Zhang Makes PING 3rd AJGA Victory of Year

Rose Zhang of Irvine claimed her third American Junior Golf Association tournament of the year, capturing the Girls Division of the 13th annual PING Invitational at Karsten Creek Golf Club (http://www.karstencreek.com) in Stillwater, Okla., by one stroke over three players.

Michael Thorbjornsen (pictured right) of Wellesley, Mass., won the Boys Division with a birdie on the first playoff hole, getting past Alexander Yang of Carlsbad and Cole Ponich of Farmington, Utah.

The 15-year-old Zhang (pictured left) posted a score of 74-72-75—221, 5-over-par, while Erica Shepherd of Greenwood, Ind., finished at 70-77-75—222 to tie for second with Sadie Englemann of Austin, Texas, who wound up at 72-77-73—222, and Bohyun Park of South Korea, who came in at 78-69-75—222.

“The conditions were definitely tough, and I had to keep grinding and playing my game against the other great competitors like Irene (Kim) and Bohyun (Park), but I’m glad how everything turned out and I’m really blessed to have my third Invitational win this year,” said Zhang, who also won the 2018 ANA Junior Inspiration, the 2018 Swinging Skirts AJGA Invitational and the 2017 Girls Junior PGA Championship among numerous other events.

Irene Kim of La Palma was fifth at 74-73-77—224, while Aneka Seumanutafa of Emmitsville, Md., shot 74-75-76—225 to tie for sixth with Anne Chen of Australia, who totaled 76-74-75—225, while Brianna Navarrosa of San Diego was eighth at 77-74-75—226.

Ashley Menne of Surprise, Ariz., finished at 76-75-76—227 to tie for ninth with Angelina Ye of Bradenton, Fla., who totaled 77-76-74—227, Magan Schofill of Monticello, Fla., who wound up at 78-77-72—227, and Trinity King of Arlington, Texas, who came in at 77-76-74—227.

In the Boys Division, Thorbjornsen finished at 68-72-77—217, 1-over, while Yang shot 74-73-70—217, and Ponich wound up at 72-71-74—217.

“This win feels amazing just because this is a stroke-play event all the way through,” said Thorbjornsen, who won the 2018 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. “I haven’t won a stroke-play event of this caliber in a while, and I’m glad I could finally secure two wins in a season.”

Ricky Castillo of Yorba Linda was fourth at 71-71-76—218, followed by Bo Jin of Encinitas at 76-69-74—219.

Dylan Menante of Carlsbad totaled 72-74-74—220 to tie for Hazen Newman of Las Vegas, who finished at 72-72-76—220, Ludvig Aberg of Sweden, who wound up at 73-70-77—220, and John Keefer of San Antonio, Texas, who came in at 75-75-70—220.

Clay Merchant of Noblesville, Ind., was 10th at 71-75-75—221.

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