MCDONALD-SMITH WAITS THROUGH RAIN DELAY, TAKES MEDALIST HONORS AT THE K12 QUALIFIER AT CORSEMAX/PHILADELPHIA RUNNER JUNIOR
Kan, White share the trophy at Penn Oaks Golf Club
WEST CHESTER, Pa.- Xander McDonald-Smith of Rockaway Park, N.Y., was approaching his last hole of the day when a rain delay halted play for two hours. McDonald-Smith overcame the weather and made a birdie on the last hole of the day to take home medalist honors by one stroke in the Boys Division of the K12 Qualifier. Aurora Kan of Boothwyn, Pa., and Alexandra White of Haymarket, Va., both carded a 7-over-par 78 Sunday, to qualify for the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior which begins on Tuesday.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Ką˛ Qualifier for the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, Pa. The field featured 85 boys and 9 girls, ages 12-18, from 13 states. The par-71 course was played at 6,532 yards for the Boys Division and 5,723 yards for 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. In all, 14 boys and 2 girls advanced from the K12 Qualifier and have the opportunity to play in the Corsemax/Philadelphia Runner Junior, which begins Tuesday, August 11. The Ką˛ Qualifier Series offers opportunities for AJGA juniors at approximately 50 AJGA Open events.
McDonald-Smith's putting game contributed to his even-par 71 as well as the eagle he carded on his second hole of the day, the par-5, 478 yard No. 3.
“I hit my driver pretty good down the right side,” McDonald-Smith said. “Then I hit a high draw over trees using my 7-iron to two feet to the flagstick to putt for eagle.”
Joining McDonald-Smith and opting to take a Tournament Exemption instead of playing in the tournament is Max Christiana of Mt. Kisco, N.Y., Brian Starker of Purchase, N.Y., Andrew Wong of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and Patrick Fahey of Buffalo, N.Y.
The 14 players filling the tournament field will be Anthony Miller of West Lawn, Pa., Richard Sung of Closter, N.J., Brent Bigler of Washington, Pa., Douglas Fernandez of Ithaca, N.Y., Michael Lee of Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., Andrew McCracken of Virginia Beach, Va., Zach Allinson of Allentown, Pa., Will Bernstein of Riverdale, N.Y., Bobby Svigals of Villanova, Pa., Stephen Pastore of Greenwich, Conn., Nate Cohan of Gaithersburg, Md., Ralph Balsey of Kensington, Md., Andrew Lee of Pittstown, N.J., and Matthew Hardman of Gettysburg, Pa.
In the Girls Division, Kan's best part of her game was her accuracy with the driver. Her best hole of the day came on the par-3 140 yard No. 12 after she sank a 35-foot putt for birdie.
“My toughest par of the day was on No. 14, a very long par-4,” Kan said. “In the fairway I hit my 5-wood in to the green, 20 feet from the flagstick and two putted for par. My game plan for the tournament is to sharpen my approach shots and make more putts.”
White made her only birdie on No. 15, she used her 5-iron off the tee and hit it close to the flagstick and dropped a short putt for birdie.
“All day my iron shots were really good and accurate,” said White. “But I missed a lot of opportunities with putting.”
Erica Herr of New Hope, Pa., will be joining Kan in the tournament.
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 CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior will run from 7:30 a.m.- 9:09 a.m., and Noon-1:39 p.m., off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees Tuesday, August 11, at Stonewall Links-North Course. For more information about the CorseMax/Philadelphia Runner Junior please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 571-7994.