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Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Highlands Course
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
June 29, 2003

Thirteen boys and two girls qualify for championship

LAKE GENEVA, Wis.-Rui Takamatsu of Rowland Heights, Calif., fired a 2-under-par 69 to take top honors in the Boys Division of the Midwest Junior Players Championship Qualifier. Catherina Wang of Sarasota, Fla., scored a 77 to clinch the top spot in the Girls Division.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the tournament qualifier allowed 15 juniors to earn a spot into the 54-hole championship event, which runs Tuesday through Thursday in Lake Geneva, Wis.

The event will feature 99 players representing 26 states. The Midwest Junior Players Championship has not been held since 1998, when it completed a seven-year run at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa.

Takamatsu secured his spot by recording three birdies on the front nine. His only bogey of the day came after he missed a two-footer for par on the No. 16 hole.

"My goal for today was to play my best," the 16-year-old said. "I don't want to say I hope to shoot a 69 again for the tournament, but I'll do my best."

Daniel Woltman of Beaver Dam, Wis., carded a 1-under-par 70 to finish in second. Woltman had three birdies on the day and hopes to play just as solid in his first AJGA championship as he did in the qualifier.

"I want to shoot three-under for the tournament and have a chance to win," the 16-year-old said.

Chris Bouchard of Zion, Ill., and Bo Cromelin of Chevy Chase, Md., carded even-par 71s to tie for third place. Eric Shields of Madison, Wis., scored a 1-over-par 72 for fifth place.

Also qualifying in the Boys Division with 73s were Joe Palmer of Union, Ill., Ryan Smith of Victoria, Minn., and Mike Ott of Highland Park, Ill.

Seven players tied at 74 to force a sudden-death playoff to determine the final five spots in the Boys Division. Ted Gray of Oshkosh, Wis., Craig Cerbins of Portage, Wis., Jim Neville of Sterling, Ill., Jeff Doan of Viroqua, Wis., and Jared Steger of Northfield, Ill., advanced after the second playoff hole to secure their places in the championship.

In the Girls Division, Wang came in three shots ahead of her fellow competitors to secure her first-place position. This will be Wang's first AJGA tournament.

"It felt really good to win," Wang said. "I drove it pretty well and had a birdie on No. 2. I hope to place in the top five of the tournament."

Katherine Laegeler of Decatur, Ill., secured a second place finish in the Girls Division after winning in a sudden-death playoff. Laegeler sank a birdie putt on the first hole of the playoff to clinch her spot.

First-round tee times will begin at 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday off the No. 1 tee at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Highlands Course.
For more information on the Midwest Junior Players Championship contact tournament headquarters at (800) 558-3417, Rm.7219.