“Focus” was the key word at Texarkana Country Club when the IYGC’s 21st annual event visited Arkansas with the largest number of national finalists in history. Justin Leonard, a 17-year-old from Dallas, kept telling the media that once he gained a share of the halfway-point lead, he just wanted to stay focused as he fought for the championship of the nation’s largest junior golf tournament. He did. Leonard went 5-under-par over the final 36 holes to post the then-second largest winning margin in the event’s history. The Dallas teenager’s 3-under-par 285 was good for a seven-stroke edge over another phenom, 13-year-old Tiger Woods from Cypress, Calif. Even so, Woods became the youngest player ever to finish in the tournament’s top 5. The top professional score was shared by Blaine McCallister and two-time IYGC winner Billy Andrade – both shot 5-underpar 67. The 4th annual National Long Drive Championship went to Adam Corson of Potomac, Md., with a winning drive of 279 yards, 2 feet.
1990Ridgelea Country Club – Fort Worth, Texas
Youth stole the spotlight at the 22nd annual Insurance Youth Golf Classic at Ridgelea Country Club in Fort Worth, Tex., as 14-year-old Tiger Woods of Cypress, Calif., became the youngest- ever winner of the tournament. Woods carded a 2-under-par 286 to beat runner-up Notah Begay of Albuquerque, N.M., by three strokes. In just two attempts at the IYGC, Woods had a championship and a second-place finish. No surprise there, as Woods first picked up a golf club when he was 11 months old, and had won five age-group titles in the Optimist Junior World Championships before his win in the IYGC. The 1990 IYGC title, however, was Woods’ first national junior title, and earned him a trip to the 1990 PGA Junior Championships, where he finished second. In the pro division, Kenny Perry and Phil Blackmar tied at 5under-par 67. Mark Swygert of Blythewood, S.C., won the 5th annual National Junior Long Drive Championship with a record drive of 310 yards, 5 inches.
1991Radrick Farms Golf Club – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Redemption was the operative word for 1991 IYGC champion Scott Johnson of Kennewick, Wash. By winning the 23rd IYGC, Johnson atoned for a dismal performance in the previous year’s competition. The likeable 17-year-old totaled 297 over the long and difficult Radrick Farms Golf Course, good enough to hold off defending champion Tiger Woods and the rest of the field for a wire-to-wire victory. Woods opened the four-day tournament with a 76, digging himself an early hole from which he never really escaped. He finished third. Meanwhile, Johnson enjoyed a one-shot lead after the first round, a six-shot lead after 36 holes and an eight-stroke lead after 54. Woods, however, did have some cause for celebration. He won the 6th annual National Junior Long Drive Championship with a slightly-uphill ball of 282 yards, 5 inches, beating runner-up Chris Kamen of Orland Park, Ill., by one foot. Bob Estes carded a 4-under-par 68 to win the professional division.
1992Pinehurst Resort No. 7 – Pinehurst, North Carolina
Through the rain he trudged, undeterred by the nasty conditions that Mother Nature dealt the 24th annual Insurance Youth Golf Classic at Pinehurst No. 7. Golf wonder kid Tiger Woods led wire-to-wire to become only the second junior to claim two IYGC titles, matching the accomplishment of PGA Tour professional Billy Andrade 11 years earlier. What began as a close battle between Woods and 16-year-old Michael Jones of Mesa, Ariz., turned into a rout, as Woods pulled away to a record nine-stroke victory. Woods also set a record for the tournament’s lowest 72-hole score, posting a 68-70-69-73-280 for the mark. Woods made it a clean sweep with a win in the 7th annual National Junior Long Drive Championship—his shot of 281 yards made him the first two-time winner of the event. Dave Rummels won a rain-shortened pro division.
1993Chenal Country Club – Little Rock, Arkansas
With a new name for the tournament in place, a pair of California natives came out on top in the 1993 Independent Insurance Agent Junior Classic (IIAJC) at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, Ark. Ted Oh of Torrance won the boys championship, while Kellee Booth of Coto de Caza won the first-ever girls championship. Booth, 17, led wire-to-wire en route to her historic win, edging Keridwen Cornelius of Scottsdale, Ariz., by two strokes. Booth shot a consistent 73-73-73-72-291 to take the victory. Meanwhile, Oh, 16, stormed back from a record nine-stroke deficit in the final round to edge second-place finishers Chris Berry, a 16year old from Yorba Linda, Calif., and Michael Henderson, 15, of Raleigh, N.C., by a single stroke. Skyli Yamada, 17, of Sandy, Utah, posted the first hole-in-one by a girl, using an 8-iron on the 135-yard 17th for the ace. Winning the IIAJC boys and girls National Junior Long Drive Championships were Josh Turner of Liberty, N.C., and Michelle Louviere of Lafayette, Ind. Turner’s drive covered 325 yards, 1 foot, 7 inches, while Louviere hit a ball 235 yards for her win. Brad Byrant (PGA) and Tracy Kerdyk (LPGA) won the IIAJC Pro Division Championships.
1994Barton Creek Resort – Austin, Texas
The sunny states of California and Florida were represented at the awards ceremony of the 1994 IIAJC, when 17-year-old Joel Kribel of Pleasanton, Calif., and 16-year-old Miami native Cristie Kerr captured the 72-hole championships. Kribel fired a final round of 5-under-par 66 to post a winning total of 10-under-par 274 and become the fourth Californian to win the tournament in five years. Kerr became the second girls champion in the history of the IIAJC by expanding on her third-round lead with a sizzling final round of 7-under-par 65. Her four-day total was 275, 13 under par. The tournament also was spiced with a high degree of accuracy. Keridwen Cornelius of Scottsdale, Ariz., Adres Ramos of Tucson, Ariz., and Adam Pranger of New Era, Mich., all posted holes-in-one during the tournament. The winner of the girls division of the National Junior Long Drive Championship was Angela Stanford of Saginaw, Texas, with a drive of 258 yards, 9 inches, while Corey Rochelle of Lawrenceburg, Tenn., won the boys division with a shot of 302 yards, 11 inches. Tom Kite and Glenn Day tied for the PGA Pro Division Championship and Emilee Klein took the LPGA Pro Championship.
1995Springhouse Golf Club – Nashville, Tennessee
Nearly 200 juniors battled Tennessee’s August heat and humidity at the 27th annual IIAJC at the par-72 Springhouse Golf Club in Opryland. But the hottest golfer of them all was 17-year-old Cristie Kerr of Miami, Fla., won her second consecutive IIAJC girls title. While Kerr made history as the tournament’s first female to win back-to-back championships, Boyd Summerhays of Farmington, Utah, claimed the boy’s title. Kerr finished the tournament with a 6-under-par (65-75-68-71) rounds scores 282. She became the second player to win consecutive IIAJC championships. PGA Tour star Billy Andrade won back-to-back titles in 1980 and 1981. Chris Smith, the 1986 champion, returned to win the men’s pro division of the tournament with a 4-under-par 68, while Stephanie Maynor and Jill Briles-Hinton tied for first place in the women’s pro division at 69.
1996Otter Creek Country Club – Columbus, Indiana
From the opening drive to the final putt, junior golfers from across the country shattered long-standing tournament records at the 28th annual IIAJC National Finals, held at Otter Creek Country Club in Columbus, Ind. They were led by the boys’ winner, David Gossett of Germantown, Tenn., and girls’ winner Grace Park of Phoenix, Ariz., both of whom eclipsed some of the tournament’s more challenging marks. Gossett, 17, narrowly defeated Jeremy Wilkinson of South Bend, Ind., and unseated Boyd Summerhays, the 1995 champion, who finished tied for third place. Park, also 17, shot a 7-under-par 281 (66-71-72-72) to shatter four IIAJC marks, tie another and set a then-girls’ course record of 66 in the tournament’s opening round. She established girls’ standards with the largest second-round lead (4 strokes at 137), low 54 (209), largest third-round lead (11 strokes at 209), the largest winning margin (16 strokes at 281). Park also tied two-time champion Cristie Kerr’s 1995 first-round lead of five strokes with her opening round of 66. Park and runner-up Molly Cooper of Scottsdale, Ariz., now have
more top 10 IIAJC finishes than any other girls in tournament history, with three each. Nike Tour player Andy Dillard of Edmond, Okla., won the men’s pro division with a 5-under-par 67, while LPGA pro Jerilyn Britz of Casselberry, Fla., claimed the women’s crown at 3-under 69.
1997Walking Stick Golf Course – Pueblo, Colorado
Defending champion David Gossett of Germantown, Tenn., became the third junior golfer and second boy to win back-to-back IIAJC crowns by posting a 72-hole total of 275 (72-66-67-70) on
par-72 Walking Stick Golf Course in Pueblo, Colo., five strokes better than runner-up Will Collins of Rapid City, S.D., could manage. Gossett joins PGA Tour professional Billy Andrade (1980 and 1981) and LPGA professional Cristie Kerr (1994 and 1995) as back-to-back IIAJC winners. Beth Bauer of Valrico, Fla. won the 1997 girls’ championship with a four-day effort of 74-70-75-74—290. Bauer finished five shots ahead of Samantha Fox of White Creek, Tenn., who finished at 295. Ben Flam of Phoenix, Ariz., won the boys’ division of the National Junior Long Drive Championship with a shot of 341 yards, 7 inches, while Kristin Thompson of Napa, Calif., took the girls division with a drive of 257 yards, 2 feet, 7 inches.
1998Oak Tree Golf Club – Edmond, Oklahoma
Ryan Hybl of Colbert, Ga., and Candie Kung of Fountain Valley, Calif., were champions of the boys and girls divisions, respectively, at the 1998 IIAJC, held at Oak Tree Golf Club in Edmond, Okla. The 1998 field included 177 entries from 46 states. Hybl overcame a one-stroke deficit in the final round to finish with a 4-under-par 276 (74-66-68-68), four strokes up on third-round leader Brent Wanner of Brewster, Mass. Knotted in a third-place tie at 285 were Todd Miller, a Napa, Cali., native and son of NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller, and Kenneth Lewis of South Dennis, Mass. Hybl’s second-round 66 tied for best round of the tournament with Brent Wanner of Brewster, Mass. Kung fired a fourth-round 2-under-par 68 to end the 72-hole event with a 2-over-par 282 total (69-73-72-68). Kung was three shots better than runner-up Stacy Prammanasudh of Enid, Okla. Leigh Anne Hardin of Martinsville, Ind., finished third at 287. Dwayne Morley of Houston won the boys division of the National Junior Long Drive Championship with a shot of 304 yards, 3 inches. Samantha Fox of Whites Creek, Tenn., took the girls long drive title with a drive of 254 yards, 1 foot, 11 inches.