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Maelynn Kim and Aaron Pounds Win 95th Texas Junior Amateur
KINGWOOD – Maelynn Kim of Katy dominated the final day of the 95th Texas Junior Amateur finishing the 54-hole championship with a total 5-under 211 to hoist the trophy. The Woodlands’ Aaron Pounds battled from start to finish Wednesday to clinch the title at The Clubs of Kingwood’s Island course. Pounds walked off the 18th green of the Island course with a three-day total score of 11-under par 205.
Kim held the lead all three days, finally closing the tournament Wednesday afternoon. She entered the clubhouse with a final round of 3-under par 69, claiming the championship eight strokes over runner-up Kendall Jackson of Pearland. Kim started off hot with three consecutive birdies early on the front nine. She bogeyed the par-3 6th, but quickly bounced back with a birdie on the 9th hole, turning at 3-under 33. Kim wavered on the back, starting off with a bogey on 10. She followed that up with back-to-back birdies on holes 15 and 16, a bogey on 17 for an even-par back nine 36.
“Everything worked out great today,” Kim said of her winning round. “I missed a few putts, but I couldn’t ask for a better round.”
The 16-year-old said winning this tournament ranks at the top of her all-time list.
“It feels amazing, I’m speechless,” Kim said. “I was on 18 and I couldn’t stop smiling.”
Pounds played under par all week, carding 69-70-66 for a grand total of 205 for the championship. He fired off four birdies on the front nine, turning at 4-under 32 going into the final nine holes.
“Yesterday I had a good stretch through the front nine and I had one again today, so I just tried to stay calm and play my game on the back nine,” Pounds said of his mentality today.
The 16-year-old fended off 18-year-old runner-up and playing partner Kevin Watts of Colleyville throughout the final round. Watts finished one stroke back from Pounds with three under-par rounds of 71-68-67 for a total of 206 for the 54-hole championship.
“It was definitely hard to stay focused at the end, but I tried to take it one shot at a time and hit every shot with confidence, that’s all I can really do,” Pounds said.
Pounds competed in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship only a week ago before teeing it up for the opening round at the Clubs of Kingwood Monday. Pounds said after competing in this tournament several times, he’s dreamed of hoisting the trophy.
“It feels amazing, today feels like a blur right now, I’m speechless,” Pounds said after his round. “It was a fun round overall and a great battle. I’ve been playing in this tournament for a while now and to finally win it is such an honor.”
The Legends Junior Tour extends its sincere appreciation to the staff and members of the Clubs of Kingwood as well as our volunteers for their integral part in making the 95th Texas Junior Amateur a memorable and successful event.