SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 10, 2008)--Mario Clemens of Beverly Hills, Calif., birdied two of the last three holes to jump ahead of the two-day leader claiming his first AJGA title at the Hanmi Bank Junior Open. Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., carded a 4-under-par 68 to bring her tournament total to 8-under-par 208 and win the Girls Division at Robinson Ranch Golf Club's Valley Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Hanmi Bank Junior Open was a 54-hole stroke-play event held at Robinson Ranch Golf Club's Valley Course. The tournament field consisted of 75 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-18, from seven states and New Zealand. Eighty-one hailed from the home state of California. The Boys Division played the par-72 layout at 6,831 yards, while the Girls Division played it at 6,040 yards.
Clemens scattered four birdies on the day, including a 60-footer on No. 16. He realized that he was in contention for the win after tallying birdies on Nos. 16 and 17.
“I was just trying to match play with John [Young Kim],” Clemens said. “The last few tournaments have taught me to be aggressive and I took advantage where I could.”
John Young Kim of Los Alamitos, Calif., finished in second with a tournament total of 4-under-par 212. Max Homa of Valencia, and Todd Baek of Auckland, New Zealand, both carded 3-under-par 213's, putting them tied for third. Matthew Siporin of Tarzana, Calif., and Daniel Lee of Valencia tied for fifth at 1-under-par 215.
Lee, 13, was excited to win her first AJGA open event after putting up four birdies to card a 4-under-par 68. She credited her solid round to not making any errors.
“I learned my lesson at Mission Hills this year when I 3-putted too many times and lost my lead,” Lee said. “I knew that I just had to stay focused and cut down on mistakes. This was a real confidence booster.”
Marika Liu of Bradenton, Fla., shot even-par 72 in her final round for a tournament total of 2-under-par 214, giving her a second place finish. Esther Lee of Los Alamitos finished in third after playing 54 holes at even-par 216.
View results for AJGA West Junior Open