Korda, Soosman win wire-to-wire at The PING Invitational
Nelly Korda and Spencer Soosman win their divisions<br>AJGA photo
Nelly Korda and Spencer Soosman win their divisions
AJGA photo

STILLWATER, Okla. (Oct. 12, 2015) -- Spencer Soosman of Westlake Village, California, posted a final-round score of 2-over-par 74 to win The PING Invitational at 1-under-par 215. In the Girls Division, Nelly Korda of Bradenton, Florida, fired a 1-under-par 71 in the final round of and won with a tournament total of 5-under-par 211. For the first time in the tournament’s 10-year history, both the Girls and Boys Champions went wire-to-wire over 54 holes to win the tournament at Karsten Creek. In prior years, Emiliano Grillo (2009) and Gregor Main (2007) won wire-to-wire in the Boys Division, while Esther Choe (2006) is the only Girls Division wire-to-wire winner.

With his victory, Soosman became the champion of the AJGA’s season-opening and season-ending Invitationals in 2015. Soosman joins Jaye Marie Green as the only AJGA players to record bookend Invitational victories starting with a win at the Polo Golf Junior Classic and ending with a win at The PING Invitational.

Despite being challenged by Noah Goodwin of Corinth, Texas, on the back nine, Soosman held on to win his second AJGA Invitational. Soosman is now a four-time AJGA champion. After struggling in AJGA tournaments for most of the year, Soosman was thrilled to leave Stillwater with a victory.

“It means a lot because the last six or seven months have been really frustrating,” Soosman said. “I’ve been working really hard and it’s amazing to see what happens when you believe and work hard. When you set goals, they don’t always come true, but mine did today and it was astonishing.”

After posting a final-round score of 4-under-par 68, Goodwin climbed into second at 1-over-par 217. Goodwin carded 17 birdies throughout the tournament, the most of any player in the field.

Matthew Wolff of Agoura Hills, California, Austin Eckroat of Edmond, Oklahoma, and Harrison Ott of Brookfield, Wisconsin, rounded out the top five at 8-over-par 224.

In the Girls Division, Korda recorded her second Invitational victory of 2015, as she won the Yani Tseng Invitational presented by the Swinging Skirts in July. Korda extended her lead to nine strokes by the time she teed off on No. 18 and sealed an impressive 11-stroke victory with an eagle on the closing hole.

Korda finished T12 at the 2014 PING Invitational and 16th at the 2013 PING Invitational.

“I’ve played this tournament three times and to finally come out victorious is an amazing feeling,” Korda said. “Having two wins means that I know I’m doing the right stuff and practicing well. It’s definitely a very good note to end on.”

Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Florida, and Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California, tied for second with tournament totals of 6-over-par 222. Each of the top-three girls represented Team USA at the PING Junior Solheim Cup in September.

About the AJGA

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 AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-18) of more than 6,300 members from 48 states and more than 50 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 600 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel.

ABOUT THE The PING Invitational

One of the AJGA series of tournaments that require an invitation to participate. Format is 54 holes of stroke play.

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