BRASELTON, G.A. — Will Thomson of Pittsford, New York, won his first AJGA tournament at the Junior All-Star at Château Élan with a tournament-total even-par 213. Michaela Morard of Huntsville, Alabama, also won her first AJGA event, claiming the Girls Division title with a tournament total of 7-over-par 220.
The Junior All-Star at Château Élan is one of 15 events in the AJGA Junior All-Star Series. Specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15, the AJGA Junior All-Star Series presents opportunities for younger players to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments. The Series concludes with the Junior All-Star Invitational sponsored by NIKEGOLF over Columbus Day weekend for winners and top finishers in AJGA Junior All-Star Series events.
After beginning the day in second, Thomson surged ahead early in the final round.
“I got off to a good start, going 2-under par through three holes,” Thomson said. “Then on the back nine I was going back and forth with Canon [Claycomb] and I was able to pull it out on No. 18.”
Thomson, who had three birdies in the final round and nine overall, credited his strong finish to his length and accuracy off the tee.
“I had a lot of good drives hitting a lot of fairways, which put me in good position for the approach shot,” Thomson said. “I’ve gained a lot of distance and consistency since I played in this tournament last year, so it was great to get the win.”
Brandon Mancheno of Jacksonville, Florida, and Canon Claycomb of Bowling Green, Kentucky, tied for second with a tournament-total 1-over-par 214. Karl Vilips of Foxfire, North Carolina, and Alex Hu of Heathrow, Florida, rounded out the Boys Division top five with a 2-over-par 215 and an 5-over-par 218, respectively.
Competing in the Junior All-Star at Château Élan for the second consecutive year, 13-year-old Morard’s final-round 1-over-par 72 was tied for the lowest Girls Division score of the weekend.
Morard shot a Girls Division tournament-high 11 birdies, including five in the final round. With her victory, Morard now has two top-five finishes in three AJGA events. Entering the day in a three-way tie for second, Morard’s putting got her off to a strong start with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 3 and 4.
“Yesterday my putting wasn’t great so I went to the putting green after the round and practiced putting for about two hours,” Morard said. “I think that really helped me today because I hit two 45-footers.”
Sadie Englemann of Austin, Texas, finished one stroke back, taking second place with an 8-over-par 221. Jayna Choi of Collierville, Tennessee, came in third with a 10-over-par 223.