Deng, Mawhinney Claim Titles in 46th AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions

Aphrodite Deng of Canada outplayed several players from California to win the Girls Division of the 46th American Junior Golf Association Rolex Tournament of Champions on the Canyons Course at TPC San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas.

Tyler Mawhinney of Fleming Island, Fla., claimed the Boys Division title.

Deng, who now lives in Short Hills, N.J., posted a winning score of 68-74-66-72—280, eight-under-par, while Jasmine Koo of Cerritos was second at 71-69-75-79—285, followed by Alice Ziyi Zhao of China and Irvine at 73-70-74—287, Anna Huang of Canada and Coto de Caza at 74-71-75-68—288, and Lisa Herman of Jenks, Okla, at 69-74-74-72—289.

“I played pretty good golf this week,” said Deng, who won the Moon Golf Junior All-Star in April and had two other top-five finishes this year. “I wasn’t expecting to play this good or let alone win, but I hit fairways and greens as much as I could. Going into the final round, I was trying to remain steady and play the game that I had been playing the last few days.”

Kylie Chong of Torrance shot 79-71-71-70—291 to tie for sixth with Scarlett Schremmer of Birmingham, Ala,, who finished at 73-72-71-75—291, while Siuue Wu of Hong Kong and Reunion, Fla., was eighth at 74-73-78-69—294, followed by Nikki Oh of Torrance at 75-71-77-72—295.

Vanessa Zhang of Canada totaled 70-77-78-71—296 to tie for 10th with Ryleigh Knaub of Debary, Fla, who wound up at 71-72-77-76—296, and Angela Zhang of Bellevue, Wash., who came in at 72-73-75-76—296.

Mawhinney posted a winning score of 75-72-71-65—283, five-under-par, followed by Gerardo Gomez of Mexico and Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., at 75-68-71-70—284, Kihei Akina of Kahuka, Hawaii, at 72-69-71-74—286, Michael Riebe of Encinitas at 71-70-76-70—287, and Boyi (Barry) Zhang of China and Lake Mary, Fla., at 74-72-71-71—288.

“It means a lot to win my first AJGA title,” said Mawhinney, who captured the Scott Robertson Memorial this year and had three other top-10 results. “It was a lot of hard work over the last four or five years. It is surreal. I didn’t think I had a shot at the win until I looked at the leaderboard on the No. 13 tee and saw I was two back (of the lead), so I knew then I needed a couple more birdies coming in to make it happen.”

Henry Guan of Dallas, Texas, shot 75-74-71-69—289 to tie for sixth with Carson Bertagnole of Pinehurst, N.C., who finished at 74-74-72-69—289, and Phillip Dunham of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., who wound up at 73-70-73-73—289.

Billy Davis of Spring Valley was ninth at 73-68-76-73—290, while Jay Leng Jr. of San Diego totaled 77-69-71-74—291 to tie for 10th with Hamilton Coleman of Augusta, Ga., who came in at 71-77-71-72—291.

Previous winners of the AJGA Tournament of Champions Boys Division include Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Harrison Frazar, Charles Howell III, Webb Simpson, Robert Floyd, Dudley Hart, Brendon Todd, Jamie Lovemark, Sihwan Kim, Matthew NeSmith, Sam Burns, Tommy Moore and Akshay Bhatia.

Past winners of the Girls Division include Rose Zhang, Morgan Pressel, Luci Li, Patty Tavatanakit, Andrea Lee, Alison Lee, Jaye Marie Green, Inbee Park, Grace Park, Beth Bauer, Kellee Booth, Leta Lindley, Kris Tschetter, Amy Fruhwirth, Heather Farr, Amy Benz and Emilee Klein.   

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