Jolo Magcalayo posted his first major win in the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) after bagging the AJGA Junior Boys’ Championship trophy on July 24 to 26 at the Chicopee Country Club in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
He bested more than 60 competitors with a three-day score of 9-under 204 in the limited field elite AJGA open event presented by John D. Mineck Foundation. It was the first win by a Filipino golfer in the event for almost a decade.
Magcalayo started his campaign with a 3-under par 68 for a shared third behind leaders Charlie Beridge of New York and Jeffrey Fang of Ontario, Canada.
He emerged solo second at the end of the second day with a 2-under par 69 but with a bigger deficit behind Beridge with a 3-under par 68 — two notches ahead going to the last day of play.
Magcalayo quickly took the provisional lead with three straight pars against Beridge’s three straight bogeys. They would post identical scores after they birdied three of the last six holes to end the front 9.
With a two-stroke three-day lead, not even his second bogey of the day on the 18th stopped Jolo from winning his maiden AJGA Open crown..
Magcalayo posted outstanding performances in almost every tournament this summer.
He won an AJGA Open event qualifier in Ohio, placed second at an AJGA Open event in Kentucky, qualified for the US 72nd Junior Championship (becoming the first Filipino jungolfer to qualify via sectionals twice), placed second at the prestigious 41st North and South Junior Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina, qualified as an alternate to the 119th US Amateur, and won the New Jersey sectional qualifiers that gained him a non-resident special exemption to the 45th Jr PGA Boys Championships this week.
His feat the past two summers in the United States has placed him in the recruitment radar for the class of 2021, with more than 20 schools already going after the jungolfer from De La Salle Zobel.