Abbey Schutte and Kendall Todd take third place.
Gilbert’s Anawin Pikulthong earned a second AJGA victory against a strong field at the PING Heather Farr Classic, held April 1-4 at Longbow Golf Club. He fired rounds of 67-65-67 to finish at 14-under par, one stroke shy of the record set by Beau Hossler in 2015 and three strokes ahead of second place finisher, Preston Summerhays, who settled in at 11-under par (68-67-67).
With only four bogeys all week, Pikulthong roasted holes 15-18, going 8-under par for those 12 holes alone over three rounds. Last year, a few months after a T11 finish at the 2020 PING Heather Farr Classic, Pikulthong notched his first AJGA win at the AJGA Thunderbird Junior All-Star, which also was held in the Valley of the Sun at Papago. Currently No. 26 in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Pikulthong has two wins over 11 AJGA events, including one runner-up and six top-10s.
“It means a lot to win this,” said Pikulthong. “It shows that all the hard work I’ve been putting in the past few months has paid off. This is a tough field, so winning this shows that my game is in a good place.”
Summerhays, 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur champion and ASU commit, certainly contributed to the “tough field.” Ninth in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, Summerhays made 13 birdies and two bogeys to join Pikulthong as the only other player to post three sub-70 rounds.
On the girls’ side Abbey Schutte (71-66-71) and Kendall Todd (69-67-72), both Goodyear residents, finished tied for third place at 5-under par. Schutte, T14 in 2020, punctuated her second-round, 5-under 66 with three straight birdies on holes 1-3 and three more birdies over holes 15-18. The T3 result matched her best in AJGA play, and Schutte currently sits 60th in the Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Todd, who finished 11th last year, caught fire in the first and second rounds on holes 7-10, going 3-under par each day for the stretch to earn her fifth top-10 finish in nine AJGA tournaments entered. Currently No. 12 in the Rolex AJGA Ranking, the UNLV commit won the 2020 Se Ri Pak Desert Junior, came in runner-up twice and third place once over nine AJGA tournaments.
Thanks in part to shooting 4-under par over three rounds on No. 18 alone, Grace Summerhays made the top-10, on the number, at 2-under par with rounds of 70-70-71. Currently ranked 24th, she finished T12 last year.
“Very impressed with Anawin, and really, all of the JGAA juniors in the field,” said Scott McNevin Executive Director of the JGAA. “Arizona had 20-plus players in the tournament, which is a great turnout for such a competitive national event.”
The 54-hole event featured 132 boys and girls ages 12-19. Participating Arizona boys not already mentioned include: T9 (-5) Johnny Walker, T17 (-3) Cade Anderson, T17 (-3) Adam Miller, T21 (-2) Mahanth Chirravuri, T30 (+2) Max Lyons, T36 (+3) Rylan Johnson, T40 (+5) Gavin Aurilia and six who missed the 36-hole cut. On the girls’ side, Sydney Bryan finished 26th (+17), and four others did not make the 36-hole cut.