New wingman to the Patriot All-American, the inaugural Thunderbolt took off in the West Valley December 27-31 at Sterling Grove Golf & Country Club, with JGAA Alums Chaz Aurilia and Joseph Lloyd competing for top honors.
University of Arizona senior from Scottsdale, Aurilia edged out Fresno State sophomore Lloyd, also of Scottsdale, after both shot the same score (68-66-69) to finish the 54-hole event tied at -13. On the second playoff hole, Aurilia put the pressure on Lloyd by sinking a 20-foot birdie putt. Lloyd’s 18-foot response lipped out, giving Aurilia the win.
“It feels good – I played really well all week,” said Aurilia, class of 2019 JGAA alum and Arcadia High School grad. “This is the first time they’ve had this event, and it’s a really good event. It’s for a really cool cause, also, so it was a great tournament for me.”
Named after the Air Force P-47 Thunderbolt, The Thunderbolt has been added to the Patriot All-American tournament schedule to accommodate players who met the initial eligibility but did not make it into The Patriot’s field. The Thunderbolt consists of players ranked in the top 1,000 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), are PING Second, Third and Honorable Mention All-Americans from Divisions II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA, or are AJGA Second Team and Honorable Mention All-Americans.