PAKZAD SHOOTS 1-UNDER TO CLAIM MEDALIST HONORS IN WENATCHEE QUALIFIER
Simanton, Bezdicek medal for the Girls in their first AJGA event
WENATCHEE, Wash. — Alec Pakzad of Bellevue, Wash., carded a 1-under-par 71 to claim medalist honors in the Boys Division qualifier for the AJGA Junior at Wenatchee. Amy Beth Simanton of Lake Oswego, Ore., and Savana Bezdicek of Colbert, Wash., shared medalist honors in the Girls Division after bringing in 5-over-par 77s.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Qualifier for the AJGA Junior at Wenatchee was an 18-hole stroke-play competition held at the Wenatchee Golf & Country Club. The tournament field consisted of 56 boys and 33 girls, ages 12-18, from seven states and Canada. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 6,383 yards while the Girls Division played it at 5,985 yards.
Pakzad, who will take a Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event, tallied four birdies on the day with all of them coming in the last seven holes of play.
“I was putting it close all day but they finally started to drop at the end,” Pakzad said. “I hit the ball really well and didn't have any big mistakes which allowed me to shoot under par.”
Qualifying for the tournament in the Boys Division were Nick Russell of Vancouver, British Columbia, Randall Zeck of Cross Plains, Wis., Pureum Lee of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Scott Kim of Richland, Wash., Will Holdridge of Bellingham, Wash., Alex Street of Medford, Ore., and R. Jordan Skyles and Michael Johnson, both of Eagle, Idaho.
Sean Ko of West Vancouver, British Columbia, Garrett Howard of Spokane, Wash., Alex Harding of Portland, Ore., and Reid Fredrickson of Newcastle, Wash., all qualified for the tournament via a sudden-death playoff.
Also qualifying but opting to take a Tournament Exemption along with Pakzad were Darren Whitehouse of Langley, British Columbia, Tyler Engel of Castle Rock, Colo., and Lawrence Ree of Redondo Beach, Calif.
For the Girls Division, Simanton and Bezdicek both medaled in their first AJGA event.
“This feels good,” Bezdicek said. “I didn't know what to expect and there were some good players out there today.”
Bezdicek, 14, tallied one birdie on the par-5 No. 10, after draining a 30-foot putt. She opted to take a Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in the tournament.
Simanton battled missed fairway shots with solid putting and up-and-down play.
“It seemed like I couldn't hit a fairway,” Simanton said. “But I was putting really well and everything from 20 feet away and closer were going in for me.”
Also qualifying and joining Simanton in the tournament field were Victoria Choi of Langley, British Columbia, Rui Li of Kent, Wash., Lauren Sewell of Renton, Wash., Clair Choo of Los Angeles, and A Ram Choi of Surrey, British Columbia.
Qualifying, but choosing to take a Tournament Exemption was Kristen Rue of Gig Harbor, Wash., and Anna Bourland of Bainbridge Island, Wash.
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.
The first round of the AJGA Junior at Wenatchee will be held on Wednesday, August 20, with tee times running off the No. 1 tee from 7 a.m. — 11:48 a.m. at Wenatchee Golf & Country Club. For more information regarding the AJGA Junior at Wenatchee, please contact Tournament Director Tommy Tangtiphaiboontana at (678) 617-2424.