Patel and McDaugald claim titles in AJGA Coca Cola Junior Championship
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, ME (August 21, 2014) - Rij Patel of Hunt Valley MD fired a blistering 68 in the final round of today's Association (AJGA) Coca-Cola Junior Championship to erase a 7-stroke deficit and finish the tournament one stroke ahead of Sam Wu, John Catanzaro, and Nelson Pang who ended the day in a three-way tie for second place.
In the woman's division, Brooke McDaugald maintained her lead with a third round score of 77, bringing her 54-hole tournament score to 232, one stroke ahead of second place Jiayu Kong, defending champion.
Patel recovered from an opening-round 82 to card the lowest score of the three-day tournament, with a 4-under par 68. The high school junior came within inches of tying the Sugarloaf course record of 67, when his bid for birdie on the final hole of the round missed the mark. It was the first AJGA win for Patel, and the third for McDaugald.
"I knew I was behind when I started today, but didn't let that get me flustered," Patel said. "I was focused on hitting consistently and taking my time to sink putts."
In the Junior All-Star division, Won Jun Lee climbed from third place, after yesterday's second round to win overall today, firing a 69 that put him three under par for the tournament at 219, and eight strokes ahead of runner-up Mason Nome of Houston TX.
For the women, Hailey Jones of Dallas TX carded a 5-over par 77 today to claim the top spot three strokes ahead of runner-up Lindsay May who notched a three-day score of 241.
Among the players from Maine in this week's tournaments, Macarthur Kim, of Paris, finished 47th with a three-day score of 264, while Wynne Cushing of Freeport, finished 20th today with her lowest round of the tournament, 117. Eric Dugas and Carter Pearl, in the All-Star division, clung onto the 43rd and 44th positions with 54-hole scores of 266 and 272.
The notoriously challenging Sugarloaf Golf Club proved a difficult test for the elite group of junior golfers. Fast greens and difficult pin placements forced players to be deadly accurate with approach shots, while dense woods lining fairways required precision off the tee as well. Only three players - Patel, Lee, and Scott Roden - scored rounds sub-par, 67, 69, and 71, respectively.
"The AJGA team puts together an incredible event." Sugarloaf Head Professional, Steve Niezgoda said, "We owe the success of the tournament to them and the support of our generous members and volunteers."
The AJGA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. Many of the top golfers on the PGA and LPGA are former AJGA members, including Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Davis Love III, and many others.
For high resolution photos from today's qualifying round, click here.
To see a complete list of results from this week's tournaments, please visit https://www.ajga.org/MicroSite/index.asp?TN=2014098#R3Results
For additional information on the Coca-Cola Junior Championship, please visit http://www.ajga.org/MicroSite/index.asp?TN=2013077#.
For additional information on the Sugarloaf Golf Club, please visit www.sugarloaf.com.
Sugarloaf Communications Coordinator