ClubCorp Qualifier Series
Marshallia Ranch Golf Course
Vandenberg AFB, California
July 21, 2002

Chen, Fleming earn Boys Division medals with sub-par scores

VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. - Eighty-six boys and 11 girls squared off in the qualifying round of the AJGA Marshallia Ranch Junior Classic, competing for 13 available Boys Division entries and three Girls Division spots in the championship. Medalist honors were awarded to Acer Chen of Walnut, Calif., and Nick Fleming of Murrieta, Calif., in the Boys Division, and Angela King of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., in the Girls Division.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Marshallia Ranch Junior Classic is being held July 22-25, on the Marshallia Ranch Golf Course in Vandenberg AFB, Calif. The Qualifier allowed 97 players the opportunity to play their way into the championship field.

Despite having difficulty off the tee, Chen attributed his round of 1-under-par 71 to solid putting.

"I made a lot of putts today," he said. "I had three 20-footers for par on the front nine, and I even hit my putt on No. 9 from the bushes and got it."

Chen said he plans to concentrate on his tee shots to help tame the difficult layout of the course.

"This week I'm going to try and hit my driver in the fairways," he said. "There are a couple of long and narrow holes that are tough."

Fleming struggled through the front nine of his round, but stepped up his performance to go 4-under-par on the back nine and finish with a 1-under-par 71.

"It was up and down, up and down today," he said. "I had a really bad front nine."

The 16-year-old carded an eagle-birdie-eagle on holes No. 12-14 to put him tied for first place and qualify for his first AJGA event.

"I was putting awesome today," he said. "I had 28 putts, which is pretty solid for me. I also made two putts over 30 feet."

Other qualifiers include Derek Sipe of Yorba Linda, Calif., Billy Moon of Irvine, Calif., and James Ananian of Murrieta, Calif., tied for third at 1-over-par 73.

Jeremy Keller of Las Vegas, Nev., Dillon Gooch of Salado, Texas, Ryan Minobe of San Jose, Calif., Daniel Cho of Diamond Bar, Calif., Eric Yoo of Cerritos, Calif., Nicholas Janneck of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Garrett Sapp of Cerritos, Calif., tied for sixth to qualify at 2-over-par 74.

A sudden-death playoff was held to decide the last available entry among five players tied at 75. After five holes, Kang Kim of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., earned the final Boys Division spot.

In the Girls Division, King stumbled out of the starting blocks, but warmed up just in time to save her round and card a 7-over-par 79. The 13-year-old, playing her first AJGA event, said her game came together after making par on the 510-yard, par-5 fourth hole.

"I played well after I got used to the course," she said. "I didn't come for a practice round, so starting off I felt awkward because I wasn't used to the greens."

Though she placed first in the qualifier, King said she tried to keep her attitude light about the event.

"This is my first qualifier," she said. "I was just here to have fun."

Two other girls qualified for the tournament, including Alexis Etow of Lake Forest, Calif., at 81, and Allison Goodman of San Diego, Calif., at 82.

The AJGA Marshallia Ranch Junior Classic features 84 players, both boys and girls, from nine states with a majority of the field from California. The 54-hole event features Polo Golf Junior All-American and defending champion Tyler Ley of Santa Barbara, Calif.

First-round action begins July 23 at 6:30 a.m. off the No. 1 and 10 tees of the Marshallia Ranch Golf Course.

For more information about the AJGA Marshallia Ranch Junior Classic, please call tournament headquarters at (805) 734-4764, or visit the Association's Web site at ajga.org.

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