RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (May 11, 2008)--Robbie Mamo of Apple Valley, Calif., and James Feutz of University Place, Wash., finished at 4-under-par 140 to take home medalist honors at the Golf World/Medicus Preseason Junior at Rancho Mirage. T.J. Kliebphipat of Panorama City, Calif., maintained her first-round lead to take home the Girls Division title at The Westin Mission Hills Resort — Gary Player Signature Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Golf World/Medicus Preseason Junior at Rancho Mirage was a 36-hole stroke play event held at The Westin Mission Hills Resort — Gary Player Signature Course. The tournament field consisted of 72 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from six states and Canada. The par-72 course played at 6,953 yards for the Boys Division and 5,889 yards for the Girls Division.
The 16-year-old Mamo came into Sunday's final round tied for the lead at 3-under-par. After attending his high school prom Saturday night and only sleeping for two hours, Mamo rebounded to shoot a 1-under-par for the day. Mamo recorded five birdies on the day including one on the par-4 No. 16.
“After triple bogeying No. 9, I knew I had to bounce back,” Mamo said. “On No. 16 I was 180 yards out and hit a 7-iron over the trees within two inches of the hole. It definitely gave me confidence and kept my morale up going into the final holes.”
Feutz also came into the final round hungry for victory. He was tied for 18th after Saturday's first round, but fired the low round of the tournament with a 6-under-par 66. Feutz, who credits his driving as a key to his success, missed only 5 fairways the entire tournament. The highlight of his low round came on the par-5 No. 11.
“On No. 11 I thought about hitting a 4-iron, but decided to switch and use my driver,” Feutz said. “My drive landed just behind the water. Then I hit my 6-iron within three feet of the hole and holed out for eagle.”
Rounding out the top-5 were Nick Thomas of Westlake Village, Calif., John Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., and Allen Kwon of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. All three finished tied for third with tournament totals of 2-under-par 142.
In the Girls Division, T.J. Kliebphipat maintained her lead to finish at 2-over-par 146. She used the wind to her advantage, letting it carry her drives and approach shots to the green. Kliebphipat recorded her all-time lowest amount of putts at 24 during Sunday's final round.
“On No. 13 I hit my drive behind a tree, but I was able to get up and over and two putt for par,” Kliebphipat said. “I focused on my own game during the round and didn't worry about the competition. I think my mindset helped me.”
Tied for second were Jessica Vasilic of Anaheim Hills, Calif., and Gabriella Then of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Vasilic finished with the low round of the day in the Girls Division with a 1-over-par 73. Both girls finished the tournament at 6-over-par 150.
View results for AJGA Preseason Junior at Oak Valley