BELLBROOK, Ohio – The first-ever AJGA Junior at Sugar Valley ended with an exciting finish as Jake DeZoort of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, parred a sudden-death playoff on No. 18 to win the Boys Division at 2-over-par 142. Jillian Hollis of Rocky River, Ohio, remained at the top of the Girls Division leaderboard throughout the weekend. After leading the first round by four strokes, Hollis shot a two-day total even-par 140 to become champion by seven strokes.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Junior at Sugar Valley was a 36-hole stroke play competition played on the par-70 course at Sugar Valley Golf Club. The event featured 54 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from 15 states and three countries. The Boys Division played the course at 6,355 yards, while the Girls Division played the course at 5,611 yards.
After starting the final round two strokes off the lead, DeZoort remained consistent throughout his round, despite strong winds during the back nine. He carded a front-nine 35, back-nine 36 to shoot a 1-over-par 71, forcing a sudden-death playoff with Trevor Gold of Eureka, Illinois. Gold bogeyed the par-4 No. 18, while DeZoort parred for the win.
“I lost my first sudden-death playoff at the AJGA Junior at Spring Valley,” DeZoort said. “So having this win under my belt is awesome. I am really excited to be an AJGA champion.”
Gold finished in second place at 2-over-par 142, Spencer Koch of Medina, Ohio, finished in third place at 3-over-par 143, and in a three-way tie for fourth place at 4-over-par 144 were Xughong Li of Bradenton, Florida, Daniel Wetterich of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Brandon Barrows of Lake Orion, Michigan.
In the Girls Division, Hollis had a great day on the greens. With only thirty-one putts, she knew she was in position to take home the trophy.
“I didn’t know where I stood on the leaderboard until No. 18,” Hollis said. “When I looked at the scoreboard after my last putt, I was so relieved. This weekend was so much fun and winning was the best way to top it off. I love AJGA tournaments.”
Brooke Graebe of Yorba Linda, California, and Maddie Rose Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky, tied for second place at 7-over-par 147.