ClubCorp Qualifier Series
Deer Creek Golf Club
Overland Park, Kansas
August 4, 2002

Little, Keith, Dutcher and Gutcshow earn medalist honors

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Eighty-two boys and 17 girls squared off in the AJGA Marsh Kansas City Junior Qualifier, vying for 15 berths into the championship. Of the 11 boys that qualified, Will Little of Jonesboro, Ark., Matt Keith of Springfield, Mo., and Joby Dutcher of Lawton, Okla., earned medalist honors. In the Girls Division, Heather Gutcshow of Kansas City, Mo., finished first of the four girls that qualified for the tournament.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Marsh Kansas City Junior Qualifier was held on the par-72 Deer Creek Golf Course.

Little, playing in his first AJGA event, said his game fell into place during the round. The 15-year-old shot even-par on the front nine, but nailed consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 10-12 and one more on No. 14 to go 2-under on the final nine and tie for first at 2-under-par 70.

"I was hitting everything solid today," he said. "I was playing how you dream it up the night before."

Keith attributed his below-par performance to an outstanding short game. The 17-year-old made birdie on holes No. 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 14 and 18 to score a 2-under-par 70.

"I played pretty well today, but my wedge game was great," he said. "Anytime I was within 150 yards I made birdie."

Despite dropping four birdies and no bogeys on his first nine holes to card 4-under-par 32, Dutcher carded three bogeys and a lone birdie on No. 9 to finish tied for first at 70.

"I played a pretty solid round today," he said. "I just fell asleep for a little towards the end."

Dutcher, 17, said he is going to focus on his tee shots during the tournament.

"I yanked some tee shots today; I need to be careful about where my line is going," he said. "I'm kind of glad because it made me think and get my head back in the game."

Austin Hackett of Broken Arrow, Okla., finished fourth with an even-par 72. Josh Brady of Columbia, Mo., and Mitch Cohlmia of Tulsa, Okla., finished tied for fifth with rounds of 1-over-par 73.

Tyler Peglow of Marshalltown, Iowa, finished seventh at 2-over-par 74, and Michael Parker of Plano, Texas, Lanny Benson of St. Louis and Erik Ritzman of Omaha, Neb., tied for eighth at 3-over-par 75.

After a two-hole sudden-death playoff, Jordan Payne of West Memphis, Ark., took the last qualifying spot with a 4-over-par 76.

In the Girls Division, Gutschow attributed her round to a conservative game, finishing first with a 7-over-par 79. The 18-year-old said she missed a few birdie putts, but was able to keep her performance together to take home the Girls Division title.

"I just tried to keep the ball in play and stay smart," she said. "I thought today's round was pretty good."

Other qualifiers include Cameron Barber of Lone Tree, Colo., who placed second with an 81, and Elisa Gomez of Carrollton, Texas, who finished third at 83.

Ashley Prust of Englewood, Colo., made par on the final hole of the sudden-death playoff to earn the fourth and final spot in the tournament.

The first round of the Marsh Kansas City Junior begins Tuesday, August 6, off the No. 1 tee at Oakwood Country Club in Kansas City, Mo. The three-day event features a 99-player field, including players from 15 states and 24 Missouri natives.

For more information about the Marsh Kansas City Junior, please call AJGA tournament headquarters at (816) 761-3670.

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