GREENSBORO, Ga. – Xin (Cindy) Kou (China) of Windermere, Florida, captured her eighth title at the AJGA Junior All-Star Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee after carding a low-final round of 65. She finished the weekend with a tournament total of 9-under-par 207 with a three-stroke advantage against the field.
In the Boys Division, Luke Potter of Encinitas, California, secured his first victory with a tournament total of 8-under-par 208. Potter now has five top-ten finishes in AJGA events this year.
Reynolds Lake Oconee will host the AJGA Junior All-Star Invitational each October through 2020. The Oconee course hosted for the first time because of Great Waters renovations. Announced in 2016, the partnership features involvement from the Reynolds Lake Oconee team to produce one of the AJGA’s top events. The season-ending Road to Reynolds 78-player field was determined by top finishes in the ACDS Junior All-Star Series qualifying events and the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The champions of each of the ACDS Junior All-Star Series events and ACDS Junior All-Star Team members received an automatic invitation to the event.
Kou capped off her final round with six birdies on the back nine on Nos. 9, 10, 13, 15, 17 and 18 to hold off Yoon Min Han (South Korea) of Bradenton, Florida. This is Kou’s second Invitational victory of season after her win at the 2018 KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational. Kou has now won at least one AJGA event in each of the four years she’s played national junior golf.
“On the back nine I didn’t expect to shoot six under,” Kou said. “I believe this is the hardest side of the course especially with the wind and the rain. I just took it one hole at a time, and that gave me the confidence to play my game and ultimately come out on top.”
Kou is No. 19 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings and she is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American. She has now won at least one AJGA event in each of the four years she’s played national junior golf.
Rounding out the top-three in the Girls Division was Han with a 6-under-par 210 and tied for third was Karoline Tuttle of Lake Mary, Florida, and Sophia Bae of Norwood, N.J., at 4-under-par 212.
Potter started off the tournament strong tied for the lead, but he fell behind after the second round shooting even-par.
“I came off of the 18th hole feeling deflated after a bogey in the second round,” Potter said. “To come back here with the tournament on the line, I am happy that this one went in.”
Potter was able to hold off final-round charges from the field after a solid round of 2-under-par 70.
“It’s great to claim my first victory on the AJGA circuit,” Potter said. “I have confidence in my game and look forward to the next couple of years.”
He is a verbal commit to Arizona State University and No. 65 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. Potter is also a member of the 2018 ACDS Junior All-Star Team. In his second year of national junior golf, this was his first invitational appearance.
The Boys Division was back-and-forth during the last nine holes and Brendan Valdes of Orlando, Florida, gave Potter the biggest threat. Valdes finished the weekend with a low-final round score of 64 for a tournament total of 7-under-par 209.
Nicklas Staub of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Deven Patel of Johns Creek, Georgia, tied for third with totals of 5-under-par 211. Also tied for fifth was Maxwell Ford of Peachtree Corners, Georgia, and Cohen Trolio of West Point, Mississippi, at 4-under-par 212.
Cohen Trolio of West Point, Mississippi, made five birdies in his round and is tied for second with Luke Potter of Encinitas, California, at 6-under-par 138.