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K12 Qualifier Series
Castlewood Country Club
Pleasanton, Calif. • July 20, 2009


Chulya and Gabasa combat early bogeys to take home co-medalist honors at Castlewood Country Club


PLEASANTON, Calif.The Hill Course at Castlewood Country Club combines challenging, narrow fairways with incredibly slick, small greens, but neither fazed Mo Bardovi of Monte Nido, Calif., as he conservatively navigated his way around the difficult course to the tune of 2-under-par 68, taking home medalist honors at the K12 Qualifier for the Trader Joe’s Junior Championship hosted by Pat Hurst in the process.  The Girls Division had quite the international flair Monday, as the two international players in the girls field, Jacqueline Chulya of Bangkok, Thailand, and Irina Paulin Gabasa of Cebu, Philippines, took home co-medalist honors by three shots at 4-over-par 74.

       Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the K12 Qualifier for the Trader Joe’s Junior Championship hosted by Pat Hurst was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Castlewood Country Club – Hill Course in Pleasanton, Calif. The field featured 80 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18, from seven states, Thailand, Philippines, and United Arab Emirates. The par-70 course was played at 6,215 yards in the Boys Division and 5,659 yards in 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.

       Bardovi’s day got off to a slow start with a bogey on No. 1, but he recovered quickly, notching back-to-back birdies on his next two holes to stabilize his opening nine before trading a bogey and a birdie on the final six holes to fire a 1-under-par 34.  Bardovi used the confidence from his opening nine to make a birdie on the par-4 No. 10, and exchanged a bogey and a birdie to go along with six more pars for a back-nine 1-under-par 34.  He ended up with 2-under-par 68 and three shots better than his nearest competitors.
       “I hit the ball really well and hit a lot of greens.  I just made a lot of birdies,” Bardovi said.  “I tried to play conservative, firing at the middle of the greens, and I didn’t hit it in the wrong spots on the greens.”
       Matt McAustin of Arroyo Grande, Calif., Johnny Castles of Cupertino, Calif., Noah Sheikh of Woodside, Calif., Daniel De La Torre of San Pedro, Calif., Travis Rowney of Pleasanton, Calif., Jordan Sedlock of Danville, Calif., Brandon Hortt of San Diego, Kevin Ruby of Temecula, Calif., and Cameron Ward of Irvine, Calif., qualified and will fill the qualifier spots in the tournament field for the Boys Division.
       Aaron Bronis of
Livermore, Calif., fired a 2-over-par 72 for a tie for fifth and chose to take a Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in the Trader Joe’s Junior Championship hosted by Pat Hurst.  Joel Slak of Folsom, Calif., and Macgregor Hoobery of Santa Maria, Calif., finished in a tie for seventh at 3-over-par 73 and opted out of the event as well.

       After Chulya’s round, she couldn’t help but wonder what could have been, as she made a double bogey on her final hole, No. 14, following consecutive birdies on Nos. 11 and 12, but she was still pleased with earning co-medalist honors and a spot in the tournament.

       “I tried to play one shot at a time, and I drove the ball great and made some putts,” Chulya said.  “I doubled my last hole, though, so I’m a little disappointed with my round.”
       Gabasa got off to a rocky start, bogeying five of her first seven holes.  However, she never lost her composure, penciling in birdies on Nos. 10 and 14, two of her final six holes, to claim her share of medalist honors with Chulya.  Gabasa elected to play in the event and said she will look to improve her driving in the first round on Tuesday, saying she hit too many drives in the trees on Monday.

       “I played pretty bad on my first nine holes,” Gabasa said, who started on No. 16 in the shotgun format.  “But I recovered on the back nine.  No. 14 was a big shot when I hit it to a grip’s length with my approach to make a birdie.”
       Joining Chulya and Gabasa in Tuesday’s tournament field in the Girls Division are Briana Mao of Folsom,
Calif., and Kimberly Liu of San Ramon, Calif., after rounds of 7-over-par 77 and 10-over-par 80, respectively.
       Brittany Mai of
Poway, Calif., qualified in a tie for third at 7-over-par 77, but she opted out of the event in favor of improving her Performance Based Entry status, instead electing to take a Tournament Exemption.
       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 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.
       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.
       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.
       First-round tee times for the Trader Joe’s Junior Championship hosted by Pat Hurst will run from
7 a.m. — 12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at Castlewood Country Club – Hill Course. For more information contact Tournament Director Tommy Tangtiphaiboontana at (678) 617-2424 or visit ajga.org.