KIRCHER EARNS MEDALIST HONORS
Rogers and Sobolewski tie for low in Girls Division
MENDON, N.Y. — Benton Kircher of Pittsford, N.Y., shot a Final Round 2-over-par 73 to finish the Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA with a tournament total of 2-over-par 144. Alina Rogers of Richmond Hill, Ontario and Rene Sobolewski of Buffalo, N.Y., tied to earn medalist honors with two-day totals of 162.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA was a 36-hole stroke play event held at The Country Club of Mendon. The tournament field consisted of 78 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18, from 12 states, Canada and Colombia. The Boys Division played the par-71 course at 6,572 yards, while the Girls Division played the par-73 course at 6,072 yards.
The Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA is one of eight events being held as part of the Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series. The Golf Academy of America Preseason Junior Series is a series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those members who have not yet been accepted to or participated in an AJGA event in the current calendar year and/or the previous calendar year.
Kircher finished the First Round in the lead and took that confidence into day two. A member of the undefeated McQuaid Jesuit High School Knights, Kircher keeps his game sharp with good competition from his teammates and special attention to his short game. Kircher got up and down seven times en route to his first AJGA win.
“I hit my iron short on No.1 and had a bad lie in front of the bunker,” said Kircher. “But I made the chip to three feet to save par.”
Stephane Dubois of Brantford, Ontario, finished in second with a 7-over-par 149. Blayze Di Pasquale, of Richboro, Pa., finished with a 10-over-par 152 for third. In fourth was Sean Bosdosh of Clarksburg, Md., with a tournament total of 11-over-par 153. Tied for fifth were Gajan Sivabalasingham of Ballantrae, Ontario, Greg Jarmas of Wynnewood, Pa., Pierce Terrance of Tonawanda, N.Y., Peter Eiler of Holland, Pa., and Patrick Cansfield of Port Huron, Mich.
Having played consistently in the First Round, Rogers had to change her game to adjust to the gusty wind conditions. Rogers nearly made birdie on the par-5 No. 16 when she hit an approach shot with a 9-iron to 10 feet but missed the putt. The back nine was a struggle for Rogers, with longer shots to the green and strong wind conditions, but she was able to save her game with her putting.
“The greens were hard to read but they had great speed to them,” said Rogers. “They just really fit my putting game.”
Sobolewski started on No. 10 with a good par but struggled with a three putt on No. 11 and finished the back nine 8-over. With six holes to go, Sobolewski decided to change her luck by changing her ball. After a switch to a new PROV1, she carded two birdies on Nos. 4 and 7.
“I hit my irons too well today,” said Sobolewski. “I left myself with some tough downhill putts.”
Bailey Cocca finished third in the Girls Division with a tournament total of 165.
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 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, 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
Golf Academy of America, with campuses located in San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando and Myrtle Beach, is the oldest and largest two-year golf career college in the world. GAA's 16-month program balances classroom studies, practical experience and comprehensive understanding of the business of golf. For more information, call 800-342-7342 or visit http://www.golfacademy.edu. For more information about the Preseason Junior at Rochester presented by Wegmans LPGA please contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.