One of five amateurs to make the cut at the Kraft Nasbico Championship, Ashlan Ramsey, of Milledgeville, Ga., shot 71-75-73-71 for a 2-over total. She finished T-48 at Mission Hills CC. The only other junior to make the cut was 14-year-old Angel Yin, who finished at 5 over. Ramsey will play for Clemson University in the fall.
AUGUSTA, Ga. In hopes of growing the game, the Masters Tournament Foundation, the PGA of America and the U.S. Golf Association announced in early April the formation of the Drive Chip & Putt Championship at Augusta National.
Registration closes April 30 for the free competition, which will test the skill of juniors ages 7-15 – with the finals culminating at Augusta National on the Sunday before the Masters.
“Generations of players have been inspired by the dream of sinking a winning putt on the 18th green at Augusta National,” said Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament Foundation. “Now an exciting opportunity exists to make that dream a reality. I am confident that our collective efforts with the USGA and the PGA of America will showcase the talents of kids who already play this game and motivate others to give the sport a try.”
Local qualifiers will take place in 19 states and the District of Columbia, leading to 11 regional qualifiers.
The final 88 players will be invited to the finals at Augusta National next April.
“It is our collective hope and belief that this quest to make it to Augusta National will become the ...
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. Alison Lee certainly can attest to the ebb-and-flow nature of competitive golf. Lee says her game left her last month, and she cited that poor play as the reason for her withdrawal from the Kraft Nabisco Championship, which begins Thursday.
“Every year I always go through this little phase where I lose the feel for my game,” said Lee, who has signed to play for UCLA in the fall.
Lee was one of nine amateurs granted a coveted sponsor exemption into this event. She was not replaced in the Kraft field.
Lee earned her Kraft spot last year in an early-week 18-hole junior qualifier hosted by the Southern California Golf Association. It was the fourth LPGA major start of her career. Last summer, she qualified for and made the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open.
The top-ranked girl in the Golfweek/Sagarin Junior Rankings, Lee already has been to the bottom of the game and back. She slumped hard in 2011, withdrawing before the end of the PGA Junior Championship and finishing last in stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. In 2012, Lee won two AJGA invitationals, was runner-up at the U ...
The PGA of America announced two rules changes in relation to its junior golf competitions that will go into effect beginning this year.
The first change will allow approved electronic distance-measuring devices at all of its junior golf tournaments, including the Junior PGA Championship and PGA Junior Series events. This policy was adopted by other junior golf organizations, including the AJGA, and is in use in college. Rangefinders that “gauge of measure other conditions that might affect the player’s decision” will still be prohibited.
The second change will allow all golfers 18 years old or younger through the final round of a tournament to be eligible to compete in that tournament.
The PGA Junior series begins May 29-31 at Mirimich in Millington, Tenn., while the Junior PGA will take place July 30-Aug. 2 at Trump National Golf Club in Washington, D.C.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – After 18 holes with Angel Yin on Tuesday, LPGA legend Donna Caponi was searching for words.
“She’s awesome,” Caponi said, incredulous head shake included.
The 14-year-old Yin shot 5-under 67 on Tuesday at Mission Hills’ Arnold Palmer course and earned the final spot in the Kraft Nabisco Championship field, courtesy of the Southern California Junior Golf Association’s Legacy Junior Challenge. Thirty area juniors were granted a spot in the qualifier, and divided into 10 threesomes. Each group was accompanied by a former Kraft Nabisco champion, and the two best balls were scored from each group to make up a team component. Yin’s round played a big role in Caponi Team victory, which meant Caponi received $10,000 to donate to the charity of her choice, the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Caponi, who won the Kraft in 1980, spent the day reading greens for her players, and talking them around the golf course. She got them to focus on the trouble, and then avoid finding it.
“They learned a lot,” she said, and that includes life lessons.
Caponi, who grew up in Los Angeles and now lives off the 11th green of Mission Hills’ Dinah ...
Brogan McKinnon of Mississauga, Ontario, made four birdies on her final nine holes en route to a final-round 4-under 66 to claim the AJGA TaylorMade-adidas Junior at Innisbrook title on March 31. It was the first AJGA title of her career. McKinnon, who lives in Orlando during the winter months, shot rounds of 76-71-66.
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Peter Thorseth of the United Kingdom fired an even-par 72 to win his first AJGA title, posting a four-shot victory at the 54-hole Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions in Bryan, Texas.
Karen Chung fired a final-round, 4-under 68 to win the girls division, her fifth career AJGA title.
Played at the par-72 Traditions Club at Texas A&M, Thorseth finished the tournament at 6 under overall, beating a field of 90 boys.
Thorseth's start to the final round was a bit shaky with a double bogey at the par-3 second hole, but his short game kept him atop the leaderboard.
“Each time I dropped a shot, I was able to bounce back with some birdies, which was huge,” said Thorseth, who birdied four holes Sunday.
Thorseth has played in AJGA events for four years and his family plans to move back to Houston in the summer.
“I've come close a few times. It feels good to finally take it to the next level, especially at such a great event,” said Thorseth, a high school junior. “It feels good that I've finally proven to myself that I could ...
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Krystal Quihuis of Tucson, Ariz., won the Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic in a three-hole sudden-death playoff against Ester Lee of Norwalk, Calif.
Quihuis started the day one shot off the lead, but finished as the clubhouse leader by two shots. Lee eagled No. 18 to force a playoff.
Lee was unable to two-putt for par on the second playoff hole. Therefore Quihuis made a par-putt on the third playoff hole for the victory.
Quihuis shot rounds of 69-70-69 to finish at 5 under.
In the boys division, Danny Ochoa of San Diego finished with a bogey-free 5-under 66 with an eagle on No. 18 in the final round to win by three for his first AJGA title. He has committed to USC.
Chris Petefinsh, of Scottsdale, Ariz. Finished in second at 5-under 208.
Information from the AJGA was used in this report
George Cunningham was at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead course as a spectator for the PGA Tour's Tampa Bay Championship. He watched as Kevin Streelman won his first PGA Tour event.
Just two weeks later, Cunningham is a champion at Innisbrook after winning the AJGA TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior, his first AJGA victory since 2010, on March 31.
“It's a weird feeling that the professionals were just here,” Cunningham said. “For me to shoot the scores I just did, it lets me know that I am almost there and ready to go. It's a really cool feeling to feel that way.”
Cunningham carded a final-round, 1-under 70 to finish at 1-over 214, two shots ahead of Jorge Garcia and Ben Griffin. Zach Bauchou and Jordan Miller were tied for fourth, four shots back while Danny Walker and 2012 U.S. Open participant Andy Zhang tied for sixth, five shots back of Cunningham.
Brogan McKinnon won the girls title for his first AJGA victory. She shot 76-71 in the first two rounds before carding a final-round 66 to win by two shots of Cindy Feng, Nelly Korda and Jisoo Keel.
Martin Jaramillo birdied five of his last 10 holes en route to a three-shot victory over Gerardo Garza at the AJGA Junior All-Star at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Ga.
Jaramillo, who turns 14 on April 9, carded rounds of 70-72-70.
"When you're leading, there's obviously a lot of pressure and expectations,” Jaramillo said. “The win shows me everything I put in with practice is paying.”
Lauren Stephenson made four of her 13 birdies in the final round and recorded rounds of 70-72-75 to beat Mai Dechathipat by a shot. It was the last Junior All-Star of her career.
“My first year the goal was just to make the cut,” Stephenson said. “It means a lot to me that I accomplished my goal. It gives me a lot of confidence going into my next events to know that I can compare with the best in the world.”
Last week I came back from playing in the Kathy Whitworth Invitational in Dallas. I stayed with a great host family and we had a lot of fun. I was disappointed in my play the first round with a 75. I went into the tournament with a plan of playing shot by shot and not worrying if I hit a couple bad shots or even a bad hole. But, I got too result focused and was too hard on myself when I made a mistake early in the tournament. Once I realized the mental mistakes I made, I felt like I played better in the last round with a 71 and ended up placing third. I also enjoyed the off course events if the tournament. At one of the dinners, we got to listen to some stories Kathy Whitworth shared with us about her LPGA career and some of her golf experiences. She was so nice and friendly to us, always making sure we were having a good time. She even came out in the freezing cold the first morning to watch all the girls tee off which spoke volumes about her involvement and interest in the tournament ...
Yvonne Zheng has earned a spot in the Symetra Tour’s next Florida stop, the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay, to be played April 26-28 in Sarasota, Fla.
Zheng, a 17-year-old UCLA signee who lives in Bradenton, Fla., earned the spot in a points race that stretched across 13 IMG Junior Golf Tour events. This is the second year the Symetra Tour has offered the exemption to a junior player, but last year only six events counted as qualifiers.
Zheng also vied for last year’s spot. She led in points entering the final qualifying event, played at The Golf Club of North Hampton in Fernandina Beach, Fla., only to be overtaken by Natalia Perez of Bolivia.
This year, Zheng held a 20-point lead on 2013 classmate Camila Serrano of Colombia. Zheng’s second-place finish March 19 at the IMG Junior Golf Tour event at Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand, Fla., secured her spot at Sara Bay.
“I am just really excited about (Guardian Retirement Championship at) Sara Bay, so I’m going to practice a lot for it,” Zheng said. “Tee shots were important out there, so I was focused on putting myself in the fairway.”
Nine spots in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA’s first major, already have been reserved for amateurs. One more will be filled by April 2.
The Southern California Golf Association is again hosting a qualifier for the top junior girls in SoCal, but this year the format will be slightly different. The Legends Junior Challenge will feature a field of 30 girls divided into 10 threesomes. A past Kraft champion will play in each group instead of an LPGA legend, as in last year’s event.
The junior player with the lowest 18-hole score on the Palmer Course at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Calif., will earn a spot in the tournament proper, to be played April 4-7 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. For the team aspect of the event, each team will count the two lowest scores on each hole. The captain of the winning team will receive money to be donated to a charity of her choice.
Alison Lee, Golfweek's top-ranked junior girl, won last year’s event, named the Kraft Legacy Junior. Lee was one of the nine amateurs to receive sponsor exemptions earlier this spring.
Among the notables in the 30-player field are ...
Jackie Van Meter won the Golfweek Junior Tour event at Old Fort Golf Club at Murfreesboro, Tenn., on March 24. Van Meter shot 77-74 to win by 10 shots over Emily Alexander. Her first-round 77 tied the best score of Round 1 and her second-round 74 was the low round of the tournament.
Registration is open for Golfweek’s West Coast Junior Invitational. The tournament will be played May 17-19 at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz. Keep track of the field here.
Players with high finishes at Longbow will receive Performance Based Entry status from the AJGA. Please contact Lance Ringler, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Carlton Reese, email@example.com, with questions.
- David Snyder, McAllen, Texas
- Seiya Liu, Bradenton, Fla.
- Rafael Barnoya, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
- Ryan Carpenter, Aiken, S.C.
- Timothy De Silva, Palos Verdes, Calif.
- Varun Chopra, Champaign, Ill.
- Devan Schulert, Kingsville, Ontario
- Patrick McDonald, Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Brandon Tsujimoto, Pomona, Calif.
- Ari Gulugian, Irvine, Calif.
- Connor Nam, Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Anthony Cecere, Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
- Jeffrey Miller, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Peter Koo, Chandler, Ariz.
- Chris Korte, Highlands Ranch, Colo.
- Jordan Oliver, Huntington Beach, Calif.
- Jorge Villar, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
- Santiago Lopez, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
- Luis Enriquez, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
- Aaron Whalen, Ephrata, Wash.
- Aaron Strockis, San Diego, Calif.
- Sam Dickey, Las Vegas
- John Edwards, Paducah, Ky.
- Tiger Lee, Hong Kong, China
- Camilo Mexsen, Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
- Maxwell Miller, College Station, Texas
- Jake Guess, Mesa, Ariz.
- Josh Delo, Mesa, Ariz.
- Aleksandar Mikalacki, Scottsdale, Ariz.
- C.J. Coleman, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
- James Frahm, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
- Austin ...
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