MCCARTHY, SEBET TIE AT 70 TO CLAIM FIRST AJGA QUALIFIER
Kim, Kotowski, co-medalists at 2-over-par 74 in Srixon Qualifier Series
STOW, Mass. — Thomas McCarthy of Tolland, Conn., and Matt Sebet of Westwood, Mass., co-medalists at the Fidelity Investments Junior Classic Srixon Qualifier Series, shot 2-under-par 70s to clinch victory. Lois Kim of Bayside, N.Y., and Meredith Kotowski of Marion, Mass., qualified in the Girls Division as co-medalists, tied at 74.
The Srixon Qualifier Series, an 18-hole event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, was held at the Stow Acres Country Club — South Course. One hundred junior golfers — 80 boys and 20 girls — from 18 states, including 29 from Massachusetts, competed in the event.
Playing in his first AJGA Srixon Qualifier Series, Sebet had four birdies and two bogeys on the round. He said his momentum boost for the round came on No. 2 after a 180-yard approach shot lipped out and he had a tap-in for birdie.
“It got me going,” he said. “It's one of the toughest holes on the course. I had six holes left after that and pared all of them.”
McCarthy said despite having more than 30 putts, he was able to manage a 2-under-par 70 by his tee shots and approach shots — he said he hit 15 greens.
“Off the tee I was really solid — it kept going in the fairway,” he said. “I was hitting my irons solid, too. I hit the ball really well today.”
Also qualifying for the tournament was Jeff Hatten of Farmington, Conn., Reid Longley of Atlanta, Ga., Kyle Sonday of Cary, N.C., Rikiya Kitagawa of Bradenton, Fla., Scott Wheeler of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., Andrew Kay of Pittsford, N.Y., Nicholas Carroll of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Chris Dejohn of Rocky Hill, Conn. Anthony Kuey of Chappaqua, N.Y., David Chung of Berkeley Heights, N.J., Aaron Hwang of Port Washington, N.Y., and Jimmy Henebry of Hampton Falls, N.H., were qualifiers after a sudden-death playoff for those tied at 75.
However, Hatten, Kitagawa and Wheeler chose to opt out in lieu of accepting a Tournament Exemption toward their Performance Based Entry status.
Kim, the Girls Division medalist at last year's Fidelity Investments Junior Classic Srixon Qualifier Series, was co-medalist this year. With last year's win under her belt, she said she came in expecting to do well.
“I was pretty confident, even though last year was a different course,” she said. “This course wasn't that long — I had a lot of short irons to the green.”
Kotowski, co-medalist in the Girls Division, said after she played a practice round for the qualifier, she knew she would have to hit fairways and greens to score well.
“I was trying not to put too much pressure on myself,” she said. “I tried to play every shot as it came. I was just concentrating on not getting too excited about a good shot and not getting down on a bad shot.”
In addition to Kim and Kotowski, Victoria Kidder of Boston, Mass., Samantha Tejada of Ashland, Mass., Robyn English of Warwick, R.I., and Alexandra Hanlon of Hingham, Mass., qualified in the Girls Division.
English also chose to opt out in lieu of accepting a Tournament Exemption toward her Performance Based Entry status.
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 on Fidelity Investments Junior Classic, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (808) 869-9900.