Menlo School junior Andrew Buchanan of Los Altos Hills shot a final-round, even-par 72, leading wire-to-wire to win the Stockton Convention and Visitors Bureau Junior Open on Thursday.
Buchanan, who went 67-69-72 for an 8-under-par 208, clinched his first career AJGA victory. After playing the front nine 1-over-par and bogeying No. 10, Buchanan hit a 3-iron from 225 yards to within a foot of the hole on the par-5 No. 11. Buchanan then tapped in for eagle, moving to even par on the day.
"That eagle got me going to negate the two bogeys before," Buchanan said. "This win gives me a lot of confidence in any tournament going forward."
The Stockton Convention and Visitors Bureau Junior Open was a 54-hole stroke play event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, Calif. The tournament field featured 69 boys and 27 girls from six states, Brazil, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 7,039 yards and the Girls Division played at 6,246 yards.
The Palo Alto Soccer Club's U14 boys' team recently returned from Idaho after winning the US Club National Championship in the U14 Premier group.
The team qualified for Nationals last month by winning its division at the US Club Regionals in Modesto.
The final game in the elimination phase of tournament was touch-and-go to the end. With the final minutes ticking down, Palo Alto scored off a rebound from a free kick, sealing the regional championship and winning a ticket to the Nationals.
In Boise, the boys opened pool play by beating a Chicago team, Windy City Pride, by 3-1 and tying the New York Revolution, 2-2. The third and final pool match was a must-win against St. Croix, Minn., if Palo Alto was going to advance. After a scoreless first half, Palo Alto turned it on and won, 2-0, to earn a berth in the championship match.
In the finals, Palo Alto again faced Windy City and grabbed a 2-0 lead with 20 minutes left before holding on for a 2-1 victory. Palo Alto scored nine goals in the tournament, with eight players contributing.
Team members included Charlie Andre, goalie Stefan Skoff, Guy Kasznik, Fernando Rodriguez, Nicholas Sundermeyer, Jonathan Rojahn, Stefan Jensen, Kevin Mullin, Keaton Sheveley, Alec Witham, Nick Ambiel, Hakeem O'Neal, Jake van Zyll, Paul Mewes, Bailey Marsheck and Jackson Wagner. Noah Riley played with the team at Regionals.
Many of the players have been playing together since elementary school, and for the past three years under coach Armando Luna, who guided his team to victory. Palo Alto U14 will have a new coach next season, Stanford assistant men's coach Gregg Olson.
One local champ and an all-local doubles final highlighted the annual Alpine Hills Junior Open that wrapped up Friday at the Alpine Hills Tennis and Swim Club in Portola Valley.
Conrad Russell of Palo Alto upset top-seeded Isaac Pashenkov, 6-3, 6-1, to win the Boys' 14 singles final.
In the Boys' 12 doubles finale, the No. 1-seeded Portola Valley tandem of Ryan Quinn and Robert Thompson defeated Menlo Park's Jake Andrews and Frederic Gartenmann, 6-3, 6-2.
In two third-place matches, Michael Hoffman of Atherton won at Boys' 18 singles while Jinyan Jiang of Palo Alto finished third in Boys' 16 singles.