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.”