SHIPMAN, PORTER SHARE MEDALIST HONORS IN AUSTIN
Sepmoree takes Girls Division at K12 Qualifier for the Stars of Texas Junior presented by Party City
AUSTIN, Texas — Doug Shipman of Spring, Texas, and Matt Porter of Seymour, Texas, both carded an even-par 72 to take co-medalist honors in the Boys Division of the K12 Qualifier for the Stars of Texas Junior presented by Party City. Katelyn Sepmoree of Tyler, Texas, took home honors in the Girls Division after shooting a 5-over-par 77 at The Hills Country Club — Flintrock Falls Course.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the K12 Qualifier for the Stars of Texas Junior presented by Party City was an 18-hole stroke play event held at The Hills Country Club — Flintrock Falls Course. The field featured 50 boys and seven girls, age 13-18, from seven states and Mexico. The par-72 course was played at 6,804 yards for the Boys Division and 6,086 yards for the Girls Division. 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.
Shipman, who will play in this week's Stars of Texas Junior presented by Party City, felt his round was solid after carding an equal amount of birdies and bogeys on the day. The 16-year-old's day was jumpstarted by his birdies on Nos. 2 and 4, after starting the shotgun format on No. 1, and kept him going throughout the round. He's going into the week in search of one thing.
“I want to win,” Shipman said. “This course is tough for driving the ball, but if you put it in the right places on the green, you give yourself a lot of birdie opportunities.
Porter's goal for his round — break 80 — was far surpassed after carding four birdies on the day. The 16-year-old started off of No. 11 and quickly found himself at 2-under-par through six holes. However, a double bogey on the par-3 No. 17 took him back to even-par going toward the front nine. After recording bogeys on Nos. 3 and 6, Porter was looking to finish his round strong and did just that starting on No. 7 with his first of two consecutive birdies.
“I wanted to give myself the chance to birdie on seven because I knew that No. 8 would be an easy hole to birdie,” Porter said. “Those back-to-back birdies were the highlight of my day and I feel like I didn't really mess up at all during the round.”
Also qualifying to play in the Stars of Texas Junior presented by Party City for the Boys Division are Carl Jonson of Bainbridge Island, Wash., Scott Sweeney of Lake Charles, La., Greg Polledri of Southlake, Texas, Michael McCall of Austin, Texas, Kevin Wang of The Woodlands, Texas, Andrew Rostek of Sugar Land, Texas, Blake Fulton of Amarillo, Texas, and Chester Wang of The Woodlands. Trent Boudoin of Port Arthur, Texas, Trevis Loree of San Antonio, Scott Terrell of Houston, Jonathan Beatty of Montgomery, Texas, and William Martinez of Austin, all qualified via a sudden-death playoff.
Opting to take one AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event along with Porter were Logan Boatner of Humble, Texas, Luke Kwon of Carrollton, Texas, Joseph Abella of Plano, Texas, Colby Webb of Burleson, Texas, Kevin Webber of Coto De Caza, Calif., and Michael Clapp of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
Sepmoree started her round on No. 17 and stayed consistent on the front nine with an even-par 36. She carded her lone birdie of the day on the par-4 No. 11. The recent high school graduate, who will play for the University of Texas in the fall, will play in this week's tournament, which will also be her last AJGA event.
“I didn't play well in the San Antonio event and I really want to end my AJGA career on a good note,” Sepmoree said. “I feel like this course sets up well for my driver and I'm very strong off the tee. I think I'll play well this week.”
Also qualifiying to play in this week's event are Katy Kile also of Montgomery, Katie Grady of Mansfield, Texas, Emily Wickstrom of Austin, and Taylor O'Rear of Salado, Texas. Jinny Kim of Coppell, Texas, also qualified but chose not to play in the event, as the opt-out policy was not in effect for the Girls Division.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First-round tee times for the Stars of Texas Junior presented by Part City will run from 7:30 a.m. — 9:09 a.m. (first wave) and 12:15 — 1:54 p.m. (second wave) off the Nos. 1 and 10 tee at The Hills Country Club — Flintrock Falls Course. For more information, please contact Tournament Director A.J. Donaldson at (678) 386-1487.