Hayden Sayre of Phoenix and Toni St John of Gilbert took home top honors at the Willie Low Invitational Presented by MJ Insurance, contested June 12-13 at Phoenix Country Club.
Sayre started out hot in both rounds of this Junior Masters Series tournament. He had it to 5-under par through 13 holes in round one before finishing at 3-under 68. In round two, Sayre was 4-under par after five holes before posting a 1-over par 72 for the day. He finished the tournament at 1-under par (69-72—141), two strokes ahead of Riley Lewis (73-70—143) of Prescott and Cameron Barzekoff (71-72—143) of Mesa who finished T2 at 1-over par.
St John washed away a first-round 3-over-par 74 with a 3-under-par 68 in round two to win by two strokes over second-place finisher and defending champion Ashley Menne of Surprise (70-74—144). Madeleine Laux of Goodyear came in third place at 4-over par (72-74—146).
“Congratulation to Hayden and Toni. They came out on top of a very competitive field at one of our premier Junior Masters Series events,” said Scott McNevin, Executive Director of the JGAA. “Willie Low was one of Arizona’s most impactful advocates of junior golf. It is our honor to memorialize his efforts through this event. And a big ‘thank you’ goes to the generous support from MJ Insurance for helping us make that happen.”
Remembering Willie Low
The event honors the late Willie Low, one of the Valley’s top golf professionals for nearly a half century who started the tournament in 1969. It has been showcasing the talents of junior golfers from across the state since then with past winners including PGA TOUR golfers Billy Mayfair (1983 and ’84), Ted Purdy (1989), Charlie Beljan (2000) and LPGA player, Sara Brown (2004).
Low influenced many of the Valley’s top juniors, including Howard Twitty and a young George Boutell who would later go on to win the 1962 Arizona Amateur Championship and then post a stellar career at Arizona State University, earning All American status.
The JGAA’s Junior Masters Series consists of seven regular tournaments and one Series Championship at some of the most prestigious courses in Arizona.
“Our goal is to provide a competitive place for aspiring players to play,” said George Getz, Chairman of the Board of the JGAA. “This tournament series will allow kids to earn national-level points and will serve as a launching pad into nationally chartered events.”
Qualified junior players can sign up for the Junior Major Series by visiting www.jgaa.org. To learn more about the JGAA and the Junior Masters Series, contact Scott McNevin, JGAA Executive Director, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 602-944-6168.