AJGA juniors to participate in Junior Open Championship


By Laura Fellwock, AJGA Communications

Eleven AJGA juniors will join the 145-player field to compete in this year’s Junior Open Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie) in Scotland leading up to The Open Championship. Past winners include AJGA alumni Jordan Cox (2004), Patrick Reed (2006) and Moriya Jutanugarn (2008).

Since 1994, the Junior Open has brought together one boy and one girl from national golf organizations affiliated with The R&A under the age of 16 to compete in a 54-hole stroke-play event. After the first 36 holes, the players with the 80 best gross scores and ties will play the final round. Players will be grouped by world region and receive handicap prizes based on their region. Traditionally, the participants play in the Junior Open every two years in the same week as The Open and attend the event afterwards.

AJGA Juniors Participating

Igancio Arcaya (Venezuela) has two top-15 finishes in 2016, with a T4 finish at the AJGA Junior All-Star at The Virtues and a T13 finish at the AJGA Junior All-Star at Spring Valley.

Garrett Barber (United States) has one career AJGA win and two top-10 finishes in 2016, including a T9 finish at the Rolex Tournament of Champions. He represented the East in the 2015 Wyndham Cup (3-1-0) and is a two-time honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American. The rising junior is verbally committed to Louisiana State University and is No. 29 in the Polo Golf Rankings.

Daniel Celestino (Brazil) finished T9 earlier this year at the AJGA Preview at Innisbrook (Ages 12-15) in his lone AJGA appearance.

Juan Delgado (Dominican Republic) has finished inside the top 30 in three of four appearances in 2016, including a T6 finish at the AJGA Junior All-Star at Spring Valley.

Yifan Ji (China) has two top-11 finishes in her AJGA career: T8 at the 2015 The Yang Foundation Junior at Yorba Linda and an 11th place finish at the 2015 The Yang Foundation Junior at Wood Ranch.

Valeria Sofia Pacheco (Puerto Rico) has four top-10 finishes in 2016 in five appearances, including an eighth-place finish at the Daniel Berger Championship. She has two victories in her AJGA career at the 2015 Junior All-Star at Innisbrook and the Junior All-Star at Chantilly National. The rising junior from Puerto Rico is No. 121 in the Polo Golf Rankings.

Ryan Peters (Trinidad and Tobago) he finished T70 in his lone AJGA appearance at the 2016 Puerto Rico Junior Open presented by EaglesDream Golf Academy.

Rodrigo Rodas (Guatemala) is No. 285 in the Polo Golf Rankings after a win this season at the AJGA Junior All-Star at Spring Valley. The rising junior also finished in ninth at the St. Francisville Area Foundation Junior at The Bluffs.

Elizabeth Wang (United States) is a decorated AJGA champion with three wins to her name in five years, including the 2014 Rolex Girls Junior Championship. She also won the Junior PGA Championship in 2015 and was a Wyndham Cup West participant in 2014. She is a three-time Rolex Junior All-American and has three top-six finishes already in 2016, including a T2 finish at the ANNIKA Invitational, a T4 finish at the ClubCorp Mission Hills Desert Junior and a T6 finish at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship. The rising junior from San Marino, California, is No. 5 in the Polo Golf Rankings.

Artemiy Yalovenko (Russia) is a rising sophomore and has appeared in only one AJGA event, the 2016 Core Golf Academy Junior All-Star, where he missed the cut.

Agustina Zeballos (Argentina) enters the Junior Open Championship as the champion at the Thunderbird International Junior in May. She also finished T5 at the ANNIKA Invitational and is No. 14 in the Polo Golf Rankings.