Puyallup golfer Ryan Moore certainly is pleased with the direction of his annual American Junior Golf Association tournament.
So are the teenagers.
The scores are proof of that.
Redmond’s Sean Kato made sure to keep the boys crown in the in-state family after closing with a 2-under-par 68 to win the ACDS/Ryan Moore Junior by two strokes at Oakbrook Golf Club in Lakewood.
Kato’s 8-under 202 total for three rounds also set the tournament scoring mark, eclipsing the old record of 206, set by Seattle’s Frank Garber in the inaugural event in 2013.
California teenager Dylan Menante was tied with Kato at 8-under, but finished with a double bogey to shoot 70 – and lost by two shots at 204.
Kato wasn’t the only golfer to set a scoring record. Arizona teenager Ashley Menne, ranked 34th in the Sagarin world rankings, won the girls crown by seven strokes over Kallie Vongsaga of California.
Menne shot a final-round 70 for a three-round total of 8-under 202. Sammamish’s Ashley Fitzgibbons held the previous mark at 207, also set in 2013.
Moore, who remained in Las Vegas this week to rehabilitate a shoulder injury as he prepared to defend his title at next week’s John Deere Classic, said his tournament will remain a fixture on the AJGA circuit.
“The reason I started it is because (an AJGA event) did not exist up here anymore, and it meant that much more being from this part of the country,” Moore said. “It is also something college coaches pay attention to. It has been great. We’ve gotten great support.
“It is very established at this point.”
As far as Moore’s health, he has been out since early June with a strained tendon in his left shoulder.
“It was a wear and tear thing. I’ve had discomfort in that shoulder before,” Moore said. “And it wasn’t aggravated on one swing or anything. At the end of (Friday) at Memorial, it was sore. The next day, it felt worse. And the next day after that, it felt even worse.”
Moore has been working with his athletic training staff on regaining strength and range of motion in the shoulder. He started hitting golf balls earlier this week in Las Vegas.
Moore regrets missing the U.S. Open at Erin Hills “because it is a major,” but plans on being in the field at the British Open starting July 20 at Royal Birkdale.
“I think I am ready,” Moore said. “Physically, it feels great.”