FOUR-WAY TIE AT THE DODGE/BOB ESTES ABILENE JUNIOR QUALIFIER
Mocio captures Qualifier medal with 3-under-par 68 at Maxwell Golf Club
ABILENE, Texas — Four medalists, Henry Todd of Trophy Club, Texas, Ben Troester of Boerne, Texas, Sarosh Adi of Frisco, Texas, and Curtis Vaughan IV of San Antonio, tied for the top honors scoring 4-under-par 67 at the Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior Qualifier. Chelsea Mocio of Fort Worth, Texas, was the Girls Division medalist shooting 3-under-par 68.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior Qualifier was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Maxwell Golf Club. The 89-player field featured players from nine states and Indonesia. The Boys Division played the par-71 course at 6,227 yards while the Girls Division played at 5,751yards.
Adi came out of the gate strong, 3-under-par after his first five holes. With six total birdies, his final tally was a 33-34—67. In only his second year playing AJGA events, the 2011 graduate found himself at 6-under-par with two holes left to play.
“I knew that if I started thinking about it [winning the AJGA exemption] then I would lose my concentration,” Adi said. “I just had to let it go and play shot to shot. The final two holes my adrenaline was going and I let some shots go, so I just have to learn from this experience.”
Vaughan, who will be playing in only the second AJGA event of his career, wanted only to have a better round than he did at last week's Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout. He accomplished that and more, squeezing four birdies out of the back nine to make the turn at 4-under-par 32.
“I felt like I controlled every shot today,” Vaughan said. “I was just trying for a bogey-free round; it ended up as my best tournament round yet.”
Players who qualified for this week's tournament along with the four co-medalists were Raine Copeland of Carrollton, Texas, Ethan Fine of Albuquerque, N.M., Jimmy Marino of Plano, Texas, Marcus Opheim of San Marcos, Texas, Ian Evans of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, Michael Williams of Purcell, Okla., Mike Kuoni of The Woodlands, Texas, Jared Street of Lake Dallas, Texas, Neil Dufford of Midland, Texas, Collin Ward of Amarillo, Texas, Michael Koetting of San Antonio, Kyle Huett of Bulverde, Texas, and Jack Shores of Corpus Christi, Texas.
Players who qualified and opted to take an AJGA tournament exemption are co-medalists Adi and Todd, Tyler Klava of Pace, Fla., Martin Board, Jr., of Midland, Michael Culin of Plano, Doug Shipman of Spring, Texas, and Jeremy LeGuen of Highland Village, Texas.
In the Girls Division, Mocio made a strong showing, medaling by a four-stroke margin. She combined five birdies with 11 pars manufacturing a 35-33—68. Mocio will not play in the event this week opting to take the AJGA tournament exemption instead.
“My chipping and putting was good today,” Mocio said. “I was just trying to shoot under par because I knew I would need to shoot pretty low.”
Qualifying for the tournament were Talia Campbell of Dallas, Rachel Mulkey of Flower Mound, Texas, Jade Staggs of Oklahoma City, and Kalie Presti of Southlake, Texas.
Joining the medalist Mocio and choosing to take the AJGA tournament exemption in lieu of playing in this weeks event were Chirstine Lin of Austin, Texas, and Carly Dear of Red Oak, Texas.
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.
The opening round of the Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior will be Tuesday, July 15 with tee times running off the No. 1 tee from 7 a.m. — 12:51 p.m. For more information about the Dodge/Bob Estes Abilene Junior, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (770) 601-5196.