WINDY DAY PROVES DIFFICULT FOR QUALIFIERS AT AJGA SOUTHWESTERN JUNIOR

Kim and Liles take medalist honors

 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Even though the winds proved to be quite an obstacle at the University of New Mexico Golf Course, 16-year-old Samuel Kim of Cerritos, Calif., fought nature to shoot a 1-under-par 71 to earn medalist honors in the AJGA Southwestern Junior Qualifier, while Sydney Liles of Phoenix, Ariz., took top honors in the Girls Division with an 82.

 

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Southwestern Junior will feature 99 players from 16 states, including 18 New Mexico natives. The event, which is being played for the 20th time, is a 54-hole, stroke play tournament that is played at the Isleta Eagle Golf Course and will begin on Wednesday.

 

Kim will not play in Wednesday’s tournament and will instead utilize the AJGA’s new qualifier opt-out policy. This allows a player to opt out of playing in a tournament they qualify for in exchange for a Tournament Exemption.

 

“The policy is a lot better now because some people might not want to play the tournament they qualify for,” Kim said. “My high school’s state tournament in California is on the same day, and I can’t miss that.”

 

Eighty-one juniors battled for 11 Boys Division spots and three Girls Division spots.  Out of the 11 boys that qualified, five are choosing to opt out and take a Tournament Exemption.

 

Seventeen-year-old Liles started with a difficult first two holes, but was able to turn it around despite tough weather conditions.

 

“Playing with all that wind was really hard,” she said. “I was never quite sure what club to use.”

  

Liles double bogeyed her first hole to start the round, but a clutch putt on No. 3 gave her the momentum she needed to play well throughout the round.

 

“After hitting it way right on the first drive and three-putting, I knew I had to start playing a lot better,” she said. “ I hit a hard and solid putt on No. 3, and that made me feel really good.”

 

Sixteen-year old Drew Exon of Irvine, Calif., who is among those opting out, tied for second place with John Spehn, 17, of Centennial, Colo., in the Boys Division with scores of 76.

 

“I had two bogeys starting out on the first two holes, then I birdied No. 14 and realized I could still win despite the rough wind,” Spehn said.

 

Spehn hit a near albatross on No. 18, which landed in the hole and bounced out about 20 feet.

 

“My putting is what saved me,” he said. “Because of the wind, I couldn’t hit a lot of greens, so putting was crucial.”

 

The other qualifiers that will join Spehn and Liles in the tournament are Alex Zannes of Albuquerque, N.M., Michael Haenel Jr. of Paradise Valley, Ariz., Brandon Holub of Higley, Ariz., Justin Spray of Colorado Springs, Colo., Landon Morrow of Lubbock, Texas, Chris Delorey of Colorado Springs, Colo., Derek Meyer of Lake Charles, La., Lee Harris of Fort Morgan, Colo., Chase Anderson of Paradise Valley, Ariz., Kevin Welch of Portales, N.M., Kristin Cocchiarella of Niceville, Fla., and Alexandra Phelps of Albuquerque, N.M.

 

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 largest association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

 

Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch U.S.A., a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became an AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.

 

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Vicki Goetz-Ackerman, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.

 

For more information on the AJGA Southwestern Junior, contact Tournament Headquarters at (505) 869-0950.

 
Polo Golf Rankings
Boys
1. Eugene Hong
Sanford, Fla.
2. Davis Shore
Knoxville, Tenn.
3. Andy Zhang
(China) Winter Garden, Fla.
4. Norman Xiong
Canyon Lake, Calif.
5. Noah Goodwin
Corinth, Texas
Girls
1. Kaitlyn Papp
Austin, Texas
2. Jaravee Boonchant
(Thailand) Bradenton, Fla.
3. Kristen Gillman
Austin, Texas
4. Alyaa Abdulghany
Newport Beach, Calif.
5. Elizabeth Wang
San Marino, Calif.
Complete Rankings
Member Logins
 
Player, Coach and Alumni Login
Center:
Member ID:
Password:
 
Forgot your password?
Don't have a password?
Forgot your Member ID?
 
Not A Member or Need to Renew?
 
What every member should know
Learn the basics
Performance Based Entry
Leadership Links
ACE Grant financial aid
Foundation

The Foundation

The American Junior Golf Foundation is the primary recipient of all charitable giving to the AJGA and as such administers a variety of programs designed to compliment the AJGA and the members and families who make up our community. Learn more about these important programs and how your contributions to the Foundation secure the AJGA’s financial future for future generations to come.
   
Donate Now
Planned Giving Program
Endow an ACE Grant
Annual Fund
ACE Grant

ACE

The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program provides financial assistance to junior golfers who wish to play in AJGA events. Its goal is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources. This program helps to fulfill the AJGA’s mission of developing young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.

Leadership Links

What is Leadership Links?

Leadership Links is a new program whereby the AJGA is able to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the AJGA youth development programs. Please click here to learn more about the program and the different opportunities available.

Weekly Results
Rolex Tournament of Champions
Boys
Total
1
Davis Shore
274
2
John Pak
279
3
Kaiwen Liu
283
Girls
Total
1
Paphangkorn Tavatanakit
283
2
Yu Sang Hou
286
T
3
Rachel Heck
289
T
3
Gina Kim
289
AJGA Junior at Owensboro
Boys
Total
1
*Robin Williams
206
2
Cooper Parks
206
3
Canon Claycomb
210
Girls
Total
1
Kanyanat Saithip
217
2
Kristin Engle
221
3
Yang Liu
225
St. Francisville Area Foundation Junior at The Bluffs
Boys
Total
1
*Cade Kiser
221
2
Pone Pyae Han
221
3
Kritchayapol Sinchai
222
Girls
Total
1
Hannah Levi
218
2
Beryl Wang
220
T
3
Brooke Tyree
222
T
3
Julia Johnson
222
Windham Mountain Resort Junior All-Star
Boys
Total
1
Gavin Noble
206
2
Benjamin James
209
T
3
Jackson Rivera
212
T
3
Nathan Han
212
T
3
Christopher Vandette
212
Girls
Total
1
Phoebe Brinker
225
2
Jin Yu Wu
226
T
3
Emma Zhao
229
T
3
Brianna Park
229
AJGA Junior All-Star at Diablo Grande
Boys
Total
1
Brian Stark
210
2
Gunil Moon
214
3
Kristopher Stiles
216
Girls
Total
1
Yu Wen Lu
210
T
2
Natasha Andrea Oon
212
T
2
Therese Warner
212
* Won via sudden-death playoff
AJGA U
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.