July 5, 2011

10 AJGA juniors to compete in U.S. Women's Open

Tournament website • First- and second-round tee times

Six U.S. Women's Open qualifiers competed at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship. Left to right: Gabriella Then, Kyung Kim, Moriya Jutanugarn, Victoria Tanco, Ariya Jutanugarn, Doris Chen.
Ten current AJGA members have qualified for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open, which marks the sixth-straight year at least 10 AJGA players will compete in golf’s national championship. Since 2006, AJGA juniors have qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open a total of 65 times. The U.S. Women’s Open will take place July 7-10 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The 10 AJGA members that qualified are Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City, Hawaii, Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn of Bangkok, Thailand, Kyung Kim of Chandler, Ariz., Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Wash., Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga., Emma Talley of Princeton, Ky., Victoria Tanco of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Gabriella Then of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Tanco has qualified for the last four U.S. Women’s Opens. The rising senior is a three-time first-team Rolex Junior All-American and has been Rolex Junior Player of the Year twice (2008, 2009). She has five AJGA victories in her name, including the 2010 ANNIKA Invitational, and recently won the Women's Western Am with a dominating 13-and-12 victory in the 36-hole final.

Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, sisters from Bangkok, Thailand, are Nos. 1 and 2 in the Polo Golf Rankings, respectively. Older sister Moriya has two victories this year, including the 2011 Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club. Ariya, a high school sophomore, also qualified for the U.S Women’s Open in 2010. Earlier this year, she finished T25 as an amateur at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Her 2011 campaign includes a win at the 2011 Rolex Girls Championship, where she broke the AJGA’s Girl Division lowest 72-hole scoring record with a tournament total 17-under-par.

Then will make her second straight appearance at the U.S. Women’s Open. Last season, Then posted five AJGA top-five finishes, which helped her earn Rolex Junior All-America accolades for the first time. Most recently, she defeated Ariya Jutanugarn in a sudden-death playoff to win the Rolex Tournament of Champions.

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