SHIM, CAPLINGER SHOOT PAR, CLAIM MEDALIST HONORS
Tallman receives Medalist honors in Girls Division at Hanmi Bank Junior Open Srixon Qualifier
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. β David Caplinger of Indio, Calif., and James Shim of El Centro, Calif., shot matching 72s to tie for Medalist honors at the Hanmi Bank Junior Open Srixon Qualifier Sunday. In the Girls Division, Brittany Tallman of Issaquah, Wash., lead the field by one stroke to take home Medalist honors with a 37-40β77 finish.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Hanmi Bank Junior Open Srixon Qualifier was held on the Robinson Ranch Golf Club β Valley Course. Eighty-four boys and sixteen girls ages 12-18, with the majority of players hailing from California, each competed for a chance to play in the Hanmi Bank Junior Open that will take place from July 10 - 13 at the Robinson Ranch Golf Club.
For the second week in a row, Shim shares the lead in the Boys Division and takes home Medalist honors. After shooting a 1-under-par 69 at the Mission Hills Desert Junior Srixon Qualifier, Shim came to the qualifier hoping to earn one more exemption for the chance to play in the PING Phoenix Junior and was proud of his finish.
βI feel like I've finally played a solid round,β he said. βI put it in close putting range, so it was easier.β
The 18-year-old missed only one fairway and boasted no lost balls during his round, a problem many players faced. Shim had two birdies on the back nine to save par for the round and finish 38-34β72.
βI just try to play consistent,β he said. βPlaying even par is a confidence booster.β
Fifteen-year-old Caplinger boasted five birdies for the day. Caplinger said his recent practice routine paid off, focusing mainly on putting.
βI putted pretty good and hit my irons good,β he said. βI played pretty well overall.β
Caplinger said he was glad to play well on such a tough course. The rising junior has won local tournaments but said playing in an AJGA event is more rewarding.
βThere are better players,β he said. βThe courses are always great and (the tournaments) are always run so well.β
In the Boys Division, 13 additional players qualified and will be playing in this week's event: Michael Jae Woo Im of Fullerton, Calif., and Johnny Mac Arthur of Santa Clarita, Calif., shot matching 73s; Niall Platt of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Max Homa of Valencia, Calif., shot 75; Ryan Sack of Santa Rosa, Calif., Jordan Lee of Tarzana, Calif., Robert Garske of Santa Barbara, Calif., Michael Gideon of Lancaster, Calif., Justin James of Santa Monica, Calif., and Maxwell Cohen of Los Angeles, Calif., all shot 76; Matthew Siporin of Tarzana, Calif., Davis Kirkland of Woodland Hills, Calif., and Kamden Brakel of Acampo, Calif., finished with 77.
Shooting the low at even-par 72, David Caplinger of Indio, Calif., opted to take one AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event. Also choosing to opt out of the tournament were Sean Harris of Santa Monica, Calif., carding a 73; Christopher Plappert of Las Vegas, and Jason Peters of Atascadero, Calif., shot matching 74s; Graham Brockington of Laguna Niguel, Calif., and Kurtis Kuida of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Kyle Holden of Simi Valley, Calif., shot 76.
Tallman said if she remains calm during her round everything will fall into place, and that is just what happened Sunday when she earned her Medalist honors. The 15-year-old got off to a great start, making birdie on her three of her first six holes.
βI always try to keep the same mindset,β she said. βJust stay relaxed and not worry about the outcome (of the round).β
The rising junior said she would prepare for the tournament by practicing and getting mentally prepared, but she wasn't going to let any anxiety stop her.
βIt's just a round of golf,β Tallman said.
Two more juniors qualified in the Girls Division and will be playing in this week's event. Victoria Sungmin Park of Irvine, Calif., shot 38-40β78 and Faith De Guzman of Valley Glen, Calif., shot 39-40β79.
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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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign counties.
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 support, 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.
The first round of the Hanmi Bank Junior Open will begin Tuesday, July 11 with tee times running from 7-11:48 a.m. off the No. 1 tee. For more information on the Hanmi Bank Junior Open contact tournament headquarters at (661) 252-8484 ext. 5, or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.