By: Haley Hodoval, AJGA Communications
Despite a significant weather delay, the 144th British Open wrapped up on Monday, July 20th with Zach Johnson crowned champion of his second major tournament. Johnson finished 15-under-par and entered into a three-way playoff with Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen. Johnson ultimately won the coveted Claret Jug.
"I’m grateful, I’m humbled, I’m thankful. I’m honored, this is the birthplace of the game, and that jug means so much in sports, specifically this tournament and golf. It hasn’t set in yet ... I felt great, I was patient, I had some scripture going in my head and I thank the Lord, I thank my friends, I thank my family. I’m just in awe right now," said Johnson to USA Today.
After a valiant effort, Jordan Spieth, champion of the 2015 Masters and U.S. Open, followed with a 4-under-par 274 to finish fourth while Jordan Niebrugge, the low amateur and AJGA alum, finished at 6-under-par for the tournament.
While the world was watching the action at St. Andrews, the PGA TOUR continued with the Barbasol Championship in Opelika, Alabama, at the Lake Course at Grand National on the Robert Trent Jones Trail with Scott Piercy of Las Vegas, Nevada, carding a 19-under-par 265 to secure his victory. Will Wilcox, a former University of Alabama - Birmingham golfer and native of Pell City, Alabama, tallied a 16-under-par tournament total to finish second with amateur Robby Shelton, a junior at the University of Alabama, following in third, tallying a 14-under-par tournament total.
“Having my family here, you always dream about doing something like that in front of them," Wilcox said to the media. "It just worked out so well. My aunt and uncles, they'd never seen me play. The fact that I could finish solo second in front of them was pretty shocking.”
The LPGA traveled to Sylvania, Ohio, for the Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-1 to play the Highland Meadows Golf Club. Chella Choi defeated fellow countryman Ha Na Jang in a one-hole playoff to capture the title, tallying a 14-under-par 270. Three AJGA alumni finished in the top 10 including Brittany Lang, a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and former Duke golfer, Azahra Munoz, a three-time member of the European PING Junior Solheim Cup Team, and the Inbee Park, a 15-time LPGA TOUR winner and five-time Rolex Junior All-American.
“To be the low American, we have so many good American players, absolutely, you hear that, you know you had a good week,” shared Lang when asked about her position as the low American.
Toronto is the site of the 2015 Pan American games and while the remainder of the sports finish up on July 26, golf wrapped up over the weekend naming the Men’s Individual, Women’s Individual and Mixed Team champions. Thirty-three of 63 competitors are current or former AJGA players. Columbia came out on top, winning the mixed team division with a 27-under-par tournament total. Half of the team was comprised of AJGA alumni including Marcelo Rozo and 2006 Rolex Junior All-American Maria Uribe.
The United States finished three shots back at 24-under-par with a team made up entirely of AJGA current and former juniors including Kristen Gillman, a verbal commit to the University of Alabama and No. 10 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Beau Hossler, a four-time AJGA champion and golfer for the University of Texas, Andrea Lee, the 2014 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and Lee McCoy, a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and current University of Georgia golfer. Argentina rounded out the top three mixed team with Delfina Acosta, Tommy Cocha, Alejandro Tosti and Manuela Re Carbajo, a four-time top-10 AJGA finisher.
Marcelo Rozo of Colombia won the championship title for the Men’s Individual competition with a 13-under-par 275 followed by Tommy Cocha of Argentina and Felipe Aguilar of Chile, with Cocha and Aguilar both finishing at 12-under-par. Current Georgia Bulldog McCoy finished in fourth with 10-under-par 178 followed by Canadian Austin Connelly, the 2014 FJ Invitational champion, who carded an 8-under-par 280 followed by Texas’ Beau Hossler, who tallied a 7-under-par 281.
Colombia’s Uribe carded a 9-under-par 279 to secure victory as the Women’s Individual champion at the Pan-Am games. USA’s Andrea Lee was two strokes back at 7-under-par 281 followed by Julieta Granada, the 2004 Rolex Tournament of Champions winner, at 5-under-par 283. Mexico’s Marijosse Navarro, USA’s Kristen Gillman, Mexico's Magarita Ramos and Ecuador's Daniela Darquea all finished within the top 10.
University of Southern California’s Annie Park, a four-time Rolex Junior All-American, carded a 16-under-par 272 to win the Toyota Danielle Downey Classic. Vicky Hurst, an eight-time AJGA champion and two-time Rolex Junior All-American, finished one stroke back at 15-under-par 273 followed by Canada’s Maude-Aimee Leblanc. Marina Choi, Brooke Henderson, Emily Talley, Dottie Ardina and Alejandra Llaneza all finished in the top 10.
"I didn't know I had it in me under pressure. Vicky was doing really well and putting great so I had to step up my game and literally gave it everything I had out there,” Park said when speaking to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
University of Texas golfer Taylor Funk captured the Southern Amateur Championship title at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi, with an 11-under-par 273. Taylor Hancock, a rising senior at the University of North Florida and Ben Suarez, a native of Sulphur, Louisiana, followed Funk with a 10-under par tournament total to tie for second. Matt NeSmith, the 2012 Rolex Junior Player of the Year, finished in fourth with Bryson Dechambeau. Will Starke, Joshua Lee, Cooper Musselman, Jonathan Hardee and Tyler Hitchner landed in the top 10.
"To be in that position and finally pull one out was fun," said Funk when speaking with The Dispatcher. "Gives me a lot of confidence in my game and what I've been working on with Cameron McCormick."
Pinehurst Country Club hosted the 113th Women’s North & South Amateur with future University of Georgia Bulldog Bailey Tardy defeating Bethany Wu, the No. 4 player in the Polo Golf Rankings, in 20 holes for the match-play final.
“It was just a tough match,” Tardy said when speaking to the Gwinnett Daily Post about competing against Wu. “We never conceded any holes. Nothing was conceded except for putts, short putts. I think we both played really well, and we were both exhausted.”
Wu defeated Katelyn Dambaugh, a 2011 Wyndham Cup (East) participant, 3 & 2 to advance to the finals against Tardy, who surpassed Anna Redding, an incoming freshman at the University of Virginia, to compete in the finals.