Philip Barbaree dominates in win
Photo courtesy AJGA
SUNRIVER, Ore. – Philip Barbaree of Shreveport, Louisiana, broke the 72-hole AJGA scoring and tournament record with a 24-under-par 264 as he won the 2015 Rolex Tournament of Champions. In the Girls Division, Hannah O’Sullivan of Chandler, Arizona, also broke the 72-hole tournament record with a 14-under-par 274 on the Crosswater Course at Sunriver Resort.
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.
An LSU verbal commit, Barbaree ended the tournament with a final-round 6-under-par 66. He had eight birdies on the day, bringing him to 24 birdies and an eagle for the tournament. Barbaree’s tournament total was three strokes better than fellow LSU commit and Shreveport native Sam Burns’ total of 21-under-par from the 2014 Rolex Tournament of Champions.
Before Burns set the record last year, Mickelson, Randy Lowry and Jamie Lovemark held the Rolex Tournament of Champions record at 12-under-par. The AJGA 72-hole scoring record was previously held by Matthew Rosenfeld at 16-under-par 268 before Burns broke the record.
“It really means a lot to win a tournament of this magnitude, especially after Sam [Burns] won it last year,” said Barbaree. “It really makes it that much sweeter to have won this after he did.”
Barbaree went through the first 66 holes of the tournament bogey-free on a Crosswater Course which yielded only 19 tournament totals between both Divisions at even- or under-par.
The win for Barbaree was his first since the 2012 Junior All-Star Invitational sponsored by NIKEGOLF. The rising junior now has 16 top-10 finishes in his career. The two-time Rolex Junior All-American and three-time Leadership Links participant credited his short game as being the biggest reason for his win this week.
“My chipping and putting were my biggest strengths this week,” said Barbaree.
Norman Xiong of Canyon Lake, California, finished in second with a tournament total of 10-under-par 278. The 2014 Sunriver Junior Open champion shot a 5-under-par 67 on Friday to climb into second. The 2014 Rolex Junior All-American also has wins in the 2014 Junior All-Star at Fox Meadow and the 2014 Junior All-Star Invitational sponsored by NIKEGOLF.
Yechun (Carl) Yuan of Lake Mary, Florida, finished in third with a 7-under-par 281. Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge, California, and Kaiwen Liu of San Diego, tied for fourth at 6-under-par 282. Mason Greenberg of Southlake, Texas, and Joseph Chun of Irvine, California, finished in a tie for sixth at 4-under-par 284. Matthew Wolff of Agoura Hills, California, and Garrett Barber of Stuart, Florida, finished in eighth at 2-under-par 286. Finishing tied for 10th at even-par 288 were Matthew Walker of Ottumwa, Iowa, Won Jun Lee of Wesley Chapel, Florida, and Trey Winstead of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
O’Sullivan, a three-time Rolex Junior All American, captured her second Invitational win and third win of 2015. The four-time Rolex Tournament of Champions participant finished her round at 6-under-par 66, which tied the tournament single-round total, tying Victoria Tanco (2009) and Naree Wongluekiet (1999). The University of Southern California verbal commit played at or under par for 64 consecutive holes after an opening-round bogey on No. 8. She finished with a total of 15 birdies during the tournament. O’Sullivan also broke Tanco’s Rolex Tournament of Champions total record set in 2009 by one stroke.
In 2014, O’Sullivan missed the cut by six strokes but returned this year focused on her own game and taking one shot at a time.
“I got off to a really good start today and that helped get me settled in a little bit,” she said. “Throughout the day, my putting went really well and it was really keeping me alive.”
The rising senior became the third girl ever to win the Rolex Girls Junior Championship and the Rolex Tournament of Champions in the same year; O’Sullivan’s wins were just two weeks apart in 2015. The other two women to accomplish this were Kellee Booth in 1993 and Alison Lee in 2013, both of whom went on to win the Rolex Junior Player of the Year in the same year.
“It is really incredible to be one of the three and it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I am so grateful and blessed to have this opportunity,” said O’Sullivan. “I am so thankful to be able to win today.”
O’Sullivan also made history when she became the youngest winner in Symetra Tour history in February 2015. She claimed a four-stroke victory in the season-opening Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club at 15-under par 201. Then over Easter weekend, she won the AJGA’S Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club. Overall, she has 32 AJGA appearances and 16 top-10 finishes.
A two-time participant of the Rolex Tournament of Champions, Mika Liu of Beverly Hills, California, finished second at 8-under-par 280. The Stanford verbal commit jumped from sixth place to second after the third round and carded a 1-under-par 71 in the final round.
Bethany Wu of Diamond Bar, California, and Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, California and former champion of the Rolex Tournament of Champions, tied for third at 5-under-par 283. Maddie Rose Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky, finished in fifth at 2-under-par 286.
For more information, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200. Follow conversation about the event on Twitter with @AJGAGolf and #RolexTOC.
Rolex, a supporter of the AJGA since 1986, became an AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. The distinguished timepiece maker is the proprietor of the Rolex Junior Players of the Year, Rolex Junior All-America Teams and the Rolex Junior All-America Awards Banquet. Rolex also sponsors the Rolex Tournament of Champions and Rolex Girls Junior Championship, two of the AJGA’s most competitive major championships. As a Premier Partner, Rolex is the Founding Partner to the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program and an Official Partner of the biennial PING Junior Solheim Cup.
About the AJGA
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-18) of more than 6,300 members from 48 states and more than 50 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 600 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome and many others.
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