FOGG, SMITH AND YINGER SHARE MEDALIST HONORS AT SAP JUNIOR OPEN
Santucci medals in Girls Division at Red Tail Golf Club
AVON, Ohio. — Andrew Fogg of Greenwood, Ind., Scott Smith of Pepper Pike, Ohio, and Zach Yinger of Sidney, Ohio, posted 1-over-par 73s to earn medalist honors at the SAP Junior Open Sunday. Miranda Santucci of Carnegie, Pa., claimed the top spot in the Girls Division after carding a 4-over-par 76.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ką˛ Qualifier for the SAP Junior Open was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Red Tail Golf Club in Avon, Ohio. The field featured 80 boys and 20 girls, ages 12-18, from 14 states, Taiwan and Canada. The par-72 course was played at 6,954 yards in the Boys Division and 6,151 yards in the Girls Division. Ką˛ Qualifiers give juniors an opportunity to "play their way in" to coinciding AJGA Open tournaments or earn a Tournament Exemption or Performance Star for a future event. The Ką˛ Qualifier Series offers opportunities for AJGA juniors at approximately 50 AJGA Open events.
Fogg, who is opting to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in the event, kept it steady all day with 15 pars and one birdie.
“I hit a lot of fairways and greens so that helped me out,” Fogg said. “I was just hitting the ball really consistent.”
Also opting out is Smith, who started off at 2-over-par after three holes, but rebounded to shoot a 1-under-par 35 on the back nine.
“On the par-5 No. 6 I hit the pin from 100 yards out and almost had an eagle,” Smith said. “On No. 12 I almost had my first hole in one. My ball was looking perfect but it hit the pin and did not go in.”
Yinger started out his round slow at 3-over-par after the first five holes, but went on a birdie run to end the round 1-over-par.
“I just started hitting better and got some putts to drop,” Yinger said. “I made a 30-footer on No. 16 and that got the birdies started. For the tournament I'm going to try and keep up my putting. My goal for this year is to get a top-5 finish.”
Also qualifying in the Boys Division were Steven Brown of Northville, Mich., Alex Di Palma of Waite Hill, Ohio, and Jonathan Clark of Clinton, Ohio at 77; Patrick Helman of Strongville, Ohio, and Dagan Abdon of Greenup, Ky., and Alexander Carpenter of Westerville, Ohio, at 79; Austin Estes of Middletown, Ohio, at 80; and Yinchi Liu of Bradenton, Fla., at 81.
Boys opting to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing this event were McCormick Clouser of Bluffton, Ind., Ian Holt of Stow, Ohio, Smith Brinker of Cincinnati, Ohio, Tommy Pendy of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., and Chris Cunningham of Milford, Mich.
Santucci shot a steady 2-over-par 38 on both the front and back nine to beat the competition by one stroke.
“I was driving my ball well for the first time in awhile and when I missed greens I was getting up and down so that certainly helped.” Santucci said. “The highlight was when I made eagle on No. 4. I was 100 yards out on the par-4 and the ball bounced once into the cup.”
Also qualifying in the Girls Division were Alexandra Brown of Upper Arlington, Ohio, at 86; Jenna Gentner of Rocky River, Ohio, at 91; and Michelle Ford of Ashtabula, Ohio, at 97.
Girls opting to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing this week's event were Mayko Chwen Wang of Taipei, Taiwan, Julie Lechner of Powell, Ohio, Deanna Song of Granger, Ind., and Ann Colligan of Kittanning, Pa.
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 AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 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.
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.
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.
First round tee times for the SAP Junior Open will run from 7 a.m. — 1:30 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at Red Tail Golf Club Tuesday, June 22. For more information contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 617-9917, or visit ajga.org.
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