Trying to win a junior golf tournament will usually bring out a player’s nerves. Trying to win a junior golf tournament named after one of the greatest golfers in history—with her watching down the home stretch—is guaranteed to. Which is why Angelina Ye was particularly proud of her finish on Monday as she came from behind to win the AJGA Annika Invitational.
The 16-year-old, born in Shanghai and living now in Bradenton, Fla., and attending the IMG Academy, shot a closing one-under 71 at the World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire to finish with a two-under 214 score, pass final-round leader Mathilde Claisse of France and pull off a two-stroke triumph over Lucy Li, the No. 1 golfer in the latest Rolex AJGA Rankings.
Ye, who started the day three strokes back, took command when she made three birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine. That included making a five-footer for birdie on the par-3 15th hole, while Claisse double bogeyed the hole. The three-stroke swing gave Ye the lead for good as Claisse would fall to third place with a closing 77.
Li, winner of the last two AJGA invitationals, birdied the last hole to claim solo second with a even-par 72.
“It means a lot to me to win my first AJGA invitational, especially in front of Annika, who is one of the best golfers ever,” said Ye, who has already made a verbal commitment to play college golf at Stanford. “It was one of my goals in 2018 to win an Invitational, so it means a lot.”
It’s Ye’s second AJGA win of any kind, and also comes with a nice perk: Ye earned an exemption into the Symetra Tour’s Natural Classic in March.