WEATHER DELAY NO MATCH FOR RODGERS, NELSON AT BELLEFONTE COUNTRY CLUB
Rodgers, Nelson medal in the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior Qualifier
ASHLAND, Ky. — Patrick Rodgers of Avon, Ind., conquered a three and a half hour rain delay carding a 1-under-par 69 at the Natural Resouce Partners Bluegrass Junior Qualifier in Ashland, Ky., Monday. Alexis Nelson of Mason, Ohio medaled in the Girls Division carding a 6-over-par 76.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior Qualifier was played at the Bellefonte Country Club. The qualifier field consisted of 92 players, 80 boys and 12 girls. The Boys Division was played at 6,028 yards and the Girls Division at 5,625 yards.
Rodgers came into the qualifier planning to take an exemption from this tournament, but opted to play in this week's Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior instead of the Sta-Green® Junior All-Star Championship. Rodgers credited his low score to his eagle shot on No. 10; he will go into the first round of the tournament with confidence.
“I like this course and its staff,” Rodgers said. “I don't hit the ball far, but I hit it straight. This course just fits me.”
Also qualifying in the Boys Division were Garrett Hinton of Elizabethtown, Ky., with an even-par 70, Todd McDaniel of Manchester, Ky., and Preston French of Lexington, Ky., both with 1-over-par 71s, Bradley Shepherd of Dublin, Ohio, and Sean Keating of Cincinnati, with 2-over-par 72s, Hager Collins of Lexington, Ky., John Beringer of Loveland, Ohio, and Brandon Collier of Nicholasville, Ky., at 3-over-par 73s, Michael Ashcraft of Allentown, Pa., Jared Flanery of Sandy Hook, Ky., Michael Decker of Dallas, Sean Van Aken of Monroe, Mich., all at 4-over-par 74, and Stephen Limpach of Ashland, Ky., at 5-over-par 75.
E.J. McFarland of Pittsburgh, Matthew Anderson of Tompkinsville, Ky., and Brendan Byrne of Strongsville, Ohio, all fell within the cut line at 4-over-par 74 but chose to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior.
In the Girls Division, Nelson partially credits her success to the weather delay. After using the delay to regain focus and relax, Nelson was able to go back out on the course and card four straight pars along with a birdie on No. 12.
“I didn't think I would win,” Nelson said. “I've never played in a qualifier before, so I didn't know what to expect. I thought if I shot somewhere in the low seventies I would be okay.”
Qualifying along with Nelson in the Girls Division were Jordan Redfield of Fort Mitchell, Ky., shooting a 9-over-par 79 and Allison Hancock of Paris, Ky., with a 13-over-par 83.
Emily Podzielinski of Noblesville, Ind., fell within the cut line at 12-over-par 82 but chose to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information about the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior please contact Preston Etheridge at tournament headquarters at 606-326-1741 or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.
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