By Haley Hodoval, AJGA Communications
Alabama’s Emma Talley made history on Monday as she won the 2015 NCAA women's individual golf championship, securing the Crimson Tide’s first individual golf championship. Talley’s drive off the final tee landed in the fairway bunker, however with 148 yards to go, the former Rolex Junior All-American used her 7-iron to complete one of the most prominent shots of the day, as she landed six feet away from the hole. Before Talley could make her winning birdie putt, she had to wait out the 52-minute rain delay, but the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion didn’t disappoint as she finished with a 3-under-par total of 285 to beat Arkansas’ Gaby Lopez and Duke’s Leona Maguire by one stroke.
Southern California, Duke, Baylor, Stanford, Arizona, Tennessee, Texas Tech and Washington qualified for match play, which will take place at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, on May 26-27. The AJGA will have a strong presence as 25 out of the 40 competitors are AJGA alumni.
Not only is Bradenton, Flordia, hosting the 2015 Men’s and Women’s NCAA golf championships, it is also home to the 2015 BMW PGA Champion, Byeong-hun An. The 23-year-old rookie celebrated his first European Tour victory in Virginia Water, England, carding a BMW PGA record score of 21-under-par 267. The 2009 U.S. Amateur champion is only one of three rookies to win the BMW PGA and is only one of four to make this tournament their first European Tour victory. An spent five seasons with the AJGA, achieved 11 career top-10 finishes and was also named to the 2008 Rolex Junior All-America team.
The second annual ANNIKA Award, which is given to the most outstanding Division I women’s golfer, was presented to Duke Freshman Leona Maguire. Maguire has won three events in 2015 including the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, the ACC championship and the South Bend Regional. The Cavan, Ireland, native was named to Team Europe for the 2009 PING Junior Solheim Cup and most recently named the ACC Player of the Year.
On the PGA TOUR, Chris Kirk, a 2003 Rolex Junior All-American, took home the win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, marking his fourth win on the TOUR in nine seasons. The former Georgia Bulldog sank a seven-foot putt on No. 18 to make par, closing with a 4-under-par 66 for the final round. Overall, Kirk shot a 12-under-par 268 to beat Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker, and Jason Bohn by one stroke.