ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Angelina Ye of Bradenton, Florida, finished a come-from-behind victory on Monday with a final-round 1-under-par 71. Her tournament total of 2-under-par 214 was two shots clear of runner-up Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, California. “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. “It was one of my goals in 2018 to win an Invitational, so it means a lot.”
With the win at the 10th ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, Ye earns an exemption into the Symetra Tour’s Florida’s Natural Classic in March. Her victory comes over an elite junior golf field, featuring 17 of the top-25 players in the Rolex AJGA Rankings. The ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex was hosted on World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire course for the first time. The World Golf Village is also home to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Ye, a 16-year-old verbal commit to Stanford University, carded three birdies in a five-hole stretch to take over the lead on the back nine. The win is the second for the two-time Rolex Junior All-American.
Li, the No. 1 player in the Rolex AJGA Rankings, birdied the final hole to claim solo second at even-par 216. Li had previously won each of the last two AJGA Invitationals, including The PING Invitational in October and the Rolex Tournament of Champions in November.
Mathilde Claisse of Poissy, France, who led after the first two rounds, finished third at 1-over-par 217. Sweden natives Frida Kinhult and Linn Grant finished T4 at 2-over-par 218.
Rolex, the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, is headquartered in Geneva and enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces all the essential components of its watches in-house, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programmes.
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls, ages 12-19) of more than 6,900 members from 50 states and 60 foreign countries. Through initiatives like the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, a financial assistance program, and Leadership Links, a service-oriented platform that teaches juniors charitable-giving skills, the AJGA fosters the growth of golf’s next generation.
TaylorMade-adidas Golf became the AJGA’s National Sponsor in 2016 after more than 25 years of support. Rolex, which is in its fourth decade of AJGA sponsorship, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2017, adidas joined the AJGA as a Premier Partner, serving as the Official Apparel and Footwear of the AJGA.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 910 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Justin Thomas, Stacy Lewis, Ariya Jutanugarn, Alison Lee, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel.