Meissner, Jones, Strydom win Second James A. Ragan Memorial
PORT ARANSAS – San Antonio’s McClure Meissner fired a final-round 3-under 68 to capture the second annual James A. Ragan Memorial Monday afternoon. Dallas’ Hailey Jones birdied the second playoff hole to win the Girls 12-18 division. Damin Strydom cruised to a nine-shot victory at Palmilla Beach Golf Club in Port Aransas, Texas.
Meissner, 17, won his first Legends Junior Tour event in the Boys 15-18 division. His final-round 68 was tied for the low score of the tournament. He had five birdies, including a 3-hole stretch on holes 7-9. He also birdied two of his final four holes, including the par-5 18th, to win by two shots.
Austin’s Michael Anthony Rome finished in second place after a final-round even-par 71. Local resident Billy Teichman finished in third place, three shots back of Meissner. Last year’s runner-up at the James A. Ragan Memorial, Tommy Boone finished in fourth place at 6-over-par 147. Garrett Martin, first-round leader Trenton Leffingwell and Jake Kuwitzky all finished tied for fifth, five shots back of Meissner.
the Girls 12-18 division, Jones started off strong with a birdie on her first hole, the par-5 10th. She didn’t record another birdie, though, until the par-4 eighth hole, which proved much needed to squeak into a playoff with Austin’s Maya Walton. Walton carded a final-round 3-under 68 to climb to the top of the leaderboard.
Jones and Walton played the par-5 18th hole two times in the playoff and Jones came out victorious after a birdie on the second go around. Walton had a 30-foot putt from just off the green that she left short, and Jones tapped in her birdie after Walton had marked. Jones, the reigning LJT Girls Player of the Year, captured her second victory in as many attempts this year, also winning the season opening Winter Classic at her home club – Dallas Athletic Club.
First-round co-leader Stormy Randazzo finished in third place, two shots behind Jones and Walton. Austin’s Bentley Cotton and Fort Worth’s Kennedy Pedigo finished tied for fourth at 9-over-par 151 for the tournament.
In the Boys 14 & Under division, Strydom cruised to an easy nine-shot lead. He led by five shots after Sunday’s first-round and went out and shot a final-round 1-under 70 to nearly double his lead. He birdied his final hole to finish under-par for the day.
McKinney’s Reed Foster started the day in a tie for fourth place with three others, but carded a final-round 1-under 70 as well and vaulted up the leaderboard into second place. Cypress’ Lucas Borrero and Irving’s Nicholas Hance finished in a tie for third place, 11 shots back of Strydom.
This tournament is in honor of the late James Ragan, who played in more than 20 Legends Junior Tour events and won the 2010 Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic. Ragan, who is a native of Corpus Christi, also recorded three top-25 finishes in his LJT career.
Ragan was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma when he was 13 years old. In 2007 he founded the Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation, which has raised more than $2.5 million for cancer research.
Palmilla Beach Golf Club has been the host of the James A. Ragan Memorial both years. Palmilla Beach was designed by Arnold Palmer and is carved out of environmentally sensitive native dunes and surrounded by vibrant coastal foliage. The par-71 course can stretch out to 6,900 yards and offers views of both the Gulf of Mexico and Corpus Christi Bay.