By Haley Hodoval, AJGA Communications
Seventeen-year-old Joshua Sedeno secured a two-stroke victory over AJGA alumnus Cameron Champ on May 25 at the Memorial Amateur to become the youngest winner in the event's 18-year history.
Sedeno, a current AJGA junior and Southern Methodist University commit, had a three-shot lead going into the final round over Champ, the defending champion.
"It means a lot because it's a local event," said Sedeno, who is a junior at Del Oro High School. "A lot of my friends who have gone off to college now have played and won this so it's just awesome to put my name on this trophy."
On May 27, at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, Stanford defeated Baylor to take home the 2015 NCAA DI Women’s Golf championship title. Led by Rolex Junior All-American and 2011 AJGA Player Representative Mariah Stackhouse, the Cardinal won their first NCAA women’s golf title in school history, beating the Bears 3 & 2 in the match play final.
Stackhouse birdied Nos. 17 and 18 resulting in a sudden-death playoff against Baylor’s Hayley Davis.
“I actually thought a lot about it last night,” the Riverdale, Georgia, native said. “It felt kind of silly, but I envisioned some kind of crazy finish with me having to hit huge shots. I knew I was going to be down and I was going to have to do something crazy to come back.”
Rolex Junior All-American Casey Danielson finished 2-up over Laura Lonardi, and fellow Stanford teammate and Rolex Junior All-American Shannon Aubert defeated Lauren Whyte 4 & 3 in the newly adopted match-play format to contribute to Stanford’s historic win.
Over the weekend, 18-year-old amateur golfer and four-time AJGA champion Austin Connelly of Irving, Texas, made the cut at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, his PGA TOUR debut. The Byron Nelson event holds special significance for Connelly and his family as the Rolex Junior All-American grew up playing the TPC Four Seasons Resort Dallas at Las Colinas.
"To be able to make my PGA Tour debut here is surreal," said Connelly, who over the weekend also was also named to Canada’s golf team for the summer Pan Am Games. "I can't put it into words."
He even had the pleasure of meeting Byron Nelson, among other PGA TOUR legends, when he was a young boy.
"He hit balls with (Byron Nelson) when he was four years old," said Austin's mom, Bridget Connelly." We grew up here, been a member here all his life. He's always been a fan and come to every tournament."
Connelly, 2014 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Sam Burns, Brad Dalke and Davis Riley were named co-recipients of the AT&T Byron Nelson Award on May 29. The honor recognizes junior golf’s top-performing athletes who demonstrate strong character, consistent sportsmanship, a commendable academic background and a commitment to serving others.
Steven Bowditch of Paragian, Australia, took home top honors at the 2015 AT&T Byron Nelson, his second win on the PGA TOUR, by four strokes with a tournament total 18-under-par 259. Several AJGA alumni had strong performances at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Dallas at Las Colinas with three alumni landing in the top 10. Scott Pinckney finished in a three-way tie for second while Jon Curran, a Rolex Junior All American and four-time AJGA champion, finished T6, and Dustin Johnson placed T8.
On May 31, the Rex Hospital Open had an exciting finish resulting in a three-way playoff after Kyle Thompson, Patton Kizzire and Miguel Angel Carballo finished at 17-under-par 267. Thompson became the first player in Web.com Tour history to win an event three times, after making birdie on the second playoff hole at TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Five AJGA alumni placed in the top-10 at the annual Web.com Tour event. Kizzire, a Rolex Junior All-American and two-time AJGA champion, carded a 17-under-par 267 placing T2 with fellow AJGA alum Drew Scott, who landed at T4 with a 16-under-par 268. Chase Wright, the 2005 AJGA Andover Open champion, carded a 15-under-par 269 to finish at T6, followed by Brad Schneider and Todd Baek, who finished at T8 with a 14-under-par 270.
Anna Nordqvist, a member of the 2005 European PING Junior Solheim Cup team, finished at 8-under-par 205 to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer in Galloway, New Jersey. Of the top-10 finishers at the event, eight are AJGA alumni.
Three-time AJGA champion and Rolex Junior All-American, Kelly Shon placed T3, and Morgan Pressel, 2005 Rolex Junior Player of the Year and 12-time AJGA champion, placed T3. Austin Ernst placed T5, along with Inbee Park, a five-time Rolex Junior All American and 10-time AJGA champion. Hee-Young Park, 2015 AJGA tournament host Shan Shan Feng, Moriya Jutanugarn and Kim Kaufman landed in a six-way tie for 10th.
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