BRASELTON — Henry Mabbett of Griffin fired a final-round 69 for a 1-under-par 141 total to erase a three-shot deficit and take medalist honors in the boys division Sunday at the Preseason Junior at Chateau Elan. Jessica Welch of Lavonia was the medalist in the Girls Division after a 74 and a 3-over-par 145 total.
First-round leader Grant Cagle of Gainesville, a Johnson High student, finished in second place after carding a 73 in his second round for an even-par 142 total.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Chateau Elan was a 36-hole stroke play event held on the Chateau Elan’s Chateau Course. The tournament field consisted of 72 boys and 23 girls, ages 12 to 18, from 14 states.
Mabbett’s 2-under-par round was highlighted by five birdies against three bogeys. He stood at 1-over-par through 13 holes before recording birdies at Nos. 14, 15 and 18 to card 33 on the back nine.
"I hit my irons really well," Mabbett said. "I hit a lot of greens and kept the ball in play. After I bogeyed No. 10, it helped me focus more."
Noori Hyun of Centreville, Va., Austin Vick of Evans, and James Chapman of Gastonia, N.C., all finished with a 143 total in a tie for third place. Chapman’s final-round 66 was the tournament’s low round. John Luna of Cleveland shot a 147.
Welch’s closing-round 74 left her two shots clear of the field giving her a two-round total of 3-over-par 145 en route to her first AJGA crown.
The five-shot cushion she built in the first round held up despite a birdie-free round Monday.
"I was nervous coming in," Welch said. "I had heard these were some of the best golfers in the nation. This shows me that I can run with them."
Emily Wright of Mason, Ohio, finished in second with a 5-over-par 147 total after carding the low round in the girls division with a 71. Katie Rose Higgins of Charleston, S.C., rounded out the top 3 with a 148 total.