holes on the back nine. Playing in his first AJGA event, the rising sophomore went birdie-eagle-birdie on Nos. 14-16 to gain his two-stroke advantage.
“The overlooking holes are my favorite; those just set up well to my eye,” Hinton said. “Especially the second shot on No. 15 (nicknamed Purple Mountains Majesty), it always feels like I can reach it.”
As the 84-player field gains familiarity with the course, players may opt to attack the flagsticks more aggressively. But a theme emerges after juniors make their way around the course.
“Don’t go left,” said Will Klecka, a native of The Ledges community. “This time of year, the course is in its best condition up on this mountain and it is beautiful on every hole. But you just can’t go too far left on most holes.”
By: Haley Hodoval, AJGA Communications
The LPGA Tour’s top players and 11 AJGA juniors took to Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to compete in one of golf’s top tournaments, the U.S. Women’s Open. In Gee Chun, 20, was victorious in her U.S. Women’s Open debut, carding an 8-under-par 272 to defeat Amy Yang by one stroke.
Two-time U.S. Women’s Open winner and five-time Rolex Junior All-American Inbee Park tallied a tournament total of 3-under-par and tied for third with AJGA tournament-host Stacy Lewis.
"I think anytime you have a championship like this, you want to have somebody go out there and win it, and that's definitely what happened there at the end," Lewis said in an article by Fox Sports.
Other notable performances include 2005 Rolex Player of the Year Morgan Pressel who had a T5 finish along with Jane Park, a two-time member of the U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup Team, and 17-year-old Canadian Brooke Henderson, who secured her LPGA card for next season. Two-time Rolex Junior All-American and 2013 PING Invitational champion Meghan Khang finished as the low amateur at 5-over-par 285.
Jordan Spieth returned to Silvis, Illinois, the site of the 2015 John Deere Classic and home to his first PGA TOUR win, to defeat AJGA alumni, Tom Gillis, and capture the title for a second time. The 2009 Rolex Junior Player of the Year carded a 20-under-par 264 along with Gillis, and a par on the second playoff hole gave Spieth his fourth win of the season.
“I came here for a reason, and we accomplished that reason, and certainly have some momentum going into next week” shared the two-time Major Champion in an interview with PGATOUR.com.
The AJGA’s finest continued to make headlines over the weekend as Rickie Fowler, the 2015 PLAYERS Championship victor, finished at 12-under-par 268 to mark his first European TOUR victory at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Three other AJGA alumni, Eddie Pepperrell, Victor Dubuisson and Rikard Karlberg, all finished in the top-10 as well.
Fowler needed to birdie the par-4 No. 18 to win and avoid a playoff with Matt Kuchar and Raphael Jacquelin. The four-time AJGA champion left the audience in awe as his impressive 109-yard approach shot landed within two feet of the hole.
“To win on a links golf course, my favorite style of golf, in Scotland and the week before the Open and going to St. Andrews, the Home of Golf, is great timing” stated Fowler when speaking with Fox Sports.
Former Texas A&M University player, Martin Piller, secured his fourth Web.com title at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco in Boise, Idaho. Piller finished 28-under-par 256 to win followed by Argentina’s Jorge FernandezValdez and two-time Rolex Junior All-American Cody Gribble. In total, eight AJGA alumni finished in the top-10 at the Boise Open.
"It means everything. The last couple of years have been tough," Piller said to ABC News. "I think this validates that if I play good I can be in contention."
Matt NeSmith, the 2012 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, was victorious at the Players Amateur in Bluffton, South Carolina, defeating fellow AJGA alumni and friend Chase Koepka. NeSmith, the 2012 FJ Invitational and Rolex Tournament of Champions victor, was five strokes back of Koepka entering the final round. NeSmith birdied five holes on the back-nine to finish 13-under-par 271 surpassing Koepka.
South Carolina Native Matt NeSmith Wins Players Amateur: South Carolina native Matt NeSmith is the 2015 Players… http://t.co/qiFcMe1AhQ— Savannah News (@breakingsavnews) July 13, 2015
NeSmith is a native of South Carolina and spoke with his local paper, The State, saying, "To come out and play a flawless round of golf like that with no bogeys and to birdie 18. It was fantastic. I loved every second of it."
Collin Morikawa, a 2015 graduate, competed in the Trans-Mississippi Championship in Andover, Kansas, and came out victorious at 18-under-par 262 beating out the reigning Rolex Tournament of Champions winner, Phillip Barbaree. Morikawa is off to the University of California – Berkeley in the fall, and Barbaree is heading to Louisiana State University. Barbaree finished seven strokes behind Morikawa at 11-under-par 269.
“(Barbaree) didn’t give up, and he didn’t let up any strokes,” Morikawa said to The Witchita Eagle. “I had to stay in there… He’s a great competitor, a great guy.”