Kim fires 2-under-par on Sunday to medal at Preseason Junior at Sterling
Marquez captures Girls Division medalist by three shots at Sterling Country Club
HOUSTON — Charles Kim of Cedar Park, Texas, completed the only under-par round of the tournament on Sunday to win the Preseason Junior at Sterling with a two-day total of 2-over-par 146. Marisa Marquez of Amarillo, Texas, finished the event with a two-round total of 154 to medal in her first AJGA event.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Sterling was a 36-hole stroke play competition played on the par-72 Sterling Country Club. The event featured 66 boys and 30 girls, ages 12-18, from 20 states and 10 countries. The Boys Division played the course at 6,865 yards while the Girls Division played the course at 5,886 yards.
Kim made four birdies on Sunday, including two over the final five holes, to secure a five-shot victory. His final-round 70 was the best round of the tournament by three shots. Kim said his round and the victory came despite ball-striking that was below his standards.
“My chipping and putting was great all weekend,” Kim said. “I was actually hitting the ball horribly.”
Issa Abou el Ela, a native of Egypt playing out of Bradenton, Fla., finished alone in second place with a score of 151. James Ogletree of Little Rock, Miss., took third place at 153. Chandler Phillips of Huntsville, Texas, and Preston Fleenor of Mission Hills, Kan., tied for fourth place at 154.
Marquez tied for Sunday's low round in the Girls Division with a 4-over-par 76 and did not make a double bogey over the entire tournament.
“I'm pretty excited about this,” Marquez said. “I was just hoping to finish in the top 15 and I ended up winning. Winning my first AJGA event gives me tons of confidence. Whenever I'm down I'll just think about this and it will help me.”
Naomi Ko of Victoria, British Columbia, finished in solo second place at 157. Rounding out the top three was Emily Gilbreth of Bellaire, Texas, with a two-round total of 161.
IMG Golf Academy Preseason Series
The Preseason Junior at Sterling is one of 10 events held as part of the IMG Golf Academy Preseason Series. The IMG Golf Academy Preseason Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to an AJGA Open event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.
IMG Academies, located in Bradenton, Fla., is the world's largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex dedicated to developing the TOTAL ATHLETE™. For more than 30 years, IMG Academies has helped countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes reach their full potential in sport and life, by providing expert coaching, tailored programs and world-class facilities within an energetic environment across a 400-acre campus.
Today the campus attracts more than 20,000 athletes from 100 countries annually. The Academies consists of the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy, IMG Leadbetter Golf Academy, IMG Madden Football Academy, IMG Baseball, Basketball, Lacrosse and Soccer academies — all supported by the IMG Pendleton School and IMG Performance Institute's multi-faceted training disciplines. IMG Academies also conducts camps, clinics and events year-round, while providing support to teams and federations around the world. Find more info at www.imgacademies.com.
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,500 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 40 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 500 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Stewart Cink, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Morgan Pressel.
For more information about the Preseason Junior at Sterling, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.