Davis Shore, Paphangkorn Tavatanakit are winners at AJGA Rolex TOC
AJGA Rolex TOC winners Paphangkorn Tavatanakit and Davis Shore <br>(AJGA Photo)</br>
AJGA Rolex TOC winners Paphangkorn Tavatanakit and Davis Shore
(AJGA Photo)
GREENSBORO, GA (July 1, 2016) -- Davis Shore of Knoxville, Tennessee, captured the Boys Division crown with a 10-under-par 274 at the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions. Paphangkorn Tavatanakit of Bangkok, Thailand, won the Girls Division with a tournament total 5-under-par 283 at Reynolds Lake Oconee’s Great Waters Course. The Boys Division finished third round play Friday morning after the round was suspended due to darkness, Thursday.

Begun in 1978, the Rolex Tournament of Champions is one of the two longest-running AJGA events. Past winners of the Rolex Tournament of Champions include Inbee Park, David Duval, Heather Farr, Charles Howell III, Morgan Pressel, Webb Simpson, two-time winner Beth Bauer and three-time victor Phil Mickelson.

Shore, ranked second in the Polo Golf Rankings, won his third career AJGA event, and his first since the 2015 Toyota Music City Junior. He is only the second junior from Tennessee to win the Rolex Tournament of Champions, with David Gossett being the first in 1997.

“It was pretty crazy. I’ve been working pretty hard to win one of these tournaments,” he said. “It felt really good to get it going this week.”

During his four rounds, the University of Alabama commit tallied 10 birdies and just one bogey on the back nine.

“I told myself if I can hang in there, make some putts and continue to hit good shots, I can win it,” Shore said. “My strategy going into today was to be aggressive. I finally got a birdie to drop on No. 14 and the rest of the round just kind of rolled from there.”

The 17-year-old discussed what it means to have his name mentioned next to other great junior golfers who have won the Rolex Tournament of Champions.

“There are so many good players that have won this tournament,” Shore said. “I hope that this is something that I can draw some confidence from moving forward.”

John Pak of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, finished second with a 5-under-par 279 tournament total. Pak shot a 1-under-par 70 in the final round, including a bogey-free back nine.

Pak, committed to Florida State, came within three strokes of the lead after he birdied No. 12, but Shore responded with birdies on Nos. 14 and 18 to seal the win.

Kaiwen Liu of San Diego, finished in third with a one-under-par 283 tournament total. Liu, a University of California Berkeley commit, carded a 1-under-par 70, including three birdies and no bogeys on the back nine.

S.M. Lee of Buford, Georgia, had the low final round and tournament score with an 8-under-par 63, including 7-under-par on the back nine.

To claim the Girls Division, Tavatanakit of Bangkok, Thailand, carded a 3-under-par 69 in Friday’s final round. Four birdies and no bogeys on the front nine helped the UCLA commit take a lead she wouldn’t relinquish. She said it was all about the mental game today.

“I would say my mind-set was my strength today. I didn’t give up or have any bad thoughts about the round,” said Tavatanakit. “I just wanted to go out and play good golf, happy golf, and you can tell I am so happy to be out here.”

This is the 16-year-old’s third AJGA win, but first Invitational; her other two wins came at the L.A. Junior Open (2014, 2015). She spends summers in the United States playing golf and then returns to Thailand for school in the fall. She has always known she was going to come to college in the United States. This is her ninth AJGA appearance and second Rolex Tournament of Champions.

Yu Sang Hou of Taipei City, Taiwan, trailed Tavantanakit by three strokes with a 2-under-par 286. Hou led the Girls Division following the second and third round. The rising senior made four birdies, two on each nine. She plans to play in three more American tournaments, before returning home. This is her fifth AJGA event and first Rolex Tournament of Champions appearance.

Gina Kim of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Rachel Heck of Memphis, Tennessee, tied for third with tournament totals of 1-over-par 289. Kim led the Girls Division after the first round with a 3-under-par 69. This is the Duke University commit’s 23rd AJGA appearance. She won at the 2016 Rolex Girls Junior Championship and 2014 AJGA Junior at Cattail Creek. Heck carded 15 birdies during the tournament, helping her sustain the third place position. The 14-year-old is a Rolex Junior All-American and has appeared at 16 other AJGA events, winning at the 2015 AJGA Huntsville Junior.

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