Junior Golf | Thompson, DeForest win Junior PGA
Junior Golf | Thompson, DeForest win Junior PGA
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Thompson, DeForest win Junior PGA


Now on GolfweekTV:
A tournament recap with winners Alexis Thompson and Chris DeForest.
Local favorite Parker Hewitt is making noise in Westfield.
It’s golf trivia time at the Westfield Junior PGA Championship.


By DAN MIROCHA
Assistant Editor


WESTFIELD CENTER, Ohio – Alexis Thompson caused enough commotion during the final round at the Westfield Junior PGA Championship that 70-year-olds were seen moving as quickly as 7-year-olds to get a view.

What they saw was tournament history.

Thompson mounted a furious back-nine comeback that included four birdies in a five-hole stretch Saturday to beat Kimberly Kim and become the youngest winner in Junior PGA Championship history.

“My adrenaline keeps on going, you can see how much farther I hit it,” said Thompson, who turned 12 in February. “I get excited when I make a couple birdies.”

Thompson and Kim were tied at 1-over 214 to start the final round, but by the time the pair stepped onto the 12th tee, Kim had a three-stroke advantage. That’s when Thompson started making putts and the galleries started growing.

At the par-4 12th, Thompson made a downhill 7-footer for birdie, then followed it with a 3-footer for birdie at 13, cutting Kim’s lead to one. Both players made par at 14, and after Kim three-putted for par at the par-5 15th, Thompson pitched to 3 feet and converted the birdie putt to tie Kim at 2 under.

Both players found the green at the par-3 16th. Then, in front of the day’s biggest crowd, Thompson drained a 20-foot birdie putt. When Kim missed her 3-foot par attempt, Thompson had a two-shot advantage.

“I was thinking, ‘Make it,’ so I took my time like I do on every birdie and par putt. Then I just made it,” Thompson said. “After those two birdies, I was like, ‘Yes! Yes! That’s what I’ve been waiting for.’ ”

The pair each bogeyed No. 17 and at 18, Thompson’s approach flew the green, while Kim’s found the putting surface 30 feet from the hole. Thompson’s pitch ran past the hole, through the fringe and into the rough, setting up a delicate chip, or so everyone thought. Instead of taking a wedge, a club she said thought she might skull, Thompson chose putter and lagged to within a foot and tapped in her bogey putt. When Kim missed her birdie putt, Thompson’s comeback was complete.

“Nobody thought I could putt it out of (the rough), but I did,” Thompson said. “I just put my hands forward and it came out close to the hole, so I was happy.”

Thompson closed with rounds of 66-69 and finished a shot ahead of Kim, who carded a final-round 70. Cassandra Blaney, who missed the 54-hole cut at last year’s Junior PGA Championship, finished third at 1-over 285. Vicky Hurst followed a first-round 81 with 68-67-71 to place fourth.

“We both played really good,” said Kim, who was Thompson’s roommate at this event two years ago. “She obviously had a lot of birdies on the back nine and I bogeyed a few, but that’s normal in golf.”

Thompson’s Junior PGA Championship victory adds to an impressive list of growing accomplishments. Last December as an 11-year-old, Thompson won the Doral Publix Junior Golf Classic in the girls’ 16-18 division. In April, she became the second-youngest winner in AJGA history with her victory at the Aldila Junior Classic. And last month, she became the youngest ever to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I play in all these golf tournaments, and this is a big one,” Thompson said. “This one is really special.”

“I definitely had goose bumps.”

• • •

A week before arriving at the Westfield Junior PGA Championship, Chris DeForest finished last among those who made the cut at the AJGA’s Rolex Tournament of Champions. His mind was clouded, his game in shambles. He closed with rounds of 81-84 at the Scarlet Course at Ohio State University Golf Club, 31 shots behind winner Sihwan Kim.

“I just got real frustrated. I didn’t feel like playing the last two rounds, to be honest,” DeForest said. "I was embarrassed the way I played.”

Something needed to change. He cleared his mind and with the assistance of his soon-to-be coach at Illinois, Mike Small, DeForest hatched a different game plan for his fifth trip to the Junior PGA. Instead of taking driver off the tee on some of Westfield Group Country Club’s short par 4s, DeForest opted to play conservative to ensure he had as many birdie putts as possible.

It worked.

After setting the 54-hole tournament scoring record, DeForest held onto his six-stroke lead despite a 3-over 74 on Saturday and won the title.

“It make me feel great because I know I can come back from things,” DeForest, 18, said. “Especially heading off to college where’s there’s going to be a lot of adversity and lot of tough courses, it’s just good to know that I can come back and throw some good rounds up.

“It took a lot of tries, but finally I was mature enough, I guess, to handle myself on the course and make some good decisions.”

Oklahoma State freshman-to-be, Mark Johnson, who started the day in second place, also carded a final-round 74 to finish runner up.

“It was pretty windy today, so I would have had to put a really low number up to catch (DeForest),” Johnson said. “So, I’m not too depressed about it.”

Luke Guthrie closed with 71-71 and finished in third. Austin Gutgsell matched the low round of the tournament with a 65 on Saturday and moved from T-29 to 8th.

• • •

Dan Mirocha is a Golfweek assistant editor. To reach him e-mail dmirocha@golfweek.com.



Final scores with relation to par from the Westfield Junior PGA Championship July 14, played at the par-71, 6,602-yard (6,022 yards for girls) Westfield Group Country Club (South) in Westfield Center, Ohio:

GIRLS


1. Alexis Thompson 75-73-66-69--283
-1
2. Kimberly Kim 73-72-69-70--284
E
3. Cassandra Blaney 73-74-68-71--286 + 2
4. Vicky Hurst 81-68-67-71--287 + 3
5. Allie White 77-74-70-68--289 + 5
6. Kristina Wong 73-74-71-72--290 + 6
7. Katie Detlefsen 74-78-71-68--291 + 7
7. Lisa McCloskey 76-70-75-70--291 + 7
9. Jane Rah 75-72-74-73--294 + 10
9. Alexandra Bodemann 73-78-68-75--294 + 10
11. Becca Huffer 75-74-76-70--295 + 11
11. Jennifer Johnson 75-75-72-73--295 + 11
13. Courtney Ellenbogen 76-75-74-71--296 + 12
13. Cheyenne Woods 72-75-75-74--296 + 12
15. Lindsey Solberg 74-76-73-74--297 + 13
16. Lee Lopez 78-72-70-78--298 + 14
17. Annie Park 75-78-74-72--299 + 15
17. Jennifer Hirano 75-76-72-76--299 + 15
17. Kristen Schelling 75-75-73-76--299 + 15
17. Sarah Brown 74-72-74-79--299 + 15
21. Kristina Merkle 77-80-71-72--300 + 16
21. Katie Conway 72-76-78-74--300 + 16
21. Brittany Altomare 76-76-74-74--300 + 16
24. Andrea Watts 77-76-74-74--301 + 17
24. Brooke Beeler 71-76-78-76--301 + 17
26. Kayla Mortellaro 78-78-74-74--304 + 20
26. Tessa Teachman 75-79-72-78--304 + 20
26. Kyndall Ardoin 75-75-72-82--304 + 20
29. Rachel Rohanna 77-73-77-79--306 + 22
30. Lindy LaBauve 78-72-76-82--308 + 24
• • •


Missed the cut


31. Samantha Troyanovich 82-77-72--231 +  18
31. Carly Werwie 80-79-72--231 +  18
31. Haley Millsap 82-75-74--231 +  18
34. Kylie Fuller 78-76-78--232 +  19
34. Jenny Shin 76-78-78--232 +  19
36. Kyle Roig 80-77-76--233 +  20
36. Karisa Akin 78-82-73--233 +  20
36. Amelia Lewis 81-75-77--233 +  20
36. Nikki Koller 83-78-72--233 +  20
36. Marissa Steen 78-75-80--233 +  20
41. Tracy Martin 79-79-76--234 +  21
41. Haley Sanders 77-79-78--234 +  21
41. Melissa Martin 78-74-82--234 +  21
44. Heather Lott 81-76-79--236 +  23
44. Mariah Stackhouse 77-82-77--236 +  23
44. Crystal Lee 77-78-81--236 +  23
47. Hillary Gerster 83-77-77--237 +  24
47. Kendall Wright 75-78-84--237 +  24
49. Erica Creed 81-79-79--239 +  26
50. Meghan Chapman 77-84-79--240 +  27
50. Morgan Hale 81-80-79--240 +  27
50. Jordan Ontiveros 84-79-77--240 +  27
53. Mary Narzisi 79-80-82--241 +  28
53. Caitlin Bliss 82-80-79--241 +  28
55. Anne Ormson 79-82-81--242 +  29
55. Alei Mitchell 81-81-80--242 +  29
57. Hanule Seo 83-82-78--243 +  30
57. Sarah Freeman 90-78-75--243 +  30
59. Katie Jurenovich 82-80-82--244 +  31
59. Shelby Phillips 84-82-78--244 +  31
61. Lauren Greenlief 85-75-85--245 +  32
61. Rebecca Lederhausen 80-80-85--245 +  32
61. Stephanie Corey 81-83-81--245 +  32
61. Paige Spiranac 82-83-80--245 +  32
61. Samantha Formeck 83-83-79--245 +  32
61. Ashley Mooney 79-89-77--245 +  32
67. Madeleine Sheils 84-81-82--247 +  34
68. Samantha Schuffenecker 84-80-84--248 +  35
68. Katie Skinner 84-80-84--248 +  35
68. Whitney Schrader 82-83-83--248 +  35
68. Jennifer Clark 82-87-79--248 +  35
72. KC Cain 85-87-82--254 +  41
73. Erin Misheff 85-84-86--255 +  42
73. Sara Eichelberger 89-85-81--255 +  42
73. Katelynn Mannix 83-88-84--255 +  42
76. Emily Copier 93-84-79--256 +  43
77. Brooke Stepanek 87-87-88--262 +  49
78. Chanet Fiorina 93-81-92--266 +  53




BOYS


1. Chris DeForest 65-68-67-74--274
-10
2. Mark Johnson 72-67-67-74--280
-4
3. Luke Guthrie 71-68-71-71--281
-3
4. Jacob Burger 71-72-69-70--282
-2
4. John Popeck 74-73-65-70--282
-2
6. Connor Driscoll 68-71-71-73--283
-1
7. Anthony Paolucci 75-67-73-69--284
E
8. Austin Gutgsell 77-71-72-65--285 + 1
9. Sean Brannan 70-77-70-69--286 + 2
9. Wesley Bryan 74-71-70-71--286 + 2
11. Brinson Paolini 69-75-73-70--287 + 3
11. Jed Dirksen 73-70-69-75--287 + 3
13. Devin Miertschin 72-73-69-74--288 + 4
13. Connor Arendell 72-72-69-75--288 + 4
15. Parker Hewit 75-76-68-70--289 + 5
15. Matthew Porter 74-77-68-70--289 + 5
15. Kyle English 71-75-71-72--289 + 5
15. Robbie Ziegler 72-72-72-73--289 + 5
19. Harold Varner III 70-72-78-70--290 + 6
19. Joe Monte 71-68-74-77--290 + 6
19. John Hahn 73-72-68-77--290 + 6
22. Tommy Higham 72-76-72-71--291 + 7
22. Ryan Dorner 73-69-75-74--291 + 7
24. Craig Kublin 73-73-73-73--292 + 8
24. Andrew Yun 71-74-72-75--292 + 8
24. Chan Kim 72-74-70-76--292 + 8
24. Bradley George 75-73-68-76--292 + 8
24. Albert Kilgore 71-71-71-79--292 + 8
29. Blake Brown 71-74-75-73--293 + 9
30. Aaron McConley 69-78-73-75--295 + 11
31. Brady Keegan 70-76-73-79--298 + 14
• • •


Missed the cut


33. Gaston DeLaTorre 73-76-72--221 +  8
33. Taylor Zimmerman 72-76-73--221 +  8
33. David Zhang 73-74-74--221 +  8
33. Josh Dupont 70-73-78--221 +  8
37. Zach Glassman 77-72-73--222 +  9
37. Jared Walahoski 76-76-70--222 +  9
37. Jake Katz 76-77-69--222 +  9
40. Robert Greenleaf 71-76-76--223 +  10
40. Ryan Peterson 73-73-77--223 +  10
42. Blake English 75-74-75--224 +  11
42. Drew Miller 78-71-75--224 +  11
42. Matt Moot 78-73-73--224 +  11
42. Johnny Burke 77-76-71--224 +  11
46. Ernesto Marin 75-73-77--225 +  12
46. Nicholas Sheppard 73-76-76--225 +  12
46. Alexander Gutesha 75-75-75--225 +  12
49. Justin Lower 72-76-78--226 +  13
50. Alex Bungert 70-80-77--227 +  14
50. Jeffrey Hamm 79-71-77--227 +  14
50. Hunter Brown 79-72-76--227 +  14
50. Miguel Camitoc 73-79-75--227 +  14
50. David Fink 75-78-74--227 +  14
55. David Watkins 79-81-68--228 +  15
56. Donald DeNyse III 76-77-76--229 +  16
56. Austin Zimmerman 79-77-73--229 +  16
58. Zahkai Brown 73-80-77--230 +  17
58. Michael Miller 77-77-76--230 +  17
58. Matt Nagy 80-75-75--230 +  17
61. Mark Rocker 74-80-77--231 +  18
61. Brenden Beeg 77-78-76--231 +  18
63. Trent Hillis 79-74-79--232 +  19
64. Jake An 73-81-79--233 +  20
64. Chad Bryant 80-78-75--233 +  20
66. Mike Smith 76-78-80--234 +  21
66. Thomas Tatum 77-81-76--234 +  21
66. Yong Wang 82-79-73--234 +  21
69. Eric Meier 80-76-79--235 +  22
70. Eric Ong 79-82-77--238 +  25
70. Tyler Hawk 79-82-77--238 +  25
70. Matthew Barnes 82-80-76--238 +  25
73. Jack Dressen 79-77-83--239 +  26
73. Jordan Rodgers 81-77-81--239 +  26
75. Taylor Johnson 81-76-84--241 +  28
76. Mike Amole 83-81-81--245 +  32
77. Johnathan Sloss 86-83-77--246 +  33
78. Philip Scheuerman 82-80-87--249 +  36



Posted: 7/14/2007

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