You have to show up. You just don't know.
The AJGA designed its qualifiers to be an extra opportunity for junior golfers to gain experience and take advantage of the many benefits of national junior golf competition.
Filip Jakubcik of (Czech Republic) Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, took full advantage of his opportunity, going from a qualifier alternate to tournament champion at the Sean Foley Performance Junior Championship.
Jakubcik's week began with the hope of making it into the qualifier off the alternate list.
"I play in a lot of local tournaments with the academy and it's the same players every time. I wanted to play the qualifier to play against different players."
The qualifier would help him gauge how his game was progressing and provide valuable experience.
The list of AJGA alumni who played in qualifiers includes: Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Danielle Kang, Webb Simpson, Austin Ernst, Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Reed.
Jakubcik's hope became reality when he received a call that there was a withdrawal and a spot became available for him to play, which he promptly accepted.
"My goal before the qualifier was simply to get into the tournament. Nothing more."
Jakubcik did just that, shooting an even-par 72 to claim one of four spots in the Boys Division for the tournament.
Playing in an AJGA qualifier is a great way to see how your game stacks up against other AJGA players. There's also no limit to the number of qualifiers you can play in.
He opened the tournament with an even-par 72 which put him in the middle of the leaderboard. His goal of just competing in the event to gain experience began to change in the second round, however, as he shot a tournament best 6-under-par 66 which vaulted him to the top with a four-stroke lead heading into the final day of competition.
"During the final round, I was just trying to avoid mistakes and play for par."
Finishing in the top 50% of an AJGA qualifier earns a minimum of one performance star to use in future AJGA events. You can earn up to four performance stars in qualifiers for AJGA Open tournaments (ages 12-19) and two performance stars in qualifiers for AJGA Junior All-Star Series events (ages 12-15).
With a 1-under-par 71 final round, Jakubcik won the event by an incredible eight shots at 7-under-par 209. Quite the result for his first AJGA tournament!
"It feels pretty good to win. I didn't think it was going to happen. I just wanted to play well in the qualifier so I had a chance to make it into the Rolex AJGA Rankings by playing well in the tournament."
Playing in an AJGA qualifier alone has helped some members play college golf by giving coaches perspective on how you compete in national junior golf events.
Jakubcik now finds himself with many more chances to play in AJGA events, all because he took full advantage and made every opportunity count.
To learn more about AJGA Qualifiers and see what events are coming up, check out the Tournament Schedule page, or contact the Player Services Department at (770) 868-4200.