It wasn't easy, but Cassy Isagawa got it done. The recent high school graduate, who hails from Wailuku, Hawaii, defeated Ginger Howard of Bradenton, Fla., on the third playoff hole to capture the 2010 girls' division title in thrilling fashion.
"Last year's tournament was the most intense feeling I have ever had on a golf course and was such an incredible playoff with Ginger [Howard]," said Isagawa, who has committed to play for the University of Oregon in the fall. "I missed a few putts down the stretch and one on the second playoff hole to win, but I didn't give up and it was so satisfying to win."
Isagawa will look to defend her title against an elite field of juniors from across the country, who will play for the second consecutive year at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.
"I come from a small town in Hawaii and I was praying just to make the cut last year," said Isagawa. "I know that this year's field will be just as strong if not stronger than last year, but I know now that I can play with the best players in the country."
Isagawa will head the 156-player field for the72-hole Junior PGA Championship.
The Championship will feature a 54-hole cut to the low 30 boys and 30 girls, including ties, following the third round of play on August 4.
"We are excited the 36th Junior PGA Championship returns to the site of what was an exciting Championship in 2010," said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "The Junior PGA Championship is one of our banner Championships, which showcases the next generation of great players, many of whom will be ambassadors in growing the game."
The boys' field will be headlined by Cody Proveaux of Leesville, S.C., Gavin Hall of Pittsford, N.Y., and Robby Shelton of Wilmer, Ala., ranked 4th, 6th and 10th, respectively in Golfweek's Junior Rankings.
Beau Hossler of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., who recently competed in the U.S. Open, and Brad Dalke, who recently won the Thunderbird Invitational, have also committed to play.
In the girls' division, top-ranked Thailand native Moriya Jutanugarn and sister Ariya, who is ranked second by Golfweek, lead a strong group of players who will look to grab their first Patty Berg Trophy.
Emma Talley of Princeton, Ky., a member of the victorious 2010 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team, has also committed to play.
Talley, who is currently ranked 12th in the latest Golfweek Junior Rankings, tallied 2 ½ points for the U.S. team, who defeated Europe by a narrow 13 ½ to 10 ½ margin at Gleneagles Resort in Scotland.
Both the boys' and girls' will be competing for a spot on the 2010 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup Team, as the champion for each division will be exempt to the event, being staged at the Gleneagles Hotel and Resort in Perthshire, Scotland, Sept. 27-28, 2010, provided they are a member of the 2011 or later graduating class.
Golf Channel will present a one-hour highlight show of the Junior PGA Championship, with the first airing on Tues., Sept. 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET.
CHAMPIONSHIP FACTS AND FIGURES
36th JUNIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP presented by Under Armour and Heritage F.S.E.
Where: Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Fort Wayne, Ind.
When: Aug. 2-5, 2010
Presenting Sponsors: Under Armour, Heritage F.S.E
Championship Note: Due to inclement weather, the 2010 Championship was reduced to 54-holes.
Girls' Division — Cassy Isagawa, Wailuku, Hawaii
Boys' Division — Denny McCarthy, Burtonsville, Md.
Eligibility: One boy and one girl champion from each of the 41 PGA Sections, winners of selected national junior tournaments conducted earlier in the year and past Junior PGA Championship winners who have not reached their 19th birthdays and have not started college.