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Srixon Qualifier Series
White Hawk Country Club - Red Hawk and Black Hawk Courses
Crown Point, Ind. • July 4, 2005

Boys Division qualifiers determined by four-way tie and playoff lit by fireworks

CROWN POINT, Ind. — Andrea Ratigan of Tucson, Ariz., ran away with the Girls Division of the Srixon Qualifier Series at Indiana's Chicago Junior Open with a 72, outdistancing her nearest competitor by 10 strokes. Celebrating the Fourth of July with a four-way tie at 73 in the Boys Division were Bobby Caplin of St. Louis, Mo., Brady Keegan of Eau Claire, Wis., Pete Tomkie of DeWitt, Mich., and Ryan Williams of Scottsdale, Ariz.

The Srixon Qualifier Series, an 18-hole event conducted by the AJGA, is being held at the White Hawk Country Club — Red Hawk & Black Hawk Courses. Eighty-four junior golfers from 14 states, including eight from Indiana and 36 from Illinois, competed in the event. Players started on the first holes of both the Red Hawk and Black Hawk Courses.

Ratigan, a rising senior, flew to Indiana for the week because she wants to attend college in the Midwest. She said trees and grass in the fairways forced her to slightly alter her game strategy.

“I have to hit farther in the air because there's not as much roll as in Arizona,” she said. “I just wanted to qualify. I like golf; I love to play, tournament or not.”

Rebecca Lederhausen of Hinsdale, Ill., was second in the Girls Division with an 82 followed by Alexandra Lederhausen of Hinsdale, Ill., one stroke behind with an 83.

The Lederhausens chose to opt out of the tournament in lieu of accepting a tournament exemption for their Performance Based Entry Status.

Also competing in the Indiana's Chicago Junior Open this week will be Carissa Burdi of Carol Stream, Ill., with an 84; Anne Ormson of Granger, Ind., with an 85; and Megan Trachok of Pittsburgh, Pa., who scored an 86.

Despite windy conditions and tough fescue, Keegan said he chose to take a few risks.

“I went for everything today. I hit my driver on a couple of holes I shouldn't have, but it worked out okay,” he said.

Tomkie said he hopes to break into the top-15 at the tournament this week.

“I tried to shoot around even. I thought some holes on the back nine were tougher,” he said. “I just tried to keep it in the fairway and putt well. The greens were tough and the wind was tough.”

Heading into the qualifier, Williams said he wanted to shoot a 75. At the turn, he was 1-under-par, but recorded a double bogey on his 13th hole, No. 4 on the Red Hawk Course. He said strong putting helped him finish at 1-over-par.

“Ten and four were really deceiving holes,” he said. “My putting was key. I made some five to eight-footers and easily could've shot 78 to 80 if they wouldn't have fallen.”

A back injury last year kept Caplin off the course for almost 10 months, but he said the time off and practice during the winter boosted his mental game. Regardless, knowing he had to try to place a shot onto the “island green,” which is surrounded by water on No. 6 of the Black Hawk Course, was on his mind all day.

“I was nervous the whole time,” he said. “But I hit the green and two putted in for par. It was a lot of weight lifted off.”

Tied for fifth place at 74 were Ronald Owen of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Scott Schuitema of Muskegon, Mich. With 3-over-par 75s and tied for seventh were Jack Newman of Des Moines, Iowa, Ravi Patel of Naperville, Ill., and Matthew Cermak of Chicago, Ill. Sam Bettinardi of Tinley Park, Ill., and Kyle Thomas of Fishers, Ind., ended the day with 76s. Trip Wray, III of Westwood, Mass., and Ryan Weinhaus of Chesterfield, Mo., tied for eleventh at 77.

Keegan, Williams, Owen, Schuitema, Bettinardi and Thomas chose to opt out of the tournament in lieu of accepting a tournament exemption for their Performance Based Entry Status. Zachary Kozuchowski of Fraser, Mich., qualified with a 6-over-par 78. One stroke behind with a 79 was Ryan Kolesar of Midland, Mich. Scoring 8-over-par 80s and surviving a seven-person playoff that finished as local firework displays were beginning were Ryan Szumski of Rockford, Mich., and Scott Vasko of Westerville, Ohio.

SRIXON Sports USA, Inc., based in Norcross, Ga., has been distributing premium golf balls and equipment in the U.S. since 1997 and is a subsidiary of SRI Sports. SRI Sports is one of the world's leading patent holders in golf ball technology and manufactures several golf balls played in the United States. SRI Sports-made balls have won 73 PGA TOUR events since 1989, including seven majors. For more information about SRIXON, please visit www.srixon.com.

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 (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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.

AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir, Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Beth Bauer.

For more information on Indiana's Chicago Junior Open, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (219) 661-2323.