FOSTER, CHEN EARN MEDALIST HONORS AT K12 QUALIFIER
Brown takes top honors in Girls Division, earns spot in the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook
PALM HARBOR, Fla. — John Foster of Concord, Ontario, shot the low score of 2-under-par 68 during the morning portion of the K¹² Qualifier Series for the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook. Hua Chen of Bradenton, Fla., earned medalist honors in the afternoon, with a 3-under-par 67. In the Girls Division of the K¹² Qualifier, Sarah Brown of Phillipsburg, N.J., and Brogan McKinnon of Mississauga, Ontario, carded even-par 70s to finish atop the leaderboard.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the K¹² Qualifier for the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook was two separate 18-hole stroke play qualifying events held at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club - Osprey North Course. The morning field featured 65 boys, ages 12-18, from 16 states, Canada and Mexico, while the afternoon field included 51 boys and 18 girls from 13 states, Canada and Japan. The par-70 course was played at 6,090 yards for the Boys Division and 5,759 yards for the Girls Division. K¹² Qualifiers give juniors an opportunity to "play their way in" to coinciding AJGA Open tournaments or earn a Tournament Exemption or Performance Star for a future event. The K¹² Qualifier Series offers opportunities for AJGA juniors at approximately 50 AJGA Open events.
Starting the day consistently, Foster recorded pars on his first five holes and finished the front nine 1-under with a birdie on No.6. The back nine started the same way with pars on Nos. 10, 11, and 12. Playing in his second AJGA event, Foster finished the day like a veteran. An eagle on No.13 helped Foster gain entry into his first open tournament.
“Everything was going right for me out there today. I hit almost every fairway and was making good approach shots to the greens,” Foster said. “I made some putts, missed some others, but overall everything worked itself out for a good round.”
In the boys' afternoon qualifier, Chen got his round off to a good start with three birdies on the front nine. He held steady on the back nine at even par and finished 3-under for the day. Chen backed up his fine play from the tee box with sound putting to put together the best round of the day.
“I hit my tee shot on No. 12 about a foot from the hole and tapped that in for birdie. On No. 14 I made a 15 foot putt for birdie,” said Chen. “The course is pretty short so if you just play consistently you could shoot low scores.”
McKinnon started the round slow carding a bogey on No.1 and making par on the next four holes. As the day went on McKinnon became more comfortable with the course recording birdies on Nos. 5 and 8. Making the turn even, McKinnon mirrored her play on the front nine with two bogeys and two birdies on the back to finish the round even-par 70.
“As the day went on I got better,” McKinnon said. “After No. 3, I got more comfortable with the course and I was putting really well.”
Brown played well through the front nine and made the turn 1-under with a birdie on No. 2. She was pleased with her play most of the day carding three birdies including No. 8 where she sunk a putt 25 feet from the hole. Finishing out the back nine, Brown was 2-under with three to go when she bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18, but still managed to finish even.
“I had a great practice session before my tee time,” Brown said. “I read the greens really well today and I think that made the difference in my putting.”
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 25 foreign countries.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
K¹² Inc., a technology-based education company, is the nation's leading provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs to students in grades K-12. K¹² provides its curriculum and academic services to online schools, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and directly to families. Over 55,000 students in 23 states and the District of Columbia are enrolled in online public schools that use the K¹² program. K¹² Inc. also operates the K¹² International Academy, an accredited, diploma-granting online private school serving students worldwide. The K¹² academic program is used by many young people pursuing careers in athletics, music, art, acting, and other professions that require a high degree of scheduling flexibility. More information can be found at www.k12.com.
Mizuno USA, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mizuno Corporation, one of the largest specialty sporting goods manufacturers in the world. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes golf, baseball, softball, running, track & field, and volleyball equipment, apparel, and footwear for North America. Mizuno USA, Inc. is based in Norcross, Ga.
Situated on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills and 70 acres of lakes on Florida's Gulf Coast near Tampa, Florida, Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is located just 25 minutes from Tampa International Airport. Innisbrook features 72 holes of championship golf, 608 spacious guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, the Innisbrook Golf Institute, 11 tennis courts, the new full-service Indaba Spa with 12 treatment rooms and state-of-the-art Fitness Center, six heated swimming pool complexes, a nature preserve, and three newly renovated conference halls with 65,000 square feet of meeting space. For additional information call (727) 942-2000 or visit www.innisbrookgolfresort.com.
The First Round of the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook begins Friday, April, 10 at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club. Tee times for the Boys Division run 8 — 9:39 a.m. and 12 — 1:30 p.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tees on the Copperhead Course, while the Girls Division tee times are from 8 — 9:48 a.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tees on the Osprey North Course. For more information about the tournament, call Tournament Headquarters at (727) 942-2000, room 2787.