FRANKSTON - As the saying goes, "some things never change." At the Legends Junior Tour Championship, it was more of the same as Hunter Brown and Kelsey Kirkpatrick successfully defended the titles they won last year at Boot Ranch. For Kirkpatrick, it was her sixth victory in as many tries this year and, for Brown, it was a return to the dominance he showed in 2007.
The 2008 season has been somewhat of a struggle for Hunter Brown. After winning the 2007 Player of the Year award, expectations were high for the Richardson native. A missed cut at the EDS Byron Nelson Junior Championship and a T22 at the Texas State Junior Championship left him looking for answers. But his play had improved of late with a T6 at the Tylerpaper.com Championship and a T4 at last week’s Texas Cup Invitational. The comeback now seems complete after an impressive seven shot victory over an elite field.
Brown entered the final round with a two shot lead over Richardson’s Brad Lyle. Lyle struggled early while Brown opened with five consecutive pars. He made a birdie on No. 6 (par 3, 188 yards) and followed that up with eight more pars. By the time he made his second birdie on No. 15 (par 4, 340 yards), the contest was over. A bogey on No. 18 (par 5, 500 yards) gave him a 54-hole total of 218.
The win earns Brown two AJGA tournament exemptions as well invitations into all of next year’s Legends Junior Tour Invitationals.
Lyle’s final round 76 was good enough to keep him in second place at 225. Austin’s Brenden Redfern finished one stroke back, while Sean Luke of DeSoto and Alex Ellis tied for fifth at 230.
Branson Davis of McKinney ran away with the Boys 14 & Under title. His bogey free round of 69 left him nine shots clear of the field. The win was Davis’ third of the year and his second consecutive Major victory (he won the Tylerpaper.com Championship in September). Those two late season wins helped him move ahead of Scott Scheffler on the Player of the Year points list.
Kelsey Kirkpatrick shot rounds of 81-77-79 to finish at 237. Kirkpatrick, who recently committed to Arkansas State, completely dominated the Girls 15-18 division this year. The year began with a win at the Stableford Championship and she followed that with wins at the Spring Preview, Mark Brooks Shootout, Bluebonnet Championship and Tylerpaper.com Championship.
The Tour Championship was the final individual event, as well as the last points event, of the 2008 season. Congrulations to Jade Scott (Boys 15-18), Scott Scheffler (Boys 14 & Under), Kelsey Kirkpatrick (Girls 15-18) and Grace Choi (Girls 14 & Under) on winning Player of the Year awards in their respective divisions.
Boys 15-18 Division
Hunter Brown, Richardson, 77-70-71-218
Brad Lyle, Richardson, 76-73-76-225
Brenden Redfern, Austin, 79-74-76-229
Boys 14-Under Division
Branson Davis, McKinney, 77-75-69-221
William Zalatoris, Plano, 76-78-76-230
Scott Scheffler, Dallas, 79-82-75-236
Girls 15-18 Division
Kelsey Kirkpatrick, Golden, 81-77-79-237
Rachel Mulkey, Flower Mound, 87-82-75-244
Chaney Uhles, Fort Worth, 79-84-83-246
The full results for each division are available here.