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Srixon Qualifier Series
Dornoch Golf Club
Delaware, Ohio • July 30, 2006

Bell and Thead garner medalist honors by a single stroke in Srixon Qualifier Series

DELAWARE, OHIO — Alex Simson of Columbus, Ohio, Alex Bell of Richmond, Ind., and Julia Thead of Poway, Calif., battled through sweltering heat and humidity Sunday afternoon en route to claiming Srixon Qualifier Series medalist honors and qualifying for the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament, slated to begin Tuesday, August 1. Simson bested the Boys Division by a single stroke, while Bell and Thead tied in the Girls Division with 4-over-par 75 performances.

The Srixion Qualifier Series for the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament was an 18-hole shotgun qualifier presented by the American Junior Golf Association at Dornoch Golf Club in Delaware, Ohio. The 99-qualifier field boasted 80 boys and 19 girls from 16 states and Canada.

Simson, who began the shotgun qualifier on No. 10, birdied three holes to post a 2-under-par 34 back nine. After making the turn, he then chipped in for birdie on No. 2 and followed with another birdie on the fourth hole. Simson finished the day by registering a 2-under-par 33 on the front side to put him at 4-under-par 67.

“I had a lot of fun today,” Simson said. “I putted well and had some good up and downs. That is always key to having a good round. I also had the best sand save in my golfing career today.”

Due to prior commitments, Simson is unable to participate in the tournament later this week.

Qualifying in the Boys Division for the tournament are Ohio-natives, Bennett Boyer of Dayton, Johnny Burke of Westlake, and Adam Kiminas of Columbus. Travis Peitz of Fenton, Mich., Brandon Wegner of Indianapolis, Raman Bawa of Richmond, Ind., Chris Ellinghausen of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Jordan Lesansky of Lesalle, Ontario, and Chris Bullis of Fort Wayne, Ind., also qualified for the tournament.

Tying for medalist honors in the Girls Divison were Bell and Thead. Each carded a 4-over-par 75, taking two of the three qualifying spots by a single stroke. Even though she struggled on the back nine, Bell rebounded on the front nine by tallying even par.

“Today I made a lot of putts,” Bell said. “I felt really confident in my game and that boosts my confidence for the tournament because I will be playing with a lot of good players.”

Thead recorded a 2-over-par on both the front and back nine. She fired birdies on two of the four par-3s, Nos. 5 and 17.

“I was consistent throughout the day and overall my game was good,” Thead said. “It's nice to play a competitive round on the course before the tournament because it helps me to get focused and in the zone.”

Filling the third and final qualifier spot is Laura Hildebrandt of Ancaster, Ontario.

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 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, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung and Paula Creamer.

First-round action will begin Tuesday, August 1 with a 7 a.m. start off the No. 1 tee. For more information about the Nationwide Insurance Junior presented by the Memorial Tournament, please call tournament headquarters at (740) 362-2582.