Chloe Horton just finished a week she will savor for quite a while.
For a youngster still in high school, it means a lot when the No. 1 player in the world tweets out how well you play golf.
Horton, a 16-year-old senior at Ransom Everglades, received the kudos from world No. 1 women’s golfer Stacy Lewis, who was there when Horton won her first American Junior Golf Association title in Little Flock, Arkansas.
To put things in proper perspective, the AJGA is considered North America’s top junior tour.
Horton won with rounds of 71-71-74 for an even-par 216 total.
After the second round, Horton said, “I’ve never been in this position, so I was definitely nervous.
“But I play better with nerves.”
She also played smartly, not forcing shots in the final round.
The 2-over 74, final-day score gave her a two-stroke victory over Claire Cameron of Martinsville, Indiana.
One of the proud people keeping track of Horton was coach and instructor Scott Jones, the teaching pro at Palmetto Golf Course in Miami.
He remembered that a few years back, Horton was dejected about her game, and that’s when her parents told Jones what he needed to hear. “They mentioned that Chloe loved the game and liked to compete,” Jones said.
That was good enough for Jones.
Lessons began — swing, physical, mental and goal-setting.
Jones remembered one of the goals, with the help of her parents’ checkbook, was for Horton to shoot 42 or better and she would receive an iPod or some other electronic device. She did it.
Now, Horton has college coaches contacting her with a scholarship possibly in the offing.
As for Jones, after Horton’s first AJGA victory, he simply said, “I’m a proud coach.”
Three Nova Southeastern golfers were recognized as All-American Scholars by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association. The three are all international players: Rachel Lewis (Cardiff, Wales), Alejandra Velasco (Jalisco, Mexico) and Katrina Wang (Shenzhen, China). A total of 664 golfers from Division I, II and III were selected, and they had to have a minimum GPA of 3.50.
Ryan Stenmark of Pembroke Pines and Carolina Garrett of Miami won the 16-18 age groups in the Nicklaus Junior Championship on June 21-22 in Jupiter.
Playing on the par-71 Hills Course at Jonathan’s Landing Golf Club at Old Trail, Stenmark, 17 and a senior at Archbishop McCarthy High in Davie, shot 70-71—141 with five birdies on the Saturday and four Sunday to win by three shots.
Garret, also 17 and a senior at Ransom Everglades in Miami, came from a stroke behind to win by four on rounds of 76-70—146. She recorded three birdies each day.
The improvement Sunday was easy for Garrett to explain. “I made a quadruple-bogey on Saturday at the 18th with a lot of dumb shots,” she said. Of Sunday’s round, she said, “I hit my irons closer and had more birdie opportunities.”
THAT’S A FACT, JACK
News bulletin: Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships has been broken … well, sort of. After Michelle Wie won the U.S. Women’s Open, David Leadbetter — golf instructor to the rich and famous pros — messaged, “I broke Jack’s record.” Seems that Wie’s victory made it 19 majors for Leadbetter’s students.