THE WOODLANDS, Texas (Feb. 19, 2013) -- Brad Dalke became the youngest golfer to win an AJGA invitational in 2011 when the then-13-year-old captured the Thunderbird Invitational.
Two years later, he has his second one.
Dalke, 15, made a 3 footer for par at the par-4 18th at the Club at Carlton Woods' Fazio Championship course to secure a one-shot victory over Scott Scheffler and Peter Kim. Dalke finished with a three-day total of 5-under 211, besting his last year's 230 in The Woodlands, Texas.
"Thunderbird was my last real junior victory," Dalke said. "It feels good to finally pull one off again."
Dalke and Kim, who will play at Army in the fall, led Scheffler by one heading into the par-5 17th. But Scheffler chipped in for eagle to take a one-shot lead, forcing Dalke to make his 5-foot birdie to stay tied for the lead. Kim made par to drop a shot back.
"When Scott drained that chip for eagle, I knew I had to focus on my 5 footer," Dalke said.
On No. 18, Dalke was the only player to reach the green in two. He played it safe, going with 3-wood after he pulled his driver left the day before, eventually making double bogey on the hole Sunday.
Scheffler found a fairway bunker off the tee and left himself a 15 footer to save par. After Dalke missed a 15-foot birdie putt for the win – "I thought it was in," he said." – Scheffler missed his par save, too. Dalke would make the short comeback putt for par to grab his first individual victory of 2013.
"I was pretty nervous standing over that last putt," Dalke said. "There was a lot riding on it."
Having committed to play college golf for Oklahoma at age 12, Dalke has faced lofty expectations for much of the last few years. But he's undoubtedly met, if not exceeded, those expectations.
He's ranked in the top 10 in both the Golfweek/Sagarin and Polo Golf junior rankings, and he finished in the top 5 at the Junior PGA, Junior Players, Polo Golf Junior Classic and Rolex Tournament of Champions last year.
"I like pressure," Dalke said. "I knew there'd be expectations, but I like being able to show people that I'm not just some young kid who committed to Oklahoma; I have the game."
That he does. And this latest achievement might be his most impressive to date.
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