HANSEN BATTLES WIND TO MEDAL IN STOCKTON SPORTS COMMISSION JUNIOR CLASSIC QUALIFIER
Cheng, Maxoutopoulis share Girls Division honors at The Reserve at Spanos Park
STOCKTON, Calif. â€” Matthew Hansen of Los Osos, Calif., shot a 2-under-par 70 despite tough wind conditions in the Qualifier for the Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic, which was good enough to earn him the medalist honors in the Boys Division. Anne Cheng of Torrance, Calif., and Kortnie Maxoutopoulis of Pleasanton, Calif., shared the top spot in the Girls Division by carding 6-over-par 78s.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Qualifier for the Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic was an 18-hole stroke-play competition held at The Reserve at Spanos Park. The tournament field consisted of 57 boys and 28 girls from seven states. The Boys Division played the par-72 course at 7,082 yards while the Girls Division played it at 6,314 yards.
Hansen, who scattered four birdies and two bogeys, played consistent throughout 18 holes to best his opponents by one stroke.
â€śI just put everything together today,â€ť Hansen said. â€śI didn't miss many fairways and my putting was surprisingly good. I just relaxed out there and tried to have fun.â€ť
Hansen chose to take a Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event.
Also opting out and taking the Exemption in the Boys Division were Raymond Gerow of Santa Barbara, Calif., Jan Vincent Jaro of Jacksonville, Fla., Johnathan Christensen of San Clemente, Calif., Walter Kaneshiro of Castro Valley, Calif., and Jeff Moeser of Santa Ana, Calif.
Qualifying and playing in the Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic are Anton Arboleda of La Canada, Calif., Alfred Castro of La Quinta, Calif., Paul McNamara III of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., Jeffery Wells of Redondo Beach, Calif., Jered Stone of Tarzana, Calif., Gregory Kerber of Las Vegas, Jacob Williams of Fontana, Calif., Jordan Schiemer of Bend, Ore., Christian Dolan of Islip, N.Y., Geoff Hunt of San Clemente, and Riley Kilpatrick of San Diego, Calif.
In the Girls Division, Cheng, 13, battled the winds on the back nine and tallied one birdie on the par-4 No. 14.
â€śEverything was average today,â€ť Cheng said. â€śNothing was good, nothing was bad. The 7-hour drive home will be a little more enjoyable now that I am going home with a win.â€ť
Maxoutopoulis was excited about her first AJGA win after carding a birdie on the par-3 No. 8 with a 30-yard chip-in.
â€śI really thought that I was going to bogey the hole because my chip shots haven't been the best lately,â€ť Maxoutopoulis said. â€śBut it was a perfect shot and went right in. That felt good but it feels even better to be playing among these elite golfers.â€ť
Both Cheng and Maxoutopoulis have chosen to take a Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event.
Also qualifying but opting-out were Dorothy Schwartz of San Jose, Calif., Ellese Dias of Crockett, Calif., Kaitlin Park of Tustin Ranch, Calif., and Paige Lee of Folsom, Calif.
Qualifying and playing in the Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic are Claire Kinsey of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Ji In Park of Cupertino, Calif., Katie Lee of Silverdale, Wash., Natasha Darras of Laguna Beach, Calif., Katie Park of La Crescenta, Calif., Anna DePalma of San Clemente, Jane Dong of Fremont, Calif., and Amy Alston of Mission Viejo, Calif., who qualified via a sudden-death playoff.
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 Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic will be held on Tuesday, August 26, with tee times running off the No. 1 tee from 7 a.m. â€” 12:20 p.m. at The Reserve at Spanos Park. For more information regarding the Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic, please contact Tournament Director Jeremy Freyman at (678) 617-9917.