Vaughn wins WNYPGA Jr. Tour Championship
Fredonia’s Ryan Kelly sixth, Jordan Kelly eighth in 9-Hole?Division
STAFFORD — Max Vaughn missed out on his spring high school golf season at Southwestern.
He’s making up for it on the Western New York PGA’s Jr. Tour this summer.
The incoming Trojans senior put up his best performance to date Monday and Tuesday at Stafford Country Club.
Vaughn fired a 5-over 77 on Monday and followed with a 4-over 76 on Tuesday to win the WNYPGA Jr. Tour Championship by four strokes over Michael Davis of Allegany.
“Not having (school) states this year, this felt like a big accomplishment for me,” Vaughn said Tuesday night.
Vaughn and Davis were tied with four holes to play after Vaughn bogeyed the par-3 No. 14 and Davis converted a par.
At the 484-yard par-5 No. 15, Vaughn made a birdie and Davis made bogey to give the Lakewood resident a two-shot lead.
“I tried to go for the green in two and I completely shanked it a little bit,” Vaughn said of his approach on 15. “I had a really difficult chip up a hill and I put it to within 4 feet. That put the pressure on him a little bit. I think that’s where it started to turn.”
Another par at the 416-yard par-4 No. 16 gave Vaughn a three-shot lead after Davis made another bogey.
Matching pars at the 394-yard par-4 No. 7 left Vaughn with his three-shot lead heading into the 272-yard par-4 No. 18. Vaughn finished out his round with his third-straight par while Davis made another bogey, leaving Vaughn as the two-day champion.
“I finished even on those last four holes during the first round. I had a great drive on 16 and almost birdied that,” Vaughn said of his stretch run. “I had a really good two-putt on 17 and on 18 I just tried to get on in two and play it very simple to close it out.”
Vaughn led Davis by one shot while Ryan Connors of Mendon and Noah Rivera of Hilton were tied for third at 7-over after the first round Monday.
Things weren’t going Vaughn’s way at the start of tournament. He bogeyed Nos. 1 and 2 before a double-bogey at the 389-yard No. 4 put him at 4-over early.
“I three-putted the second hole and got into my head on the third hole,” Vaughn said.
After a pair of pars, another bogey put him at 5-over before he began to right the ship with a birdie at the 506-yard par-5 No. 7. A bogey-par finish to the front nine left him with a 5-over 41.
“I was 4-over and made a few good pars,” Vaughn added. “I birdied No. 7 and it calmed me down a little bit.”
On the back nine, birdies at the 422-yard, par-4 No. 11 and No. 15 coupled with bogeys at Nos. 13 and 18 took him into the clubhouse with a back-nine 36 and first-day 77.
“You can’t win the tournament on the first day, but you can definitely lose it,” Vaughn said. “I knew I had to focus, relax and play my own game.”
He shaved a stroke off his front nine Tuesday with a 40 and opened his back nine with a birdie at the 290-yard par-4 No. 10 before beating Davis down the stretch.
“I knew about the middle of the round that I was tied for third. I dropped a few shots early in the round,” Vaughn said. “I had to keep making pars and play my own game. I wanted to let other people make mistakes and try to limit my own.”
Dan White of Lakewood finished 12th in the Boys 16-18 Division.
Marina Heister of Olean won the Girls Tour Championship by six strokes over Raina Hoffman of Ontario. Josephine Corey of Lakewood was third.
In the Boys 9-Hole Division, Jackson Ormond of Webster won with a two-day total of 6-over 78. Evan Maloney of Jamestown was fourth at 19-over, Ryan Kelly of Fredonia was sixth at 21-over and Jordan Kelly of Fredonia was eighth at 28-over.
In the Boys 13-15 Division, Owen Corby of Pittsford was first at 10-over 154 and in the Girls 13-15 Division, Harper Dittman of Fairport was first with a 173. Tatiana Tutko of Clarence won the Girls 9-Hole Division at 30-over.