May 27, 2024

Larsen wins AJGA Junior

Garden City, KS ( City’s Taylor Larsen had always dreamed of winning a national tournament in his hometown. 

On Friday, he finally did it, in dramatic fashion. 

Larsen missed out on two birdie puts on two sudden-death playoff holes but still found a way to make par on the second, as the Garden City High School star finally held off John Hilliard Cantanzaro from Gadsen, Ala to win the 2016 Kansas Junior at Buffalo Dunes. 

“It’s something I’ve been working on for so long,” Larsen said afterwards. “I wanted to win this in front of my family and friends.”

Mission accomplished. Although the back nine on Friday was more of an adventure than anything else. 

After shooting 1-over through nine, Larsen bogeyed three of his final nine holes, including 18 where he had a chance to win it with a chip for par. But Larsen 2-putted, forcing sudden death. 

“I never really got on a roll today,” Larsen admitted afterwards. “I was definitely nervous going into the playoff.”

On his first playoff hole, Larsen hit the green in two shots. But his birdie attempt lipped out. Both He and Hilliard Cantanzaro tapped in for par. 

The scenario played out the same way on the second playoff hole. But this time, Larsen caught a bit of a break when Cantanzaro’s put for par was long. Larsen chipped in a 1-footer and claimed his first ever title. 

“It’s a sweet feeling,” Larsen said.