Incoming Freshman Zoller Wins PING Phoenix Junior
Freshman to be overcomes four stroke deficit with a final round 67
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Incoming Kent State freshmen Taylor Zoller (Charleston, S.C. / Fort Dorchester H.S.) recorded his first victory in an American Junior Golf Association event after carding a 9-under-par 207 (69-71-67) at the PING Phoenix Junior.
The PING Phoenix Junior was a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix. The tournament field featured 57 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states and three countries. The Boys Division played the par-72 Moon Valley Country Club course at 7,210 yards.
Zoller, who began the day tied for the third, was able to overcome the four-stroke deficit with a final round 67 to win the 21st annual event.
"I had no idea what the leaders were doing," Zoller said. "I knew I had to be close and I knew I had to stay steady so I kept committing to my shots and trusting in my putting."
Zoller, who in January was ranked as high as 16th in the nation in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, made one eagle and four birdies during the final round to put him in position to win.
"I eagled No. 9 and that's when I really got it going. After I holed that one I birdied No. 10 and then almost holed out again on No. 11, so I was really feeling confident at that point," Zoller said.
Zoller is the son of former Kent State All-American, Karl Zoller and one of three freshmen joining the Golden flashes program in the fall. Charlie Phillips (Mt. Vernon, Ohio / Mt. Vernon) and Nick Scott (Union, Ohio/Northmont) are also part of the incoming class of 2011 for Kent State which is coming off a second straight top 20 finish at the NCAA Championship this past season.
PING, a golf club manufacturer with the goal to help golfers play their best, has been an AJGA supporter since 1990 and began supporting the PING Phoenix Junior in 1991. PING, an Official Partner in 2002, provides the PING college golf signing day and in 2009, became the "Official Bag of the AJGA."
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 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
For more information about the PING Phoenix Junior, contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.
(The AJGA contributed to portions of this release)