SANCHEZ MEDALS IN REBATH HEATHER FARR CLASSIC QUALIFIER WITH 5-UNDER-PAR 66
Choi, Chan, Andreas post 73s to medal in Girls Division
MESA, Ariz. -- Alberto Sanchez of Nogales, Ariz., posted a bogey-free, 5-under-par 66 at Longbow Golf Club Wednesday to medal in the Boys Division and qualify for the 10th annual ReBath Heather Farr Classic. In the Girls Division, Won Joo Choi of Temecula, Calif., Rochelle Chan of Carson, Calif., and Haley Andreas of Pacific Grove, Calif., all carded 2-over-par 73 to tie for medalist honors.
Typically held the day prior to AJGA Open tournaments, 18-hole qualifiers give juniors an opportunity to "play their way in" to each coinciding AJGA tournament or build their status within the AJGA's Performance Based Entry system. Wednesday's qualifier gave 10 boys and three girls the opportunity to play in the 10th annual ReBath Heather Farr Classic, which begins Friday, March 21.
Sanchez's scorecard went unblemished as he negotiated Longbow Golf Club, inking five birdies and no bogeys for a 33-33--66. The 13-year-old eighth-grader bettered his qualifying score from last year's ReBath Heather Farr Classic by 10 strokes, a 76 that sent him home early, but motivated him to improve his game.
"The past year, I've really focused at competing at a high level," said Sanchez, who played in five AJGA events in 2007. "I take what I learn during my lessons and try to repeat it every day. Today, I felt like I was Tiger Woods."
Joining Sanchez in the ReBath Heather Farr Classic Boys Division field are nine fellow qualifiers: Jarrett Foote of Woodinville, Wash., at 68; R.J. Wood of Yuma, Ariz., at 69; Mike Basco of Scottsdale, Ariz., at 70; Jason Choo of Hacienda Heights, Calif., Eli Cole of Beverly Hills, Calif., Darren Saqui of Cerritos, Calif., and Dakota Duerr of Murrieta, Calif., all at 71; and Tad Murray of La Quinta, Calif., and Trey Kaahanui of Tempe, Ariz., who qualified through a sudden-death playoff at 72.
Paul Lim of Torrance, Calif., and Sam Bernstein of Riverdale, N.Y., both fell within the cut line at 71 and 72, respectively, but chose to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in the ReBath Heather Farr Classic.
In the Girls Division, Choi's 36-37--73 included three front-nine birdies. Because she applied for the ReBath Heather Farr Classic late, the two-time Rolex Junior All-American and two-time AJGA champion was put in the position of playing in her first AJGA Qualifier in her four-year national junior golf career.
"I'll have to admit, I was pretty nervous," she said. " I knew I had to come out and play well. I really didn't want to go home early, so there was a lot of pressure to play solid all the way around."
On the flip side, Andreas, 15, came to Longbow Golf Club without ever competing in a single AJGA tournament round. She credits some her 36-37--73 to pre-round advice from Mina Harigae, a five-time Rolex Junior All-American and hometown friend.
"She told me to relax and play as calm as possible," Andreas said. "I'm definitely content with my 73 and will use her advice in the event this weekend."
Chan, 15, used her 2-over-par 73 to bank an AJGA Tournament Exemption rather than competing in the ReBath Heather Farr Classic. Her class schedule at Torrance High School would not allow her to play this weekend, she said. In taking the exemption, Chan's departure allowed Rachel Kim of Diamond Bar, Calif., to qualify via sudden-death playoff at 4-over-par 75. She defeated Paige Spiranac of Monument, Colo., on the third hole of the playoff to round out the Girls Division tournament field.
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 ReBath Heather Farr Classic, please contact Steve Ethun in the AJGA Communications Department at (678) 571-7994.
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