SNYDER PHONES IN 68, CLAIMS BOYS MEDALIST HONORS
Stackhouse's 72 good for best in Girls Division
RINGGOLD, Ga. — It was “Play-to-Stay” Day at WindStone Golf Club, host of the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic, where rounds of 68 and 72 led the way in the Boys and Girls Divisions, respectively. David Snyder of Somerset, Ky., shot a 2-under-par 68 and secured himself a spot in the upcoming 54-hole tournament, as did Mariah Stackhouse of Riverdale, Ga., who shot a 2-over-par 72.
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. Sunday's qualifier gave 10 boys and three girls the opportunity to play in the seventh-annual Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic, which begins Tuesday, June 2.
Playing shotgun golf offers the challenge of getting to your assigned first hole on time, but starting your round with a par, a bogey, and a triple bogey offers a completely different set of challenges. Unfortunately, that's exactly what Snyder did to his scorecard Sunday morning, starting on No. 16 after the blast of an air horn began Sunday's round of golf.
However, Snyder never panicked.
“I said to myself, ‘2-over-par could qualify; if more putts can drop, I could qualify.'” Snyder sighed, and then added, “And they did for me.”
By the end of the round Snyder's putter had come full circle and on No. 14, his second to last hole, he watched his ball roll in for an eagle.
With the medal, Snyder's experience in his first AJGA tournament will be extended.
Also qualifying in the Boys Division were Elliot Shin of Franklin, Tenn., Bryan Fox of Roswell, Ga., Eric Muslawski of Sarasota, Fla., Jack Gillespie of Knoxville, Tenn., Ben Wolcott of Burns, Tenn., Austin Kramer of Knoxville, Tenn., Ted Moon of Lilburn, Ga., Kelby Burton of Evans, Ga., and Dustin Wilder of Brentwood, Tenn.
Also qualifying but opting to take a Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic were Lee McCoy of Palm Harbor, Fla., Tyler Shellnut of Franklin, Tenn., Elton Chang of Alpharetta, Ga., Grant Daugherty of Alcoa, Tenn., Hayden Garrett of Easley, S.C., Austin DeGrate of Houston, Wesley Gosselin of Knoxville, Preston Flick of Douglasville, Ga., and Ryan Trocchio of Norcross, Ga.
In the Girls Division, Stackhouse fought through shaky putting with precise approach shots en route to her medalist honors. She was never more precise than on the water-guarded par-3 No. 13, where her tee-shot landed to less than two-feet from the front of the cup. A shot that ultimately led to her first birdie of the day. She picked up another birdie four holes later on No. 17.
After missing the deadline to apply for the tournament, the No. 38 ranked golfer in the Polo Golf Rankings had no other choice than to play in the Sunday's qualifier. And while she was relieved her stay in Ringgold would be extended into next week, she wasn't completely impressed with her round.
“At different times it was different things; my driver was pretty trusty all day but my putting could have been better — it should be better.”
This will be her second time competing in the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic, the last coming in 2008 when she finished tied for third.
Also qualifying for the tournament were Jordan Hollinshead of Old Hickory, Tenn., and Allie Knight of Knoxville, Tenn.
Also qualifying but opting to take a Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic were, Becky Sharpe of Williamsburg, Ky., and Sophia Schubert of Oak Ridge, Tenn.
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 50 states and more than 30 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 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
Ką˛ Inc., a technology-based education company, is the nation's leading provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs to students in grades K-12. Ką˛ provides its curriculum and academic services to online schools, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and directly to families. Over 55,000 students in 23 states and the District of Columbia are enrolled in online public schools that use the Ką˛ program. Ką˛ Inc. also operates the Ką˛ International Academy, an accredited, diploma-granting online private school serving students worldwide. The Ką˛ academic program is used by many young people pursuing careers in athletics, music, art, acting, and other professions that require a high degree of scheduling flexibility. More information can be found at www.k12.com.
First round tee times for the Ringgold Telephone Company Junior Classic will run from 7:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m. off of the No. 1 tee at WindStone Golf Club, June 1, 2009. For more information, please call Tournament Headquarters at (706) 965-2541, or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.