Jaivir Pande and Kate Pickrell Win 96th Texas Junior Amateur
HORSESHOE BAY – Austin’s Kate Pickrell fended off a stacked leaderboard in Wednesday’s final round of the 96th Texas Junior Amateur to be crowned champion. The rising senior at Lake Travis High School carded a finishing 2-under 70 to win the girls title by one stroke. Houston’s Jaivir Pande sunk a 10-foot birdie putt on the eighteenth hole of Ram Rock to win the boys title. Pande capped off his week with a 5-over 76 to finish at 1-over par and win by one.
Pickrell battled eventual runner-up Grace Jin of Hunstville all day, but it was a birdie on the par-3 seventeenth hole of Apple Rock that sealed the deal for the Austinite. The Lake Travis senior has been playing well of late as she recently won the AJGA Patrick Reed Invitational earlier this summer.
“After the first round I was sitting a little further back,” Pickrell said of her play early in the championship. “I kind of knew I needed to pick it up the next few days.”
Pickrell did just that. After beginning with a 1-over 73, she posted back to back rounds of 2-under par.
“I know this is going to be my last year (of high school) so I am happy to get a win near the end of summer. I am glad I was able to win it at home,” Pickrell said.
Jin shot a final round 2-under 70 to earn the runner-up honors of the Girls 15-18 Division. Her scorecard included six birdies in Wednesday’s final round. Rounding out the top three was Cedar Park’s Jiyu Han who finished at even-par for the week.
Pande, winner of the boys’ title, didn’t have his best stuff in the final round but showed toughness in still finding a way to win. The rising senior at Kinkaid High School emphatically fist pumped as he rolled in the winning birdie putt on the final hole to finish 1-over for the championship.
“I got off to a less than ideal start today,” Pande said of his final round. “I had a couple mistakes out there, but it was playing tough for everyone, and I knew I had to just keep making pars.”
Pande’s final round 5-over 76 was a bit of a roller coaster ride on Wednesday. He had six holes of bogey or worse but was able to limit the damage with four birdies including one on the last hole.
“Not every day you’re going to play well,” Pande said. “Just being able to have the ability to with adversity is something I’m very proud of in my game.”
Pande enters his senior year of high school with great confidence and will look to build upon the win this fall.
“It’s going to give me a lot of confidence knowing I came here to the Texas Junior Amateur and came out on top. I’m looking forward to keeping the momentum going,” Pande said of his victory.
The low round of the day came from runner-up Luke Colton of Frisco with a 3-under 68 as Ram Rock played well over par for the day. Colton’s final round included six birdies as he finished 2-over for the week and one back of Pande.
Rounding out the top three was Montgomery’s Eyan Edsall who posted a final round 5-over 76 to finish 3-over for the week.
The Legends Junior Tour extends its sincere appreciation to the staff and members of Horseshoe Bay as well as our volunteers for their integral part in making the 96th Texas Junior Amateur a memorable and successful event.
For more information on the 96th Texas Junior Amateur, click here.
To view the final results, click here.