CHO EARNS MEDALIST HONORS IN BURGETT H. MOONEY, JR. ROME CLASSIC SRIXON QUALIFIER
Kim, Lee finish as co-medalists at Stonebridge Golf Club
ROME, Ga. — Justin Cho of Norcross, Ga., took home medalist honors in the Boys Division Sunday after shooting 5-under-par 67. Stacey Kim of Columbus, Ga., and Yugene Lee of Athens, Ga., carded 1-under-par 71s to share medalist honors in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic Srixon Qualifier was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Stonebridge Golf Club. The 64-player field featured players from 15 states. The course was played at 6,779 yards in the Boys Division and 5,956 yards in the Girls Division.
Fourteen-year-old Cho was all smiles after sinking his first hole-in-one with a 7-iron on the par 3 No. 8.
“I was just trying to hit it straight because the green was uphill, and the ball just took one bounce and went it,” Cho said. “It feels really good to win.”
Cho, who opted to take a tournament exemption instead of playing in this week's tournament, went par-birdie-birdie on his first three holes of the shotgun start event.
“After that, I just started to loosen up and play better, and everything came together,” he said.
Eleven other players also qualified for the tournament that runs June 25-28. They were Jacob Everts of Ooltewah, Tenn., Thomas Nieporte of Hoschton, Ga., Dykes Harbin of Augusta, Ga., Thomas Payne of Arden, N.C., Namsub Padunsiriseth of North Augusta, S.C., Charlie Harrison of Las Vegas, Matt Bernstein of Alpharetta, Ga., Jarred Garcia of Jacksonville, Fla., Andrew Fisher of Greer, S.C., Christopher Gordon of Cohutta, Ga., and Joey Windler of Marietta, Ga.
Matthew Burkhart of Lancaster, Pa., Allan Day of Midlothian, Va., Jordan Janico of Duluth, Ga., Michael Motz of Alpharetta, Ga., Kevin Lee of Dacula, Ga., David Denlinger of Lancaster, Pa., Garrett Vilcheck of Bluffton, S.C., Jade Scott of Daingerfield, Texas, Joshua Rabbit of Tuscaloosa, Ala., William Meason III of Alpharetta, Ga., Lance Johnson of North Augusta, S.C., and Shay Womack, Jr., of Marietta, Ga., all opted to take a tournament exemption in lieu of competing this week.
In the Girls Division, Kim, 16, and Lee, 15, gained momentum from each other as the competitors began the day as playing partners on No. 14. Each put down five birdies total and shot matching front nine 38s and back nine 33s for totals of 71, making them co-medalists.
Lee birdied her first hole and said that her putting was strong early on. She opted to take a tournament exemption in place of playing this week.
“I'm kind of in shock,” Lee said about earning medalist honors. “I played really well today because of my putting. I just tried to keep getting pars and birdies.”
Meanwhile, Kim credited an all-around steady and consistent game for earning medalist honors. From here, she will go on to compete in the tournament this week.
“I'm hitting pretty consistently, so I am going to take that and apply it [at the Classic],” Kim said.
Also in the Girls Division, Mary Alice Murphy of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., qualified for this week's tournament.
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 49 states and more than 25 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 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 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.
For more information about the Burgett H. Mooney, Jr. Rome Classic, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 936-0163 or visit ajga.org.