Gavin Aurilia wins Junior World at Torrey Pines
Junior World champ Gavin Aurilia (AmateurGolf.com photo)
Junior World champ Gavin Aurilia (AmateurGolf.com photo)

No one would have faulted Gavin Aurilia if would have continued playing baseball as a youth.

Afterall, when your dad is a 15-year Major League veteran, there's something to be said about taking advantage of the family gene pool.

And that was the path Gavin was on, but when his dad Rich retired from baseball in 2009, so did Gavin.

"I played club baseball until I was 11 but I didn't like to practice," said Gavin. "I just lost my interest in it when my dad retired," said Gavin. "He started to play a lot of golf and I just wanted to play golf with my dad."

Twelve years after making the decision to carve his own athletic path, Gavin Aurilia claimed the biggest win of his junior career on Friday, taking the Boys 15-18 Division at the IMG Junior World Championships at Torrey Pines.

Aurilia finished at 3-under 281 on rounds of 72-71-66-72 to earn a four-stroke victory over Matthew Broder of Phoenix, Ariz.

Aurilia seized control of the tournament with a 5-under 66 in the third round on Thursday and didn't give up ground, closing with a 72 in windy conditions on the bluffs of La Jolla.

"The question was whether if I should keep playing aggressively or conservatively and just get my pars," said Aurilia, who will be a freshman at USC in the fall. "I've been in that situation before where I've played conservatively with the lead and it didn't work out too well. Defensive golf can lead to bogeys.

"I just stuck to my game plan today. The last four holes were really tough with the wins so at that point I was just trying to get to the clubhouse with pars."

Aurilia played even par over the last four holes and walked away with the IMG Junior World Championship.

Aurilia will join the field in next week's U.S. Junior Championships at the Country Club of North Carolina.

View results for IMG Junior World
ABOUT THE IMG Junior World

Age Divisions: 15-17, 13-14, 11-12, 9-10, 7-8, 6-under. 72 hole stroke play event for 15-17 division, 54 holes for other divisions. Qualifying required for 15-17, other divisions. Played at multiple courses in the San Diego area. Online application process begins approx. Feb 1.

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