AJGA Thunderbird winners Alyaa Abdulghany (L) and Jacob Bergeron (R)
SCOTSDALE, AZ (May 29, 2017) - Jacob Bergeron of Slidell, Louisiana, earned his second AJGA Invitational win at the Thunderbird International Junior with a tournament total of 15-under-par 201. In the Girls Division, Alyaa Abdulghany won her first AJGA Invitational at 8-under-par 208 on Grayhawk Golf Club’s Raptor Course.
The Thunderbird International Junior is celebrating its 18th year on the AJGA schedule. Many past champions of the event have gone on to successful college, PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour careers including Morgan Pressel, Ariya Jutanugarn, Ryan Moore and Brian Harman. With the support of The Thunderbirds, Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation, Grayhawk Golf Club and Under Armour®, the event has become one of the most competitive and fun-filled junior golf tournaments in the world.
After starting the day T3, Bergeron tallied six birdies to keep pace with Noah Norton of Chico, California. Bergeron and Norton were tied at 13-under-par heading down No. 18, but Bergeron sunk a 20-foot eagle putt to secure the win. The Rolex Junior All-American will attend LSU in the fall.
“The Thunderbird International Junior might be the hardest tournament to win because the field is so stacked,” Bergeron said. “I knew I had a tall task to win leading into this week, but I never thought of it as winning. It was more going in and seeing where I could improve.”
Noah Norton of Chico, California, finished second with a tournament total of 14-under-par 202. Canon Claycomb of Bowling Green, Kentucky, took third at 11-under-par 205. Won Jun Lee of Wesley Chapel, Florida, and Kaiwen Liu of San Diego, California, rounded out the boys top five at 10-under-par 206.
Competition for the Girls Division title was fierce throughout the day. Abdulghany and Rachel Heck of Memphis, Tennessee, were neck-and-neck throughout the day posting a combined eight birdies. Abdulghany, a three-time Rolex Junior All-American, was competing at Grayhawk Golf Club for the third time. Her previous top finish was second at the 2016 tournament. Abdulghany will play golf at USC in the fall.
“I really wanted to get my first Invitational win before college,” said Abdulghany. “I wouldn’t have been too sad if I had lost because Rachel played amazing and I did as best as I could. To win and finally say I won my first AJGA Invitational was a great experience.”
Heck finished second at 6-under-par 210 and Emilia Migliaccio of Cary, North Carolina, took third at 5-under-par 211.
ABOUT THE Thunderbird International Junior
Conducted by the American Junior Golf
Association, the Thunderbird International
Junior is a 54-hole stroke play competition
played on the par-72, Raptor Course at
Grayhawk Golf Club. The event features 48
boys and 30 girls, ages 12-18, from 17 states
and 14 countries. The Boys Division is playing
the course at 7,112 yards while the Girls
Division is playing the course at 6,342 yards.
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