Pedal to the Metal

Pedal to the Metal

Posted on July 16, 2016

By Gary Baines 7/15/16

Ott Puts the Pedal to the Metal

Just like a fellow lefty who's doing quite well playing tournament golf this week, AJ Ott of Fort Collins rode rounds of 63-69 on Thursday and Friday to the top of the leaderboard.

For Phil Mickelson, that was good for the halfway lead in the British Open. For Ott, it meant the boys title in the Colorado Junior PGA Championship, the second major in the inaugural season of the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado.

"Lefties are making a comeback, I'll tell you what," Ott said with a smile.

A day after he tied the course record at Indian Tree Golf Club by holing out from 138 yards for eagle on 18 en route to the 7-under-par 63, Ott maintained a big advantage all day on Friday and posted a seven-stroke victory.

It was a welcome win for the Colorado State University-bound golfer, who has finished runner-up in the 2015 CGA Junior Stroke Play, the 2015 5A state high school meet and this year's AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior and PGA Junior Series event at the Air Force Academy. During that stretch, Ott claimed the title in the CJGA Tournament of Champions.

"It felt good," Ott said of the breakthrough. "I was trying not to really think about it. I was trying to keep it one shot at a time. My coach at CSU helped me a lot with my pre-shot routine. I texted him last night and he had some good words that helped me out today. But it's anyone's game at the start of the week, so I was trying to keep it in play and hopefully get some putts to drop. Thankfully they dropped."

At Indian Tree, the 18-year-old left nothing to chance with his three-day total of 12-under-par 198. For the week, he finished with one eagle, 13 birdies and three bogeys.

The victory Friday gave Ott an automatic berth in the national PGA Junior Championship, set for Aug. 9-12 in Rumford, R.I.

Jackson Solem of Longmont, the reigning 4A state high school champion, finished a distant second on Friday at 5-under-par 205. Solem, who has committed to play his college golf at the University of Denver beginning next year, closed with a 67.

"I shot 67-71-67 and played well for three days," Solem said. "Obviously I didn't accomplish what I wanted to, but it's hard to beat how AJ is playing right now so I'm pretty satisfied with how I did.

"I played with him yesterday (during Ott's 63) and it was fun to watch. He's a good friend of mine so it was really cool to see him succeed."

Coby Welch of Highlands Ranch, the 2015 CGA Junior Player of the Year, placed third at 207 after a 69 on Friday. Welch will begin his University of Northern Colorado golf career this fall.

Ott, who tied his best score ever with Thursday's 63, took a nine-stroke lead into Friday's final round. But he was careful not to become complacent.

"I wanted to stay aggressive," said Ott, whose three birdies Friday included a chip-in on No. 13. "That was my mindset the whole day. I knew I couldn't go out there and shoot a couple over on the front because (Solem and Welch) were both going to shoot a couple under. I needed to stay aggressive and make some putts too. The putts hadn't really dropped the last couple of tournaments, but they did this week, which was really nice."

Weinstein is on a Roll

After nearly a decade of playing junior golf tournaments in Colorado, Mary Weinstein of Highlands Ranch in all likelihood came to the end of the line on Friday.

But while there may be some mixed feelings about leaving the junior ranks, she certainly went out on a high note.

Weinstein, who almost always has found her way to the top of the leaderboard in major Colorado girls tournaments over the last 13 months, did it again at Indian Tree Golf Club.

The 18-year-old Regis Jesuit High School graduate clawed her way back from an opening-round 77 to win the girls title Friday in the Colorado Junior PGA Championship, the second major in the inaugural season of the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado.

"I think this is my last Colorado junior tournament," Weinstein said. "That's really crazy because I've been playing in them for nine years -- NINE YEARS. So it's really special to end up champion, to go out with a bang. That's super cool."

Friday's result means that Weinstein's victories since June of last year have included the 2015 CWGA Junior Stroke Play and CJGA Junior Series Championship, and the 2016 5A state high school tournament, the Colorado Junior Amateur and now the Colorado Junior PGA Championship. She also placed 15th in the prestigious IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships last year, marking the best finish ever by a Coloradan in the girls 15-17 age group there. 

Weinstein has won both of the girls JGAC major titles in 2016, though it's unlikely the Regis University signee will play in the last two junior majors of the year. 

"I'm just glad that all my hard work has finally paid off because I had a really rough time before (the state high school tournament) last year," she said. "I worked really hard and got through it. Now I'm here. To have that year of success makes me really happy and really proud of how I worked hard."

On Friday, Weinstein rallied from a two-stroke deficit by shooting a 4-under-par 31 on the front nine. And despite a double bogey on the final hole, she posted a 1-under-par 69 for the day, giving her an 8-over-par 218 total.

"My putting was on point today," said Weinstein, who noted she put in several hours on the practice green during tournament week. "I didn't miss a putt except for the last hole (a three-putt). Everything was just working for me."

The victory Friday earned Weinstein an automatic berth in the national PGA Junior Championship, scheduled for Aug. 9-12 in Rumford, R.I.

Delaney Elliott of Superior, a Montana State signee, played her final six holes in 1 under par on Friday to make a run at the title. The Monarch High School graduate closed with a 71 to check in at 219, one back of Weinstein. 

"I'd rather be first," Elliott said of her performance, one of the last of her junior career. "I played pretty well today, but I missed a few putts (including two 4-footers), which kind of hurts, knowing I had a couple of short ones I could have made.

"But I thought I gave it a good run. I played well down the stretch (getting up and down for pars on 15 and 18 and making a 4-foot birdie on 16). And (Mary and I) have been friends for a long time. We've been playing together since we were about 10."

Fourteen-year-old Charlotte Hillary of Englewood finished third at 224 after carding a 75 on Friday.

Colorado Junior PGA Championship
At Par-70 Indian Tree GC in Arvada
1. AJ Ott, Fort Collins, CO, 2016, 66-63-69-198 -12
2. Jackson Solem, Longmont, CO, 2017, 67-71-67-205 -5
3. Coby Welch, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2016, 71-67-69-207 -3
4. Andrew McCormick, Denver, CO, 2016, 73-66-73-212 +2
5. Hunter Tuite, Englewood, CO, 2017, 72-71-71-214 +4
5. Tyler Zhang, Lone Tree, CO, 2017, 69-70-75-214 +4
7. David Leede, Greenwood Village, CO, 2016, 69-70-76-215 +5
8. Dallas Millin, Wright, WY, 2017, 77-69-71-217 +7
8. Freddie Gluck, Boulder, CO, 2018, 72-70-75-217 +7
8. Reese Leiker, Littleton, CO, 2016, 69-73-75-217 +7
11. Kyle Pearson, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2017, 73-74-71-218 +8
11. Alec Poorman, Boulder, CO, 2016, 75-70-73-218 +8
11. Davis Bryant, Aurora, CO, 2018, 72-71-75-218 +8
11. Coleson Krantz, Windsor, CO, 2017, 76-68-74-218 +8
15. Darren Edwards, Loveland, CO, 2018, 75-71-73-219 +9
15. Brittain Walton, Steamboat Springs, CO, 2016, 74-71-74-219 +9
15. Timothy Amundson, Littleton, CO, 2016, 76-70-73-219 +9
18. Ian Thorpe, Superior, CO, 2018, 75-74-71-220 +10
18. Ethan Alexander, Louisville, CO, 2017, 71-75-74-220 +10
18. Peter Grossenbacher, Eaton, CO, 2019, 72-71-77-220 +10
21. Luke Travins, Colorado Springs, CO, 2017, 75-75-72-222 +12
21. Marcus Tait, Littleton, CO, 2017, 75-74-73-222 +12
21. Arik Roberts, Colorado Springs, CO, 2017, 74-73-75-222 +12
24. Tj Shehee, Longmont, CO, 2019, 76-73-74-223 +13
24. Jake Welch, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2019, 71-73-79-223 +13
26. Calvin McCoy, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2018, 72-72-80-224 +14
27. Tyler Severin, Johnstown, CO, 2018, 74-76-75-225 +15
27. Sam Taylor, Nederland, CO, 2017, 73-75-77-225 +15
27. Dillon Baker, Castle Rock, CO, 2018, 72-74-79-225 +15
30. Sam Blackwood, Littleton, CO, 2018, 78-72-77-227 +17
31. Jaxon Franklin, Broomfield, CO, 2018, 73-77-81-231 +21
Missed 36-Hole Cut
Ji Jang, Aurora, CO, 2016, 78-73-151 +11
Ethan Tartaglia, Lafayette, CO, 2018, 77-74-151 +11
Jackson Crist, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2018, 76-75-151 +11
Jack Tickle, Centennial, CO, 2019, 75-76-151 +11
Austin Hardman, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2016, 75-76-151 +11
Ryan Pearson, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2017, 74-77-151 +11
Gabe Goodman, Lakewood, CO, 2018, 73-78-151 +11
Matthew Heesemann, Johnstown, CO, 2016, 80-72-152 +12
John McGinley, Casper, WY, 2018, 79-73-152 +12
Roger Nakagawa, Denver, CO, 2018, 81-72-153 +13
Evan Kalac, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2019, 80-74-154 +14
Nishant Datta, Broomfield, CO, 2018, 81-73-154 +14
Walker Franklin, Broomfield, CO, 2020, 79-75-154 +14
Brayden Lambrecht, Sterling, CO, 2018, 79-75-154 +14
Bridger Tenney, Evergreen, CO, 2018, 77-77-154 +14
Garret Phillips, Rock Springs, WY, 2017, 74-80-154 +14
Nolan Miller, Evergreen, CO, 2019, 77-78-155 +15
Cameron Kirke, Greenwood Village, CO, 2018, 78-78-156 +16
Christian Agelopoulos, Denver, CO, 2020, 84-75-159 +19
Cameron Nagel, Fort Collins, CO, 2017, 80-80-160 +20
Christopher Kennedy, Aurora, CO, 2019, 76-84-160 +20
Drew Anderson, Aurora, CO, 2018, 82-79-161 +21
Riley Rottschafer, Centennial, CO, 2019, 90-73-163 +23
Matthew LeFebre, Centennial, CO, 2017, 84-80-164 +24
Jackson Zinn, Westminster, CO, 2018, 83-84-167 +27
Chris Jonell, Centennial, CO, 2019, 84-90-174 +34

For the interactive scores from the boys tournament, CLICK HERE

Colorado Junior PGA Championship
At Par-70 Indian Tree GC in Arvada
1. Mary Weinstein, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2016, 77-72-69-218 +8
2. Delaney Elliott, Superior, CO, 2016, 73-75-71-219 +9
3. Charlotte Hillary, Englewood, CO, 2020, 78-71-75-224 +14
4. Jaclyn Murray, Grand Junction, CO, 2017, 73-74-78-225 +15
5. Amy Chitkoksoong, Aurora, CO, 2019, 73-79-74-226 +16
5. Sarah Hwang, Monument, CO, 2017, 79-72-75-226 +16
7. Erin Sargent, Longmont, CO, 2016, 77-78-72-227 +17
8. Julia Baroth, Denver, CO, 2017, 79-79-71-229 +19
9. Tabitha Diehl, Highlands Ranch, CO, 2017, 79-79-74-232 +22
10. Amelia Lee, Castle Rock, CO, 2017, 77-77-79-233 +23
11. Payton Canon, Englewood, CO, 2018, 79-76-79-234 +24
12. Hannah More, Littleton, CO, 2016, 79-73-83-235 +25
13. Amisha Singh, Greenwood Village, CO, 2019, 81-77-78-236 +26
14. Reagan Robinson, Golden, CO, 2018, 80-77-82-239 +29
15. Sarah Hunt, Parker, CO, 2017, 77-79-84-240 +30
Missed Cut
Kacey Godwin, Denver, CO, 2016, +19
Kelsey Webster, Boulder, CO, 2018, +19
Shelby Poynter, Scottsbluff, NE, 2018, +20
Sydney Eye, Golden, CO, 2019, +22
Arielle Keating, Colorado Springs, CO, 2018, +24
Anju Ogi, Arvada, CO, 2021, +24
Riley McKibbon, Arvada, CO, 2017, +26
Katie Berrian, Castle Rock, CO, 2020, +26
Lauren Murphy, Carbondale, CO, 2018, +26
Carly Gallant, Louisville, CO, 2017, +29
Jenna Chun, Englewood, CO, 2018, +32
Eva Pett, Denver, CO, 2022, +37
Jihyun Roh, Broomfield, CO, 2018, +40
Isabell Deak, Colorado Springs, CO, 2018, +41
Andrea Hoos, Thornton, CO, 2016, +18 WD

For the interactive scores from the girls tournament, CLICK HERE.