HWANG SHOOTS 2-UNDER-PAR; QUALIFIES FOR LESSING'S AJGA CLASSIC
Sheldon, Atcheson tie at 76 to qualify for tournament
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — Kyoo Hwang of Ellicott City, Md., posted the low score for the Boys Division with a 2-under-par 70 to be the medalist in the Srixon Qualifier Series for the Lessing's AJGA Classic. Claire Sheldon of Milton, Mass., and Lauren Atcheson of Orlando, Fla., shared medalist honors tied at 4-over-par 76.
The Srixon Qualifier Series, an 18-hole event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, was held at the Eisenhower Park Golf Course — White Course. One hundred four junior golfers from 14 states, including 44 from New York, competed in the event.
Hwang had two bogeys and four birdies in his qualifier round, which gave him the medal by two strokes. He said, although he shot under par, the course was challenging for him.
“The course was pretty short, but tough,” Hwang said. “There were narrow fairways and lots of bunkers.”
He said he hit his short-mid irons well, which helped him to medal, but knows exactly what he needs to do to be successful in the tournament.
“I hit pretty well with my irons and stuck some putts,” he said. “But I need to work on hitting my driver and improve on making short putts.”
Qualifying in addition to Hwang are: Jason Bernstein of Paoli, Pa., with par 72, Aaron Hwang of Port Washington, N.Y., with a 1-over-par 73, Sam Horowitz of Hewlett, N.Y., and Antonio Grillo of Vineyard Haven, Mass., made the cut with a 2-over-par 74. Brian Cady of Rye, N.Y., also qualified in a sudden-death playoff with a 3-over-par 75.
Bernstein, however, chose to opt out of the tournament in lieu of accepting a tournament exemption for his Performance Based Entry Status.
Atcheson, competing in her first Srixon Qualifer for the AJGA this summer, scored a 4-over-par 76 to share the lead in the Girls Division with Sheldon. Atcheson said she succeeding in hitting her long irons to the greens, which helped lead her to her first qualifier victory.
“My iron shots were better than anything. I hit a lot more greens than usual,” she said. “I was able to get it up and down a lot, which was helpful.”
Sheldon, who carded a 4-over-par 76, said she got off to a good start by posting one birdie and three pars in her first four holes. She said the bogeys she did take were on tough holes.
“It definitely helped my confidence,” she said. “From that moment on, I knew I could play well the rest of the day. The bogeys I had, I can't complain about.”
Also qualifying in the Girls Division for the Lessing's AJGA Classic are Marisa Kamelgarn of Mahopac, N.Y., with a 5-over-par 77, Carly Nathanson of Dix Hills, N.Y., with a 6-over-par 78, and Dani Mullin of West Islip, N.Y., who scored a 7-over-par 79.
Kamelgam also chose to opt out of the tournament in lieu of accepting a tournament exemption for her Performance Based Entry Status.
In Saturday's qualifier, seven players in the Boys Division qualified out of a 52-player field. They were medalist, Drew Murray of Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., Nick Gliozzo of Colts Neck, N.J., Eric Cohen of Old Westbury, N.Y., Paul Park of Wayne, N.J., Jacob Gorelick of Ridgefield, Conn., Timothy Pawul of East Setauket, N.Y., and Clayton Lord of Fairfield, Conn.
SRIXON Sports USA, Inc., based in Norcross, Ga., has been distributing premium golf balls and equipment in the U.S. since 1997 and is a subsidiary of SRI Sports. SRI Sports is one of the world's leading patent holders in golf ball technology and manufactures several golf balls played in the United States. SRI Sports-made balls have won 73 PGA TOUR events since 1989, including seven majors. For more information about SRIXON, please visit www.srixon.com.
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, the largest Association of its kind, 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 USA, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural 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, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.
For more information about Lessing's AJGA Classic, call tournament headquarters at (678) 227-9191.