Ben James (AJGA photo)
of Milford, Conn., shot a final-round score of 2-over-par 72 to win back-to-back titles at the Team TaylorMade Invitational at Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, Fla.
With rounds of 69-66-72, the defending champ finished with a tournament total of 3-under-par 207. He also had the low round of the tournament with his 4-under-par 66 in the second round.
“This really means a lot to win at my last one and being a back-to-back champion is really special,” James said. “It ended the way I wanted it to and that is a great feeling.”
In the final round of his AJGA career, James started with a five-stroke lead. He dropped four shots on his first four holes but bounced back with a birdie on No. 5 to make the turn at 3-over-par. James closed out his round with two birdies and a bogey on the back nine to seal the five-shot victory on his 19th birthday.
“I was just trying to slow myself down and make pars, not force anything,” James said. “Once the birdies started falling I started to get comfortable to finish this thing off. I knew that birdie on No. 10 was big.”
At No. 2 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, James will attend the University of Virginia to play college golf in the fall. James won the inaugural Team TaylorMade Invitational hosted at Streamsong Resort. His first Invitational win in 2021 kicked off an impressive season with wins at The Junior PLAYERS Championship and The PING Invitational, a runner-up finish at the Polo Golf Junior Classic and third place finish at the Rolex Tournament of Champions.
James held a share of the lead throughout all three rounds. He is a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and member of the victorious 2019 Junior Presidents Cup Team and 2021 Wyndham Cup East Team.
In second place, first round co-leader Jack Roberts of Saint Marys, Ga., notched his best AJGA finish at two-over-par 212. At No. 9 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Roberts had five birdies and three bogeys or worse to finish with a final-round score of 1-under-par 69. In his first appearance at the Team TaylorMade Invitational, the 16-year-old was competing in just his fourth AJGA event.
In third place, Bryan Kim of Brookeville, Maryland, finished at 4-over-par 214. The Duke verbal commit now has four top-ten finishes in AJGA Invitationals since September of 2021. USC verbal commit Carson Kim of Fullerton, California, finished in fourth place with a total of 7-over-par 217. In fifth place, PJ Maybank of Cheboygan, Michigan, had a total of 8-over-par 218. The class of 2023 grad is No. 54 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Finishing in a tie for sixth, Andrew Ramos of Blaine, Minnesota, made his Invitational debut and 2021 Rolex Junior Player of the Year Nicholas Dunlap of Northport, Alabama, had totals of 9-over-par 219.
In solo-eighth place, three-time Rolex Junior All-American Keaton Vo of Austin, Texas, added his fourth top-ten Invitational finish at 10-over-par 220. Rounding out the top ten, No. 66-ranked Rylan Shim of Centreville, Virginia, and No. 80 Will Baker of Statham, Ga., had a score of 11-over-par 221.
The Team TaylorMade Invitational is part of a rich history of all-boys events including the AJGA Simplify Boys Championship at Carlton Woods, Wyndham Invitational presented by Truist, and The Junior PLAYERS Championship. This event, and the Jack Burke Jr. Invitational, debuted in 2021 and are the first two AJGA boys stroke play Invitationals added to the schedule since 2007.
The Team TaylorMade Invitational field featured 43 former AJGA champions, 22 Rolex Junior All-Americans, and 11 of the top 20 boys in the current Rolex AJGA Rankings at tradition-rich Jupiter Hills Club.
About the American Junior Golf Association
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 12-19) of more than 7,300 members from 50 states and 70 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.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate, and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 900 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours.View results for AJGA Team TaylorMade Invitational