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AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions: Lee, Ortengren claim titles
AJGA Rolex TOC champs Meja Ortengren and Eric Lee
AJGA Rolex TOC champs Meja Ortengren and Eric Lee

When 144 of the AJGA's best come together to play a season-ending tournament in Florida, you can be sure the level of talent will be high and the winning scores will be low.

Today at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Eric Lee of Fullerton, Calif., won the 44th annual Rolex Tournament of Champions in a playoff over Jackson Koivun of San Jose, Calif. after both players posted 8-under in the 72-hole event.

Meja Ortengren of Stockholm, Sweden, won the girls division wire-to-wire over junior phenom Alexa Pano with a total of 11-under 277. Pano finished at 5-under 283.

Lee, who was invited to the tournament based on his No. 5 position in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, won his first event and AJGA Invitational. Lee started the day two shots behind Koivun, and things stayed exactly the same after both players posted 35 on the front nine. Then Lee birdied No. 14 to narrow the margin to one, and things got interesting on the famous "Bear Trap" at PGA National's Champion Course.

Koivun suffered a triple on the par-3 15th against Lee's par, and things flipped in Lee's direction. But rather than take the now two-stroke lead and run away, Lee bogeyed No. 16 to make things interesting again, especially when Koivun finished with a birdie to tie things up. Tied in regulation, Lee won on the first extra hole for his first AJGA title, in a major no less.

Lee, a verbal commit to the University of California, Berkeley, he had three top-10 finishes in 2021 at Invitationals and was a member of the Wyndham Cup West Team.

Rounding out the top five in the Boys Division, Virginia signee and No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Ben James of Milford, Connecticut, finished in third with a 6-under-par 280. Caleb Surratt of Indian Trail, North Carolina, had his sixth top-10 finish of the season in AJGA Invitationals at 5-under-par 281. Following in fifth place, Michael La Sasso of Raleigh, North Carolina, finished at 3-under-par 283.

In the Girls Division, Ortengren led all 72 holes of the Rolex Tournament of Champions. The 2024 grad opened the tournament with a 4-under-par 68 to take the early lead. She cruised to victory with an even-par 72 in her final round, six strokes ahead of the field.

Ortengren is No. 27 in the World Amateur Women's Golf Rankings and was a member of the 2021 PING Junior Solheim Cup representing Team Europe. She also won the Annika Invitational Europe earlier this year.

Ortengren, like Lee, was playing in her Rolex Tournament of Champions debut and her first AJGA stroke-play event as well.

Rounding out the top finishers, Alexa Pano of Lake Worth, Florida, made her fifth appearance and fourth top-ten finish at the Rolex Tournament of Champions, finishing in second place at 5-under 283. Anna Davis of Spring Valley, California (ranked No. 2), finished in third at 1-over-par 289.

The 2021 Rolex Junior Player of the Year -- and darling of the U.S. Women's Open at Olympic Club -- Megha Ganne of Holmdel, New Jersey, finished in a tie for fourth at 2-over-par 290 with Kelly Xu of Claremont, California, Kaitlyn Schroeder of Jacksonville, Florida, and Yurang Li of Fullerton, California.

The AJGA contributed to this story



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ABOUT THE Rolex Tournament of Champions

The Rolex Tournament of Champions hosted at PGA National Resort & Spa featured 144 of the best junior golfers in the world from 14 countries on both the Fazio and Champion Courses. The tournament assembles the Rolex Junior All-Americans with the past year’s champions to create The Greatest Week in Junior Golf. There are 69 current or former Rolex Junior All- Americans in the field, with a total of 93 AJGA champions competing. Format is 72 holes of stroke play, with boys and girls competitions.

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