HOUSTON TRIO SURVIVES GUSTY CONDITIONS,
LEADS WITH OPENING ROUND 73s
Final round Sunday will decide who is awarded valuable AJGA tournament exemptions
LAGUNA VISTA, TEXAS - Zach Almandoz, Brandon Eaton and Blake Nommensen, all of Houston, Texas, share the lead heading into the final round of the AJGA Ashworth Postseason Junior at South Padre Island. Each fired 1-over-par 73 while contending with gusting winds and firm conditions.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ashworth Postseason Junior at South Padre Island, which is being held at South Padre Island Golf Club, features 55 junior boys from six states. Forty-five players in the field hail from the Lone Star State.
Almandoz (38-35-73), 18, stayed steady off the tee, which he said contributed to his score. He said in order to be successful during the final round he will need to do the same Sunday.
"Out here, with the wind and the fairways being pretty hard, driving is at a premium," he explained. "My driver bit me a few times on a few holes, and my scores showed it. I think I will be using 3-wood and irons off the tee a little more tomorrow."
Eaton (36-37-73), 17, depended on consistent overall play to get him around in 73, he said. In his first AJGA event, just being in the position to gain exemptions is what drives him to play well.
"I don't want to do anything stupid tomorrow," he said. "It will mean a lot to get some exemptions and get a chance to play in the big AJGA events. I want to go to college, so if I get some coaches out to see me, it will mean a lot."
Nommensen (35-38-73), 14, may be one of the smallest players in the field, but has a short game that took him all the way to the top of the leaderboard. At 90 lbs and 5-feet tall, his dynamic short game is what typically keeps him close with older players.
"At my size, I don't expect to hit a lot of greens," he said. "So my short game has to be good. I've never had a chance to play in a tournament this big, so I don't think I'll be too nervous, but I'll still have a lot to think about on my way to the first tee."
Danny Hoffenberg of Simi Valley, Calif., and Douglas Schnitzer of Houston, Texas, round out the top five after shooting 2-over-par 74s.
The tournament will award three AJGA Open tournament exemptions to the medalist(s), two to those who place in the top five, and one to those who finish in the top 15. In an effort to give the most future playing opportunities to juniors, the event will not have a playoff to break ties.
The AJGA Ashworth Preseason/Postseason Junior Series is a boys-only series designed specifically for first-time AJGA members or those who have yet to compete in an AJGA Open event, AJGA Invitational or AJGA Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series event. For those who are eligible, participation is limited to one Preseason event and one Postseason event per calendar year as long as the junior did not participate in any of the above events.
The series is now in its fourth year and has grown to 10 events nationally, all conducted by the AJGA. Other Postseason events will also be taking place in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Hagerstown, Md., Gainesville, Fla., and Norman, Okla.
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 a junior membership of approximately 5,000 juniors (boys and girls ages 13-18) from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
The final round will be an 8 a.m. shotgun start Sunday, September 28 at South Padre Island Golf Club.
For more information about the AJGA Ashworth Postseason Junior at South Padre Island, please contact Steve Ethun, AJGA media official, in AJGA tournament headquarters at (678) 617-2424.
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - First Round results from the Ashworth Postseason Junior at South Padre Island conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at South Padre Island Golf Club. Par: 36-36-72. Yardage: 6,536.
T1 Zach Almandoz, Houston, Texas (2004) 38-35-73
T1 Brandon Eaton, Houston, Texas (2005) 36-37-73
T1 Blake Nommensen, Houston, Texas (2007) 35-38-73
T4 Danny Hoffenberg, Simi Valley, Calif. (2005) 38-36-74
T4 Douglas Schnitzer, Houston, Texas (2006) 40-34-74
T6 Brian Miskell, Blue Jay, Calif. (2006) 40-35-75
T6 Wil Keener, Plano, Texas (2005) 36-39-75
T6 Travis Olson, Houston, Texas (2006) 35-40-75
T9 Justin Bond, Rockwall, Texas (2005) 37-39-76
T9 Matt Muscara, Livermore, Calif. (2004) 34-42-76
T11 Robert Budenbender, Citrus Heights, Calif. (2006) 38-39-77
T11 Louis Tosches, Grafton, Mass. (2005) 41-36-77
T11 Christopher Pan, Austin, Texas (2004) 37-40-77
T11 Marcus Pennington, The Woodlands, Texas (2005) 39-38-77
15 Sean Burch, Edinburg, Texas (2004) 41-37-78
16 Austin Traweek, Cypress, Texas (2005) 40-39-79
T17 Spence Miller, Dallas, Texas (2005) 41-39-80
T17 Marc Sambol, Dallas, Texas (2007) 38-42-80
T17 Travis Wadkins, Dallas, Texas (2006) 39-41-80
T17 Cameron Fanning, Houston, Texas (2008) 40-40-80
T17 Sean Skellenger, League City, Texas (2006) 42-38-80
T22 Matthew Schneider, Pasadena, Texas (2006) 39-42-81
T22 Hunter Stensrud, Dallas, Texas (2007) 40-41-81
T22 Paul Harrelson, Wichita Falls, Texas (2004) 40-41-81
T25 Clint Keller, Dallas, Texas (2007) 43-39-82
T25 Matthew Simmons, Katy, Texas (2007) 37-45-82
T25 Ryan Byk, Austin, Texas (2005) 39-43-82
T25 Cameron Nofi, Austin, Texas (2005) 42-40-82
T29 Agapito Ortega, Jr., San Benito, Texas (2004) 38-45-83
T29 Jarrod Burt, Huffman, Texas (2005) 37-46-83
T29 Reed Howard, Greenwich, Conn. (2005) 41-42-83
T29 Andrew Maryan, Houston, Texas (2005) 39-44-83
T33 Patrick Reed, San Antonio, Texas (2008) 44-41-85
T33 Ernesto Gutierrez, Brownsville, Texas (2006) 45-40-85
T33 Tyler Barnard, Houston, Texas (2005) 41-44-85
T33 Matt Gilbert, Austin, Texas (2006) 44-41-85
37 Brian Sullivan, Austin, Texas (2005) 40-46-86
38 Joseph Lucio, Brownsville, Texas (2008) 45-42-87
T39 Tony Melton, Marionville, Mo. (2005) 44-44-88
T39 Edward Dale, Dallas, Texas (2007) 45-43-88
T41 Evan Thompson, Houston, Texas (2004) 47-42-89
T41 Brock Wilson, Beaumont, Texas (2009) 42-47-89
T41 Rick Dunlap, Dallas, Texas (2005) 46-43-89
44 August Toudouze, San Antonio, Texas (2007) 45-45-90
45 Jonathan Decker, Citrus Heights, Calif. (2006) 45-46-91
T46 Tyler Russell, Cypress, Texas (2005) 42-50-92
T46 Justin Lavine, Sugar Land, Texas (2008) 43-49-92
T46 John Massoth, Austin, Texas (2005) 41-51-92
T46 Luis Gonzalez, Brownsville, Texas (2006) 46-46-92
50 Merrill Russell, Austin, Texas (2005) 45-48-93
T51 Jason Saldivar, Brownsville, Texas (2008) 46-49-95
T51 Matthew Steitz, Houston, Texas (2006) 48-47-95
53 Shannon Vandivier, Austin, Texas (2005) 50-52-102
54 Andrew Church, Austin, Texas (2006) 58-48-106
Brett Verner, San Antonio, Texas (2005) WD (Illness)
Chase Neyland, Plano, Texas (2006) DQ (Rule 6-3a)