June 20, 2008–The American Junior Golf Association is the best junior golf tour in the world, and annually its participants nab lucrative college golf scholarships to the best colleges in the country. And this week a Las Vegas junior golfer, Max Marsico, coming off a foot injury, won the event, becoming the first male player from Las Vegas to win the prestigious tournament that annually brings many of the country's best junior golfers to Las Vegas. Stephanie Keever and Christine Fernandez, both from Southern Nevada, are past champions of the girls division. The event was held at Angel Park Golf Club (pictured), the home of two, Arnold Palmer designed 18 hole courses. "I'm on cloud nine," Marsico said. "This has always been a great tournament, and it is a dream come true to be healthy and to win." Click now for official tournament scores.
Marsico shot a 2-under-par 69 in the final round of the AJGA Las Vegas Junior Thursday to claim first place in the Boys Division. Lindsey Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz., finished eight strokes ahead of the rest of the girl's field to pick up her third AJGA title.
The AJGA Las Vegas Junior was a 54-hole stroke play tournament conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Angel Park Golf Club — Mountain Course. The tournament field consisted of 57 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 9 states, China and Mexico. The Boys Division played the par-71 course at 6,680 yards, while the Girls Division played it at 6,031 yards.
After being out due to injury for over a year, Marsico wasted no time in getting his name at the top of the leaderboard. The AJGA Las Vegas Junior was his first tournament back after a fractured spine and broken foot in 2007.
"Being out last year gave me more desire to get to this position,” Marsico said. “I never thought that I couldn't get here, but I knew that I had to work hard to get better and believe in myself along the way.”
Marsico was tied for second going into the final round, and he tallied five birdies on the day against only three bogies to shoot 2-under-par. For the week, Marsico carded a 5-under-par 208 but accomplished more than just a win on the golf course.
Mario Clemens of Beverly Hills, Calif., finished the tournament one stroke behind Marsico with a 4-under-par 209. Local AJ McInerney of Henderson, Nev., shot a three-day total of 2-under-par 211 to take third place. Bobby Lee Robinson of Mesa, Ariz., Roberto Ruiz of Mexico, and Ryan Tetrault of Orange, Calif., all completed the tournament tied for fourth with 1-under-par 212s.
In the Girls Division, Weaver continued her solid play throughout the final round of the tournament by being the only girl to shoot under par. She completed her best round for the tournament at 3-under-par 68 to bring her three-day total to 7-under-par 206.
“I just played in the moment all week, and I think that's what helped me,” Weaver said. “It didn't matter what everyone else was shooting because I just wanted to do the best that I could.”
Weaver, 14, had three birdies on the day with one of them being a 50-foot chip-in after landing in the rough on the par-5 No. 2.
Jenny Shin of Torrance, Calif., finished the tournament in second behind Weaver with a tournament total of 1-over-par 214 while Danielle Kang of Oak Park, Calif., and Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif., both tied for third with 3-over-par 216s. Brittany Rizzetto of Las Vegas was the highest finishing local. She finished in 20th place.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.