SAN ANTONIO SEVENTH GRADER LEADS BY SEVEN STROKES
Sparks leads Boys Division for second day
SAN ANTONIO — Marijosse Navarro, 12, of San Antonio leads after the second round of play at the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout presented by Pepsi with a tournament total of 74-69 — 143. Hunter Sparks of Oklahoma City finished in the lead at The Dominion Country Club for the second day in a row carding a 69-71 — 140.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout presented by Pepsi is a 54-hole stroke play event being held at The Dominion Country Club. The tournament field consists of 90 boys and 30 girls, ages 12 to 18, from 13 states, Mexico and Thailand. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course at 6,848 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the course at 6,164 yards.
The only one of her two brothers and sister to play golf, Navarro is quickly making a name for herself in the junior golf world. Born near Mexico City, Navarro has been living in San Antonio for the last four years and will be entering the seventh grade in the fall.
Turning 13 in September, Navarro has been eligible to play in AJGA events for less than a year but already won the Junior All-Star at Aspen and earned Fully Exempt status with her second place finish at the Elbit Systems of America Junior Golf Classic.
Navarro began her round Wednesday making par on No. 1 and a birdie on No. 2 and by the time she made the turn she was 2-under-par with no bogeys. She carded three bogeys and four birdies on the back nine, securing a seven-stroke lead.
“I made some bogeys on the back nine, but I wanted to make up for them with birdies,”said Navarro. “I was happy with my putting and I think it made the difference.”
Rounding out the top three in the Girls Division, and tied for second with 6-over-par 150s are Alicia Malagon of Tampico, Mexico and Chelsea Mocio of Fort Worth, Texas.
Playing in AJGA events since he was 16, Sparks hopes to finish his junior golf career with a win before attending Wichita State in the fall.
Sparks played consistently on the front nine carding six pars and making the turn 1-under-par. He began the back nine the same way, making par on No. 10, and battling back to make par on No. 11 when he hit his tee shot into the trees. Sparks three putted on No. 12 to card his only bogey on the back nine, but believes he has the speedy greens figured out.
“You have to shoot down grain on the greens, they're pretty quick, and the rough around the green is tricky” said Sparks.
Rounding out top five in Boys Division and tied for second with 2-under-par 142s are Nick Tremps of San Antonio and Curtis Donahoe of League City, Texas. Alone in fourth is Drew Dorsey of Edmond, Okla., with a 1-under-par 143. Tied for fifth with even-par 144s are Brax McCarthy of Fort Worth, Texas, Nathan Anderson of Burleson, Texas, Kolton Crawford of Mansfield, Texas, Ryan Roseberry of Houston and Kyle Lewis of Shawnee, Okla.
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 50 states and more than 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, 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 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.
Final-round tee times for the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout presented by Pepsi will run off the No. 1 tee Thursday, July 9 from 7:30 a.m. — 2:00 p.m. For more information, please contact Tournament Director Courtney Jones at (678) 617-9406.