TEE UP JUNIOR CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY KAMEN RIDER DRAGON KNIGHT CUP
Oak Valley Golf Club
Beaumont, Calif. •
July 26 - 29
BEAUMONT, Calif. --
results from the TEE UP Junior Challenge presented by Kamen Rider Dragon Knight Cup conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Oak Valley Golf Club.
Boys Par: 36-36--72. Yardage: 6995. Rating: 73.8. Slope: 140 Girls Par: 36-36--72. Yardage: 6089. Rating: 75.9. Slope: 136
Torano, Namkoong Strike Early and Often to Gain Advantage at Oak Valley Golf Club
Kim's consistent play pushes her atop leaderboard at TEE UP Junior Challenge presented by Kamen Rider Dragon Knight Cup
BEAUMONT, Calif. — Tyler Torano of Chula Vista, Calif., and Andrew Namkoong of Villa Park, Calif., sit atop the leaderboard after the first round of play at the TEE UP Junior Challenge presented by Kamen Rider Dragon Knight Cup with 5-under-par 67s. In the Girls Division, Lauren Kim of Los Altos, Calif., shot a 1-under-par 71, giving her a one-stroke lead over her fellow competitors.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the TEE UP Junior Challenge presented by Kamen Rider Dragon Knight Cup is a
54-hole stroke play event held at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont, Calif. The 146-player field features 101 boys and 45 girls, representing nine states, Mexico, China, Argentina, Thailand and the Philippines. The Boys Division is playing the par-72 course from 6,995 yards and the Girls Division is playing from 6,089 yards.
Torano's round started off a bit shaky as he bogeyed his first hole of the day, No. 10. He rebounded quickly, though, birdying Nos. 13, 15 and 16. However, it was not until Torano reached the front nine that his confidence began to show.
“I birdied Nos. 1 and 2,” Torano said. “I was really looking forward to the front nine because I knew there were a lot of birdie opportunities out there and that is where I could take advantage. This is a shorter course that rewards you, especially if you go with your driver. I've played two other tournaments here so I was comfortable out there as well.”
Heading in to tomorrow's round, Torano is focusing his attention more toward the par-5s.
“Hopefully I can take advantage of the par-5s in the next round,” Torano said. “I did that pretty well today and I hit a lot of fairways out there. If I can continue that tomorrow I will be in good shape.”
Namkoong's performance on the front nine was just as consistent as Torano's, tallying six pars and two birdies. The best was yet to come as Namkoong topped off his first nine holes with an eagle on No. 9, bringing him to 4-under.
“No. 9 was a game-changer,” Namkoong said. “I hit a 5-wood to the green and was able to sink a putt from about 10 feet out for the eagle. It was probably my best hole of the day.”
Namkoong is not interested in changing up his game too much headed into the second round, looking instead to stay calm and play consistently.
“I am happy with what I did today and how I am playing right now,” Namkoong said. “I'm going to try to stay in the fairway because once you get out of the fairway, you can get in trouble. If I can do what I did today again, though, I'll be extremely happy.”
Currently in third place, one stroke behind the leaders, is Jonah Texeira of Northridge, Calif., with a 4-under-par 68. Rounding out the Boys Division in a four-way tie at 3-under-par 69 are Troix Tonkham of Arleta, Calif., Pete Fernandez, Jr., of Bakersfield, Calif., Matt Pinizzotto of Salinas, Calif., and Rak Cho of Brea, Calif.
Kim, who is currently ranked No. 60 in the Polo Junior Golf Rankings, started her day off strong, birdying No. 1. After keeping par through the next seven holes, Kim capped off her front nine with one more birdie, just for good measure.
“The front nine really boosted my confidence today,” Kim said. “I birdied Nos. 1 and 9 and played consistent throughout. My putting saved me a few times out there and was a real strength for me today.”
Although she only carded one bogey on the day, Kim is looking to improve her drives in an attempt to eliminate any high scores.
“I need to improve my drives off the tee,” Kim said. “I spread a few at the end and had to go looking for a few balls. I think I was getting a little tired towards the end. The fact is, though, the fairways are pretty wide. If I can stay on the fairways and not get into too much trouble, I can play my game the way I want to.”
Rounding out the Girls Division in a three-way tie for second place at even-par 72 are Veronica Valerio of Temecula, Calif., Yu Liu of Beijing, China, and Gyeol Park of Anaheim, Calif.
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 provides valuable exposure for college golf scholarships, and has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and 30 countries. To ensure scholarship opportunities for all junior golfers who have the skill, the AJGA created the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program to provide financial assistance to young players in need.
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. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
Second round tee times for the TEE UP Junior Challened presented by Kamen Rider Dragon Knight Cup will run from 7 a.m. — 8:39 a.m. and Noon — 1:48 p.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information about the TEE UP Junior Challenge presented by Kamen Rider Dragon Knight Cup, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (678) 386-1487.
The American Junior Golf Foundation is the primary recipient of all charitable giving to the AJGA and as such administers a variety of programs designed to compliment the AJGA and the members and families who make up our community. Learn more about these important programs and how your contributions to the Foundation secure the AJGA’s financial future for future generations to come.
The Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program provides financial assistance to junior golfers who wish to play in AJGA events. Its goal is to give top-flight golf opportunities to young golfers regardless of financial resources. This program helps to fulfill the AJGA’s mission of developing young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.
What is Leadership Links?
Leadership Links is a new program whereby the AJGA is able to further its mission to help develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the AJGA youth development programs. Please click here to learn more about the program and the different opportunities available.
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.