JACOBS EAGLES WAY TO ONE-SHOT VICTORY AT KING'S DEER GOLF CLUB
Johnston putts way into tournament field, earns medalist honors and two-shot victory
MONUMENT, Colo. — When Carson Jacobs of Hendersonville, Tenn., came to Colorado for his yearly summer visit to his grandmother's house, little did he know he would be returning to Tennessee with medalist honors and a one-shot victory in the Boys Division of the K12 Qualifier at King's Deer Golf Club after shooting a 4-under-par 67. In the Girls Division, Allie Johnston of nearby Castle Rock, Colo., shot 4-over-par 75, securing a two-shot victory and a birth into the Colorado Junior at Flying Horse in what she called a pleasant surprise, saying that she really didn't think 75 would be good enough for the victory.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the K12 Qualifier for the Colorado Junior at Flying Horse was an 18-hole stroke play event held at King's Deer Golf Club. The tournament field featured 39 boys and 13 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states and Taiwan. The Boys Division played the par-71 course from a distance of 6,673 yards, while the Girls Division played to the tune of 5,852 yards.
Ką˛ Qualifiers give juniors an opportunity to "play their way in" to coinciding AJGA Open tournaments or earn a Tournament Exemption or Performance Star for a future event. The Ką˛ Qualifier Series offers opportunities for AJGA juniors at approximately 50 AJGA Open events, and this K12 Qualifier was no exception, giving nine tournament entries in the Boys Division and two entries in the Girls Division.
Jacobs, a rising sophomore, started on No. 16 and birdied two of his first four holes, jumping out to a hot start before cooling off with two bogeys to push him up to even-par heading into No. 10. However, Jacobs didn't let the two frustrating bogeys derail his round, finishing the final six in 4-under-par, which was kickstarted when he drained a lengthy 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 No. 10.
“Being 2-under through five was good, but I played my last six at 4-under because I finally started making some putts,” Jacobs said. “I hit the ball really good all day. I hit 16 of 18 greens, so I had a lot of great looks and figured if I hit it close enough, it'll go in eventually and it did.”
Jacobs, who decided to play in the event after realizing that he would be in Colorado at his grandmother's house 30 minutes away, won't be playing in the Colorado Junior at Flying Horse, instead opting to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption. Joining Jacobs in opting out were Jonathan Rego of San Dimas, Calif., Chase Griggs of Edmond, Okla., and Drew Ferguson of Belgrade, Mont.
While four players elected to take Tournament Exemptions, nine players stamped their names into Wednesday's pairings. Those that will be teeing it up are David Oraee of Greeley, Colo., Richard Schneider of Beemer, Neb., Cameron Harrell and Adam Vasilakis of Colorado Springs, Colo., Danny Boylen III of Monument, Colo., Jackson Giro of Fort Collins, Colo., Tanner Jenson of Parker, Colo., Eric Hallberg of Castle Rock, Colo., and Ricky Lee of Tucson, Ariz.
Johnston thought she could have chipped much better, but despite struggling with her chipping, she had the flat stick working early and often in what she said was her best putting day ever. That great putting day was complete when she drained two solid birdie putts on Nos. 5 and 9, placing her atop the leaderboard and locking up her spot in the nearby Colorado Junior at Flying Horse.
“I had a good round today. I made a lot of putts and saved a lot of strokes,” Johnston said. “I didn't chip as well as I would have liked, but I made a ton of putts, so it's all good because that's all that matters.”
Johnston will be joined by a fellow rising sophomore Colorado native in the field, as Shinwoo Lee of Aurora, Colo., also qualified for tournament play with a 6-over-par round of 77.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
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.
Ką˛ Inc., a technology-based education company, is the nation's leading provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs to students in grades K-12. Ką˛ provides its curriculum and academic services to online schools, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and directly to families. Over 55,000 students in 23 states and the District of Columbia are enrolled in online public schools that use the Ką˛ program. Ką˛ Inc. also operates the Ką˛ International Academy, an accredited, diploma-granting online private school serving students worldwide. The Ką˛ academic program is used by many young people pursuing careers in athletics, music, art, acting, and other professions that require a high degree of scheduling flexibility. More information can be found at www.k12.com.
The first round of the Colorado Junior at Flying Horse will begin play off the first tee Wednesday, June 3, from 7 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. at The Club at Flying Horse. For more information about the Colorado Junior at Flying Horse, please contact Tournament Director Jeremy Freyman at (678) 617-9917.