GGGA Student Karen Arimoto Wins the AJGA Jr All-Star Invitational
Oct. 8, 2012
Howey in the Hills, Fla. — Before the tournament even began, GGGA student Karen Arimoto knew the AJGA Junior All-Star Invitational was hers for the taking.
The event was at Mission Inn Resort, home of the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy, where Arimoto is a student in the Full-Time Junior Program and where she has played dozens of times.
Once the tournament was underway, all Arimoto did was go out there and back it up.
Arimoto, 16 of Japan, captured her third AJGA win of the year by claiming the AJGA’s Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Invitational, closing with a 2-over 74 to finish at 3-over 219.
"I'm so glad I won this event, especially since it was here (at Mission Inn and GGGA)," said Arimoto. "A bunch of the other students and coaches were here to cheer us on and that helped me get pumped up throughout the tournament. This was a big win for me."
Arimoto opened with a 2-under 70 in the first round, but fellow GGGA student Mai Dechathipat, of Thailand, was right on her heals in second. Dechathipat had already finished runner-up to Arimoto twice earlier in the year when Arimoto claimed her two Jr All-Star Series wins — the AJGA Junior All-Star at Chateau Elan and the AJGA Junior All-Star at Fieldstone.
Dechathipat hung in there right through to the end as she claimed another tie for second, closing with a 1-over 73 in the final round.
But Arimoto wasn’t the only one vying for a title at the event.
GGGA student Luis Garza, of Mexico, was locked in a battle of his own.
Garza opened with a 2-under 70 in the first round and found himself two back of the lead. He then followed with a 71 Sunday to get himself within two and in perfect position for making a run at the title.
Right out of the gate, Garza got off to just the start he needed with birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 to gain a tie for the lead Monday. He then made six straight pars before knocking in another pair of birdies at Nos. 10 and 11.
A bogey at No. 12 was only a minor setback as he drained another birdie at 14 to take a one-shot lead.
With three holes to go, the win was there for Garza’s taking but a tough go of it on 17 and 18 held Garza from claiming the win as he went on to finish third at 3-under 213.
GGGA student Tiger Lee, of China, also posted a top 5 as he carded an even-par 72 Monday to tie for fifth as four GGGA students finished in the top five.
Based at the Mission Inn Resort & Club, 40 minutes outside of Orlando, Florida, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy is the leading full-time junior golf academy in the world. The Academy is committed to excellence in every facet of golf, fitness, personal development and academics, evident through exclusive relationships with Montverde Academy, an acclaimed private college preparatory school, and the American Junior Golf Association.
As part of GGGA’s partnership with the AJGA, the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy is the official title sponsor of the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series, an AJGA tournament series reserved for the world's top 12-15 year-old golfers.
The Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy features a boarding program for junior golfers and the following programs: Full-Time Junior Program, Post Graduate Program, summer golf camp, winter golf camp and golf lessons and programs for adults, amateurs and professionals.
For more information about GGGA, the GGGA's full-time residential boarding program and other year-round opportunities to Train, Think and Play like a Champion, visit www.ggga.com or call 1-866-639-9099.