O'NEAL TAKES K12 MEDALIST HONORS BY FOUR STROKES AT AJGA NOTRE DAME JUNIOR OPEN
Jordan wins Girls Division at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Connor O'Neal of Carmel, Ind., gained entry to the AJGA Notre Dame Junior Open Sunday, with a 1-under-par 70 to medal in the Boys Division by four strokes. Jessie Jordan of St. Paris, Ohio carded 5-over-par 76 to take home medalist honors in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Notre Dame Junior Open K12 Qualifier was an 18-hole stroke play event being held at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame. The tournament field consisted of 84 Boys and 16 Girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states, Indonesia and Canada. The par-71 course was played at 6,908 yards for the Boys Division and 5,888 yards for the Girls Division. Typically held the day prior to AJGA Open tournaments, 18-hole K12 Qualifiers give juniors an opportunity to "play their way in" to each coinciding AJGA tournament or build their AJGA Performance Based Entry status. In all, 15 boys and 3 girls advanced from the K12 Qualifier and have the opportunity to play in the AJGA Notre Dame Junior Open, which begins Monday, July 27. The K12 Qualifier Series offers opportunities for AJGA juniors at approximately 50 AJGA Open events.
O'Neal started strong on his first nine holes and carded birdies on Nos. 13, 14, 17 and 18 to finish 3-under-par 33 heading to his second nine.
“My best hole was No. 14, the long par-3,” said O'Neal. “I hit my 4-iron to about three feet and sunk a good down hill putt for birdie.”
O'Neal said the course was long, tough and windy and his game plan going into the first round is to think his way around the course and to play smart because playing too aggressive can get you into trouble.
Joining O'Neal in Tuesday's tournament field will be Kyle Henning of Brookfield, Wis., Elliot Horst of Rockford, Ill., David Janney of Avon, Ind., Alexander Carpenter of Westerville, Ohio, Dylan Lee of Hinsdale, Ill., Michael Zausmer of West Bloomfield, Mich., Paul Wolf of Southlake, Texas, Tanner Rabb of Zionsville, Ind., Daniel Wiegandt of Hilliard, Ohio, Kyle Geist of Naperville, Ill., James Tria of Miami, Jackson Stevens of Greenwood, Ind., Trent Davis of Rockford, Mich., and Elliot Shin of Franklin, Tenn.
Qualifying but opting to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption instead were Jared Howard of Dublin, Ohio, Philip Purcell of Winnetka, Ill., Jonathan Gerrard of Highland Park, Ill., Anthony Burdi of Carol Stream, Ill., Jason Plepel of Wheaton, Ill., Paul Sansom of Russellville, Ky., Zachary Elkins of Dublin, Ohio, and Kyle Kochevar of Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Jordan, who started on No. 18 made pars on five of her last eight holes, which included a birdie on 469 yard No. 10 to finish strong and win the Girls Division by one stroke.
“No. 10 was a par-5, I stuck a nice iron to the green and one putted for birdie,” Jordan said.
Joining Jordan, who opted to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing this event, is Erin Michel of Mason, Ohio, at 8-over-par 79.
Qualifying to play in Tuesday's first round in the Girls Division will be Bernice Sitompul of Jakatta, Indonesia, Taylor Bickell of Napa, Calif., and Anna Gleixner of Greenwood, Ind.
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.
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First-round tee times for the AJGA Notre Dame Junior Open will run from 7 a.m.-12:20 p.m. off the No. 1 tee Tuesday, July 28 at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame. For more information about the AJGA Notre Dame Junior Open, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (574) 631-9792 or visit ajga.org.