JUNIORS VIE FOR REMAINING SPOTS AT TAYLORMADE-adidas GOLF JUNIOR AT CHATEAU ELAN
BRASELTON, Ga. -- Sungwon Jeon took advantage of picture-perfect conditions during Sunday morning's qualifying tournament, shooting a 67 to lead all qualifiers vying for entry into the American Junior Golf Association's 10th annual TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan, set for April 18-20 at Chateau Elan Resort.
More than 170 juniors battled for 18 Boys Division spots and five Girls Division spots on the Chateau Course at Chateau Elan Resort. The 23 juniors join a field that includes 31 Polo Golf Junior All-Americans, including Polo Golf Girls Junior Player of the Year In-Bee Park.
Jeon's 4-under-par 67 came in the first of two qualifiers held Sunday. A native of South Korea who has resided in Florida the last two years, Jeon said landing his approach shots close to the hole led to his five birdies.
In addition to Jeon, seven other boys survived the morning qualifier. Mac Michals of Concord, N.C., shot a 72, while knotted at 73 were Seth Brandon of Dalton, Ga., Michael Saari of Lilburn, Ga., Tal Everett of Sea Island, Ga., Adam Lambright of Easley, S.C., Robert Womble of Raleigh, N.C., and Andrew Freeman of Jensen Beach, Fla.
Abigale Schepperle of Hoover, Ala., qualified by firing a round of 5-over-par 76 to grab the top spot in the Girls Division.
Schepperle was joined by her younger sister Candace, whose 79 tied for second with Cindy Phillips of Johnson City, Tenn. Emily Simpson of Rutherfordton, N.C., put together an 80 to stand alone in fourth, while Sarasota, Fla., native Valerie Tan outlasted Laura Goodwin of Birmingham, Ala., and Kelly White of Moore, S.C., in a sudden-death playoff to grab the fifth spot.
"I hit a bunch of fairways, and my driver and irons off the tee probably were the best part of my game today," the elder Schepperle said.
The afternoon qualifier saw a three-way tie for first with even-par performances from Chase MacFarland of Savannah, Ga., Chris Smith of Alpharetta, Ga., and John Turnipseed of Rainbow City, Ala. The three co-leaders were joined by Joshua Chong of Alpharetta, Ga., and Patrick Gordon of Vincent, Ala., who both fired 2-over 73.
Deadlocked at 74 were eight players who broke the tie with a sudden-death playoff. The five top finishers of the playoff were Robbie Leonard of Moon Township, Pa., Kyle Lindgren of Marietta, Ga., Brian Miller of Rock Face, Ga., Jon Birdsong of Atlanta and Anthony Richey of Anderson, S.C.
The TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Chateau Elan is a 36-hole stroke play tournament being played on the Woodlands and Chateau courses at Chateau Elan Resort next weekend.