ASU Karsten Golf Course
Tempe, Ariz.
Aug. 22, 2002

Twelve earn spots in championship field

TEMPE, Ariz. - Matthew Shin of Cerritos, Calif., John Chin of Temecula, Calif., and Hochul Kim of Murrieta, Calif., staked claim to medalist honors at the AJGA PING Phoenix Junior Championship Qualifier after rounds of 1-under-par 71. In the Girls Division, Minnie Choi of Fountain Valley, Calif. topped the field with a 3-over-par 75.

The 18-hole qualifier, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, allowed 90 juniors from 11 states, including 21 from Arizona, the opportunity to earn 12 spots in the PING Phoenix Junior Championship, which runs from Aug. 22-25.

For Shin (35-36-71), qualifying was even more special because he failed to do so last year after recording triple bogeys on Nos. 9, 16 and 18. The 17-year-old entered the day wanting to score well on those holes and in doing so picked up some redemption by making the championship field.

"The course was playing pretty tough," Shin said. "My plan was to par Nos. 9, 16 and 18 and if I could do that then I thought I would be able to shoot under par."

Shin executed his plan to perfection as he parred the three holes while shooting 2-under on the back nine to share medalist laurels.

His strategy for the tournament is the same as it was for the qualifier.

"If I can play those three holes at even par or better then the rest of the course is kind of easy," Shin said. "I have to take it one shot at a time and not over anticipate anything."

Will Mast of Scottsdale, Ariz., qualified with an even-par round of 72. The final five spots for the Boys Division were decided by a one-hole, sudden-death playoff. Paul Imondi of Tustin, Calif., Jason D'Amore of Manhattan Beach, Calif., David Dragoo of Scottsdale, Ariz., Kenny Kim of Cerritos, Calif., and Joseph Lopez of Chino Hills, Calif., qualified via the playoff.

In the Girls Division, Choi (35-40-75) squeaked out medalist honors by shooting par on the front nine and then held on after carding a 3-over-par 40 on the back nine to top the field by one. Her lone birdie of the day came on the 134-yard, par-3 seventh.

Erica Im of Cerritos, Calif., and Esther Choe of La Quinta, Calif., snagged the final two spots after rounds of 76 and 77 respectively.

The 54-hole tournament, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, will feature 84 juniors from 12 states and Canada. Fifteen of the participants call Arizona home.

First-round action begins at 6:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23 off the No. 1 and 10 tees at the ASU Karsten Golf Course. Tee times run until at 8:27 a.m.

For more information on the PING Phoenix Junior Championship please contact our tournament headquarters at 480-968-7084, ext. 227.

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