KROBTEERANON TAKES HOME TOP HONORS AT TRADITIONS CLUB AT TEXAS A&M
Haddow, Kaui share medalist honors in Girls Division
BRYAN, Texas — Nitipat Krobteeranon, 17, of Samutprakarn, Thailand, took home medalist honors by one stroke Wednesday at the Ką˛ Qualifier for the Laredo Energy Junior at Traditions. Ryanne Haddow, 17, of Sugar Land, Texas, and Alexandra Kaui, 13, of Henderson, Nev., took home top honors for the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ką˛ Qualifier for the Laredo Energy Junior at Traditions was an 18-hole stroke play event held at the Traditions Club at Texas A&M. The tournament field featured 72 boys and 16 girls, ages 12-18, from 18 states and Canada, China, Mexico and Thailand. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,988 yards, while the Girls Division played the course at 5,971 yards. Ką˛ 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 Ką˛ Qualifier Series offers opportunities for AJGA juniors at approximately 50 AJGA Open events.
Traveling from Thailand two days before the qualifier with one practice round under his belt, Krobteeranon knew he had to overcome the twelve-hour time difference to perform well. Carding birdies on Nos. 2, 3 and 6 gave Krobteeranon the edge to finish strong.
“The course is very tough but I had strong drives down the fairway today, which helped my game a lot,” Krobteeranon said.
Playing in his first AJGA event, Krobteeranon said he was surprised that he took the top spot on the leaderboard.
“I didn't know I would be leading the Boys Division today,” Krobteeranon said. “It feels great to be playing here. Qualifying today made my trip from Thailand worth it.”
Twelve other players qualified for the tournament: Tyler Ledet of Woodworth, La., Wesley McClain of Diboll, Texas, Hunter Kraus of Germantown, Tenn., Johnathan Chen of Sugar Land, Texas, David Saka of Waipahu, Hawaii, Mike Eyeington of College Station, Texas, Andrew Lister of Haymarket, Va., Ryan Prasad of The Woodlands, Texas, Luke Carpenter of Little Rock, Ark., Travis Wilmore of Alexandria, La., Wes Artac of Kingwood, Texas, and Preston Standley of Plano, Texas.
Also qualifying but opting to take a Tournament Exemption were Sarosh Adi of Frisco, Texas, Leighton Greer of Madison, Miss., and Christian De La Cruz of San Antonio.
Returning for her second year in the Girls Division, Haddow was familiar with the course and approached her round with confidence. Carding birdies on Nos. 9, 13 and 18, Haddow's short game gave her the push she needed to earn medalist honors.
“It was a combination of my irons that helped my game a lot today,” Haddow said. “Once I got them close to the green I was able to make the putts.”
Haddow opted to take a Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's tournament.
Playing in her first AJGA event, Kaui was determined to stay calm and relaxed during her round. After struggling on the back nine, her turning point came on No. 1 where she chipped up to the green and tapped in for birdie, and on No. 9 when she sunk a 30-foot putt for par.
“It feels really great to be a medalist in my first AJGA tournament,” Kaui said. “This will be my first tournament to play in and I hope to continue to stay relaxed and have fun.”
Rounding out those qualifying for the tournament is Jennifer Yang of Coquitlam, British Columbia.
Ką˛ 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. Ką˛ 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 Ką˛ program. Ką˛ Inc. also operates the Ką˛ International Academy, an accredited, diploma-granting online private school serving students worldwide. The Ką˛ 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.
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 50 states and 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.
First-round tee times for the Laredo Energy Junior at Traditions will run from 8-9:49 a.m., and 12:30-2 p.m., off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Friday, April 10, at the Traditions Club at Texas A&M. For more information, please contact Tournament Director Courtney Jones at (678) 617-9406.