Wu captures AJGA event title in playoff

Medford's Dylan Wu recorded the biggest golf victory of his young career when he captured the AJGA's Emerson Junior Golf Classic Thursday in Poway, Calif.

Wu, who will be a sophomore at St. Mary's High this fall, won the Boys Division in a sudden-death playoff after playing three rounds in 5-under-par 211.

He shot a final round of even-par 72 in the American Junior Golf Association event at Maderas Golf Club, which is in the San Diego area.

Wu, who turned 15 last week, made birdie on the extra hole to best Ben Doyle of La Jolla, Calif.

"It's just a great opportunity to win this because it's a big field and everything," said Wu. "It gives me confidence for the future. I'm just trying to be humble about it right now."

It was the first AJGA title for Wu, who was tied for first place after an opening-round 68, then was in second place after a 71 in Round 2.

The Tournament field featured 96 boys and 35 girls from seven states and five countries.

The boys played the course at 7,030.

Wu trailed Doyle by two shots entering the final round but forged a one-shot advantage when Doyle bogeyed the par-4 16th.

At the 190-yard 17th, Wu missed a 15-foot birdie putt, and Doyle drained his birdie from 5 feet to make them even going into the last hole.

Wu had to make a 5-foot par putt to stay alive on the 600-yard par 5 after Doyle made his par from 2 feet.

"I just told myself to put a pretty good stroke on it," said Wu. "You practice these all the time. It's just one putt."

After he made it, they went back to No. 18 for the playoff.

Wu found a fairway bunker off the tee and lofted a 7-iron out of it to the fairway. With a 180-yard approach, he punched a 5-iron to 12 feet.

"It was a really good shot," he said of the fade over greenside bunkers.

Doyle missed a 20-foot birdie putt by inches, then Wu drained his right-to-left breaker for the win.

"I told myself to get it there and give myself a chance," he said.

Wu's driver was his best club over three days. He hit 13 fairways each day and averaged 15 greens hit per day, he said.

"I had really good course management the whole week," said Wu. "My bogeys were just some small mistakes, but I got up and down like 90 percent of the time. I only had one time that I didn't."

His lucky hole, he said, was the par-4 12th, which he birdied each day.

In the final round, Wu had only one other non-par hole, a bogey at the seventh.

He made nine birdies for the tournament, including five during Tuesday's first round, and four bogeys. He didn't have anything higher than bogey.

In an AJGA event at Centennial Golf Club two weeks ago, Wu tied for 22nd.

Tying for third place was Lloyd Jefferson Go of Cebu City, Philippines, and Zecheng Dou of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., with tournament totals of 214. Andrew Lister of Coronado, Calif., was in fifth place, recording a 215.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com

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