By Holly Sealey, AJGA Communications
AJGA alumni had a strong showing at The Open Championship with Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia tying for second after posting a tournament-total 15-under-par 273, just two strokes behind champion Rory McIlroy. This was Garcia’s fourth runner-up finish at a major.
Before turning professional in 2009, Fowler had a successful AJGA career as a two-time Rolex Junior All-American. From 2004-06 Fowler amassed 11 top-10 finishes at AJGA events, including wins at the 2004 Nike Golf Junior at Louisville and 2006 CB&I Boys Championship held at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge.
Fowler continued his success at Oklahoma State University where he won the Ben Hogan and Phil Mickelson Awards as a freshman and was named the Big 12 Player and Newcomer of the Year. Fowler continues to partner with the AJGA through his involvement in the Leadership Links Program.
Garcia also earned several prestigious achievements during his junior career. In 1995, he became the youngest player to win the European Amateur. He went on to win the British Boys Amateur Championship (1997) and the British Amateur Championship (1998). Garcia played in two AJGA events and was named honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American in 1998 after winning the Marsh Junior at Apawamis. As the new Honorary Chairman for The Junior PLAYERS Championship presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Garcia continues his involvement with the AJGA.
Alumna Cristie Kerr took third place at the 2014 Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I, her ninth top-10 finish of the season and fifth top-five. She ended three strokes behind the winner, Lydia Ko, with a 12-under-par 272. Kerr fired 16 birdies and one ace over the weekend to secure her third-place finish. Fellow alumna and LPGA Tour rookie Jaye Marie Green entered the final round tied for third with eventual runner-up So Yeon Ryu, but finished T18 with a 7-under-par 277. This is Green’s best LPGA finish, which was previously 19th at JTBC Founder’s Cup earlier this year.
A three-time Rolex Junior All-American, Kerr earned 13 career junior individual titles. In 1995, she won five AJGA titles, en route to Rolex Junior Player of the Year honors. Other junior highlights include victories at the 1994 Women’s Western Junior and the 1995 Orange Bowl International Junior. After her junior career, she made an appearance at the 1996 Curtis Cup and earned low amateur honors at the 1996 U.S. Women’s Open.
Green played in AJGA events from 2009-12, collecting three Invitational wins: the 2010 Polo Golf Junior Classic, the 2011 PING Invitational and the 2012 Rolex Tournament of Champions. The 2011 first-team Rolex Junior All-American played in two Wyndham Cups from 2011-12 and qualified for both the 2010 and 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. She also reached the finals of the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, losing to Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I champion Lydia Ko.
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