LEE SEIZES TOP SPOT IN QUALIFIER AT SOUTHERN OAKS GOLF CLUB
Arnold and Paxton share medalist honors at Elbit Systems of America Junior Golf Classic
FORT WORTH, Texas — Ricky Lee of Tucson, Ariz., posted a 1-under-par 71 in the AJGA qualifier for the Elbit Systems of America Junior Golf Classic on Sunday. Katie Paxton of Spring, Texas, and Hannah Arnold of Lufkin, Texas, tied for the top honors in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Qualifier for the Elbit Systems of America Junior Golf Classic was an 18-hole stroke play event held at the Southern Oaks Golf Club. The 98-player field featured players from 12 states. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 7,145 yards while the Girls Division played at 6,115 yards.
Lee felt sick for the first three holes, yet he pressed on. Concentrating on his golf game and not his illness he gutted out back-to-back birdies on Nos. 11 and 12. Lee totaled four birdies on the day and 11 pars. He showed a level of maturity by not giving up before the round was complete.
“I felt like withdrawing I was so sick, but when I realized that I was 2-under-par I just tried to finish,” the 16-yr-old Lee said. “I'm just happy to be playing in the tournament.”
These players also earned spots in the Elbit Systems of America Junior Golf Classic. Colby Webb of Burleson, Texas, Kyle Bodin of Austin, Texas, Vincent Anagnos of Round Rock, Texas, John Newberry, Jr., of Austin, Texas, Brandon Liu of St. Albans, Mo., David Klaudt of Dallas, Yi-Hsiu Luo of Winchendon, Mass., Brandon Cauldwell of Ozark, Mo., Michael Williams of Purcell, Okla., Chase Adams of Dallas, William Dusenbury of League City, Texas, Scooter Ransbottom of Midlothian, Texas, Brandon Pederson of Austin, Texas, and Chris Patrick of Houston.
Qualifying for the tournament but opting to take the Tournament Exemption were: Jeremy LeGuen of Highland Village, Texas, Ryan Hadash of Katy, Texas, Kyle Lewis of Shawnee, Okla., Paden Peek of Texarkana, Texas, Marcos Martinez of The Woodlands, Texas, Asa Manor of Trophy Club, Texas, Parker Hensley of San Antonio, Jack Lempke of Frisco, Texas, Ryan Prasad of The Woodlands, Texas, Lee Brimberry of San Marcos, Texas, and Scott D'Anna of Shreveport, La.
In the Girls Division, Paxton and Arnold shot matching 2-over par 74s to reign as co-medalists. Paxton had 12 pars and two birdies on her way to the top of the leaderboard. Paxton was not dissuaded by the difficulty of the course.
“I really liked the course set-up,” Paxton said. “I didn't hit that many greens; I just had a good putting day.”
Arnold just enjoyed the walk today. Making only 35 strokes on the front nine and notching 11 pars combined with two birdies on the day, Arnold was consistent.
“I liked that the course didn't take driver out of your hands,” Arnold said. “You could hit the ball anywhere you wanted out there.”
Paxton opted to take a Tournament Exemption instead of playing this week. Patricia Lee of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and Jenny Kang of Houston qualified and will play.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership — boys and girls ages 12-18 — of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
The opening round of the Elbit Systems of America Junior Golf Classic will be Tuesday, June 24 with tee times starting off the No. 1 tee at 7 a.m. For more information about the Elbit Systems of America Junior Golf Classic, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 617-3050.