SEA ISLAND, Georgia (Nov 24, 2006) -- Morgan
Hoffman of Wyckoff , N.J. , won his first American Junior Golf Association
invitational title with a 3 and 2 victory over Rickie Fowler of Murrieta ,
Calif. , in the Boys Division match play finals at the Polo Golf Junior Classic.
In the Girls Division, 2006 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Esther Choe of
Scottsdale , Ariz. , notched her fourth career AJGA invitational victory with
a 3 and 2 win over Cydney Clanton of Concord , N.C.
The Polo Golf Junior Classic, which has been conducted annually since 1978,
marked the first tournament of the AJGA’s 2007 season. The stroke play
portion of the tournament included 162 boys and girls ages 12-18 from 29 states
and seven foreign countries. Former champions include Stewart Cink (1989),
Trevor Immelman (1995), Tiger Woods (1991), Paula Creamer (2002), Grace Park
(1994, 1996) and Morgan Pressel (2004).
Despite a solid performance in the quarter and semifinals, Hoffman felt uneasy
with his game on the eve of his championship match. After talking with his
coaches and some additional practicing, Hoffmann felt ready to face Fowler,
the No. 2 ranked junior boy in the Polo Golf Rankings.
“When I stepped to the first tee, it all fell in place,” the
17-year-old said. “I hit my first tee shot and I knew it would be a good
Runner-up Rickie Fowler
Fowler was 1-up heading to the third hole, but Hoffmann drained a 20-foot
birdie putt to make the match go all-square. The win on that hole got his momentum
going, and Hoffmann then went 1-up on the fourth hole with a par four. Hoffman
would never relinquish the lead and went 3-up on Fowler for good with a par
on the 15th hole. He credits a solid driver and confidence in his game as the
key factors in his victory, as well as a strong support group.
“The whole year my coaches and I have been working up to this tournament,” Hoffman
said. “Winning Polo is huge. My coaches came and have been so supportive,
so it’s especially nice to win with them here.”
Hoffman previously won the 2004 Nike Golf Junior at Quad Cities.
Runner-up Cydney Clanton
In the Girls Division, Choe began her round against Clanton determined to
continue her dominating performance during this week’s matches.
“I’ve been playing really solid throughout match play,” Choe
said. “I’ve been putting and chipping well and wanted to do the
same today, and I’m happy I did.”
Choe and Clanton stayed close throughout the front nine, with Choe taking
her first lead of the match on the par-4 ninth hole. After hitting her approach
shot into the greenside bunker, Choe chipped in for birdie and the win. Choe
used her strong short game to remain in the lead throughout the rest of the
match, recording another birdie on the par-4 No. 12 and draining another chip
to save par on the par-3 No. 14.
“Winning Polo means so much to me,” Choe said. “I haven’t
had the best record in match play, so to win is huge.”
The victory is Choe’s third AJGA invitational title of the year, notching
additional wins at the Rolex Girls Championship and the inaugural PING Invitational.
She also won the Rolex Tournament of Champions and Hiwan Junior presented by
Stonecreek Funding in 2005, and the I.R.I Golf Group Arizona National Junior
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, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership
(boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states
and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving
force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA ,
which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier
Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional
golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA
Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson,
Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst,
Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution
of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories
and fragrances. For more than 39 years, Polo's reputation and distinctive image
have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands
and international markets. The Company's brand names, which include “Polo
by Ralph Lauren,” “Ralph Lauren Purple Label,” “Ralph
Lauren,” “Black Label,” “Blue Label,” “Lauren
by Ralph Lauren,” “Polo Jeans Co.,” “RRL,” “RLX,” “Rugby,” “RL
Childrenswear,” “Chaps,” and “Club Monaco” among
others, constitute one of the world's most widely recognized families of consumer
brands. For more information, go to http://investor.polo.com.
For more information about the Polo Golf Junior Classic, contact national
headquarters at (770) 868-4200 or visit the tournament Web site at http://www.ajga.org/2006polo.
To view complete results, click on the tournament link next to "see also" at the top of the page and follow the "results" tab.