K12 Qualifier Series
Moon Valley Country Club
Phoenix, Ariz. • July 26, 2009

Chulya fires “best score ever” for medalist honors at K12 Qualifier for PING Phoenix Junior

PHOENIX – The stifling Phoenix heat was no match for Chris Blystone of Santa Maria, Calif., and neither was the field, as he earned medalist honors by four shots at the K12 Qualifier for the PING Phoenix Junior with a round of 5-under-par 67. Jacqueline Chulya of Bangkok, Thailand, gained entry into the tournament field by shooting 3-under-par 69, her career low round, to take home medalist honors by two shots.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the K12 Qualifier for the PING Phoenix Junior was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Moon Valley Country Club in
Phoenix. The field featured 81 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18, from nine states and Thailand. The par-72 course was played at 7,160 yards in the Boys Division and 6,209 yards in the Girls Division. K¹² 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 K¹² Qualifier Series offers opportunities for AJGA juniors at approximately 50 AJGA Open events.
Blystone’s round got off to a solid start with three straight pars, and as the temperature heated up, so did his game, as he went on to make consecutive birdies on Nos. 6 and 7, his fourth and fifth holes of the day, to jump start his round. Blystone said the back-to-back birdies gave him confidence that he could go low, and that is exactly what he did, posting four more birdies on the day to go along with a lone bogey for the four-shot victory.
“I got off to a good start, made some early birdies to build confidence and that really got me going. After those birdies, I knew I could go low, and I just played steady from then on in,” Blystone said.
Joining Blystone in Tuesday’s tournament field will be John Chaney of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Brian Kyunguk Song of Beverly Hills, Calif., Neil Evans of Phoenix, Jirapat Pattarranavik of Banglamung Chonburi, Thailand, Michael Lai of Redlands, Calif., Cash Wilkerson of Spring, Texas, Brian Blanchard of Phoenix, Nick Larson of San Diego, Colton West of Mesa, Ariz., Blake Cannon of Phoenix and James DeBoer of Onalaska, Wisc.

Qualifying but opting to take an AJGA tournament exemption instead were Michael Hong of Fullerton, Calif., Alfred Castro of La Quinta, Calif., Kolton Lapa of Mesa, Ariz., Won Je Choi of San Diego, Brett Wilson of Mesa, Ariz., Kyan Palmer of Gilbert, Ariz. and Kevin Allen of San Clemente, Calif.
Chulya, who started on No. 16 in the shotgun format, played her first three holes in 1-over-par, but then got her round rolling with birdies on Nos. 2, 4, 5, and 9 for a 4-under-par 32 on the front nine. She followed with a string of six straight pars to post her career round low round on a day when she missed only two greens and one fairway.
“I shot the best score of my life,” Chulya said. I played really well. I hit 16 greens, and I hit great approach shots in and made some putts for birdies.”
Samanta Esguerra of
Alameda, Calif., posted the only other sub-par round of the day in the Girls Division with a 1-under-par 71, to qualify for the PING Phoenix Junior. Jessica Chulya of Bangkok, Thailand, Jacqueline Chulya’s older sister, also qualified for the event by way of a two-person playoff after a 1-over-par 73.

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 30 foreign countries.

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First-round tee times for the PING Phoenix Junior will run from
6:308:18 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tee at Moon Valley Country Club. For more information contact Tournament Director Jonah Beck (678) 617-2425.

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