SCHEFFLER AND WILHIDE PLAY TOGETHER AND MEDAL TOGETHER
Uhles enjoys four-shot cushion, easily takes medalist honors
ABILENE, Texas — Scott Scheffler of Dallas, and Brandon Wilhide of Richmond, Texas, did not let the sweltering Texas heat slow down their games, earning co-medalist honors by one-shot at 1-over-par 72 at the K12 Qualifier at Diamondback Golf Club for the Bob Estes Abilene Junior. Chaney Uhles of Fort Worth, Texas, posted a 2-over-par 73 to secure medalist honors by four shots in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ką˛ Qualifier for the Bob Estes Abilene Junior was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Diamondback Golf Club. The K12 Qualifier field featured boys and girls, ages 13-18, from five states Thailand, Philippines. The Boys Division played the par-71 layout at 6,829 yards, while the Girls Division played the course at 5,923 yards. 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.
Scheffler, who just recently turned 13 years old and was the youngest player in the field, proved that age is just a number with birdies on Nos. 2 and 6, both par 5s, to go with a bogey on the par-3 No. 3 for a 1-under-par 35 front nine. However, he got off to a slow start on the back nine, bogeying No. 10 and double-bogeying No. 12, but he rallied with a string of pars and a birdie on No. 16 to bring him back to 1-over-par 72.
“I thought I was going to play pretty well after I holed a 12-footer on No. 2,” Scheffler said. “I hit every fairway today, and I made a lot of great up and downs.”
Wilhide, who teed off in the same group as Scheffler off of the No. 1 tee, was the epitome of consistency on the front nine, making par on every hole for an even-par front nine. Wilhide said he didn't hit the ball particularly well on the front and scrambled for pars, but that quickly changed on the back nine with a birdie on No. 10. Wilhide continued his solid ball-striking for the rest of the back nine, hitting every green before an unfortunate double bogey on the par-5 No. 17 which tainted his bogey-free round.
“I kind of scrambled on the front, but I had all pars until I birdied No. 10. I thought I was going to have a bogey-free round, but I doubled-bogeyed No. 17,” Wilhide said. “I hit a lot of fairways today, and I made a lot of great par putts to save me.”
Michael Clapp of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., Dylan McClure of Argyle, Texas, and Ryan Joe of Cerritos, Calif., all qualified but opted to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption instead of joining this week's field.
Michael Varner of Coweta, Okla., Alec Heinen of Edmond, Okla., Zach Tucker of Oklahoma City, Greg Polledri of Southlake, Texas, Kittisak Linthong of Chonburi, Thailand, Tyson Turnbow of Muleshoe, Texas, Michael Coopman of Park City, Utah, and Charles Neel White of Austin, Texas, all qualified, earning tee times in Tuesday's first round of the Bob Estes Abilene Junior.
Uhles, who started on No. 7 in the shotgun format, was 3-over-par on first 10 holes but followed with a 2-under-par three-hole stretch to stabilize her round before making bogey on the par-5 No. 6, her final hole, to finish at 2-over-par 73 for the day
“I hit the ball great all day, and I was consistent,” Uhles said. “Not many putts dropped for me, but I two-putted a lot.”
Michelle Chen of Plano, Texas, finished four shots back of Uhles in second at 6-over-par 77. Taylor O'Rear of Salado, Texas, rounded out the top three and accepted a position in the tournament field with a 7-over-par 78.
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.
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.
For more information about the Bob Estes Abilene Junior, please contact Tournament Director A.J. Donaldson at (678) 386-1487.