June 12, 2009–The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) has a long history in Las Vegas, but in 2009, the start of something new was in the air. For the first time, the private Las Vegas golf course Anthem Country Club hosted the Las Vegas Junior Open, and local Las Vegas golfer AJ Mcinerney fired a final-round 68 to capture his first Las Vegas AJGA win. And the national golf web television network, GolfweekTV, was there to capture the moment. Click now to view the video highlights.
McInerney fired rounds of 74-73-68–215 over the holes Anthem, a Las Vegas golf course designed by Hale Irwin and also McInerney's home course. He won by three strokes over Tad Murray from La Quinta, California. McInerney is one of the top juniors in the country, and only recently completed his freshman season at Coronado High School. He finished third in the Las Vegas event last year that was played at Angel Park Golf Club.
"I can't be happier, obviously I played great today and I am happy to get the win," McInerney told the GolfweekTV reporter. "Winning gets me into the bigger tournaments and so we'll see how I can do in those. McInerney is generally regarded as one of the best junior golfers in the United States, especially in his class of 2012. Fellow Anthem Country Club junior player Tad Darland finished in a tie for sixth. Darland is the son of Anthem Country Club head pro Tommy Darland.
On the girls side, Sunshine Baraquiel from Valencia, Calif., earned the victory in a three-way playoff with Lindsey Waever from Scottsdale, Ariz. and Dana Finkelstein from Chandler, Ariz. She fired rounds of 77-77-76–230 and was stunned to win and nearly speechless following the round. "I am very overwhelmed," Baraquiel told GolfweekTV. The top girl finisher from the Las Vegas area was Jennifer Hahn, who finished in a tie for 10th. Click now for the complete results.
The AJGA 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. Current PGA Tour players who played on the AJGA Tour include Las Vegas golfer Chris Riley, Stewart Cink, Steve Flesch, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Charles Howell III, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Justin Leonard, Davis Love III, Andrew Magee, Phil Mickelson, Joe Ogilvie, David Toms, Mike Weir, Tiger Woods and Scott Verplank. LPGA Tour alumni include Las Vegas golfer Stephanie Louden, Beth Bauer, Brandie Burton, Paula Creamer, Laura Diaz, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Julieta Granada, Pat Hurst, Christina Kim, Cristie Kerr, Emilee Klein, Kelli Kuehne, Michelle McGann, Lorena Ochoa, Grace Park, Morgan Pressel and Kelly Robbins.