NORTH PLAINS, Ore. — In exciting finishes that came down to the final hole, Norman Xiong of Canyon Lake, California, claimed the Junior All-Star Invitational sponsored by NIKEGOLF championship with a tournament-total 9-under-par 204. Yujeong Son of Norman, Oklahoma, posted a 6-under-par 207 to win in the Girls Division at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club’s Ghost Creek course.
Xiong and Son are the first pair of Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Team members to win the Junior All-Star Invitational sponsored by NIKEGOLF since 2012 when Philip Barbaree and Karen Arimoto won at Mission Inn Resort & Club – El Campeon Course.
The Junior All-Star Invitational sponsored by NIKEGOLF was the closing event for winners and top finishers in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series. Specifically designed for boys and girls ages 12-15, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series presents opportunities for younger players to develop their skills and earn entry into AJGA Open tournaments.
Xiong, a member of the 2014 Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Team and the winner of two other 2014 AJGA events (Junior All-Star at Fox Meadow and Sunriver Junior Open), posted a final-round 5-under-par 66 in his first-ever AJGA Invitational. No. 36 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Xiong opened with a birdie but saved his best golf for the back nine, where he made four birdies on his way to a 4-under-par 31.
Son, No. 70 in the Polo Golf Rankings, was tied for the lead after each of the first two rounds with close friend Youngin Chun of Austin, Texas, but opened up a late lead on the strength of two birdies in the last three holes, good for an even-par 71. The 13-year-old said she was struggling to stay focused on the front nine, but was able to stay within a few shots of the lead until her putts started falling.
"The turning point for me today was my birdie on No. 16," Son said. "I was down by one to Youngin [Chun] heading into that hole, and I knew if I would trust my irons enough to get it on the green, I would be able to make a birdie putt. I was lucky enough to have that momentum carry over to No. 17 and I made another birdie to take the lead."
Second-round co-leader Chun finished second with a tournament-total 5-under-par 208. Isabella Fierro of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, and Allyson Geer of Brighton, Michigan, finished tied for third at 4-over-par 217.
For complete results, go here.