KINKOPF, VANDERMADE GO LOW TO MEDAL
Fifteen players qualify for Smithfield Junior Championship
BLAIRSVILLE, Pa. — Michael Kinkopf of Hilliard,
Ohio, and Nicole Vandermade of Brantford, Ontario, came out strong in
the Srixon Qualifier for the Smithfield Junior Championship, recording
a 7-under-par 65 and a 6-under-par 66 respectively.
The Srixon Qualifier was an 18-hole event conducted by the American
Junior Golf Association. It was held at Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort and
Conference Center — Tom's Run, playing at par 72 and featured 83 boys
and 17 girls, ages 12-18, from Canada and 17 states.
Kinkopf led the Boys Division with the help of his putter.
“I made a lot of putts,” Kinkopf said. “I started making putts at No. 8”
The 16-year-old Ohio native did not just start making putts at No.
8, but also began making birdies as well. Kinkopf went on a stretch of
five consecutive birdies from Nos. 8 — 12. In that span, he said the
furthest putt he had to make was 10 feet.
“I guess I was hitting my irons well also,” he said.
Qualifying in the Boys Division were: Mac Walrath of Edmonton,
Alberta, 70; John Szmyd of Rye, N.H., 71; Robert Shogry of Pittsburgh,
72; Matthew Porter of Cortland, N.Y., Mathieu Spence-Godin of Newtown
Square, Pa., and Stephen Derminio of Center Valley, Pa., 73; Michael
Amato of Highland Mills, N.Y., 74; Brian Robinson of Pleasanton,
Calif., Josh Webb of Sparta, N.J., Timothy Rosenhouse of Dix Hills,
N.Y., and Matthew Schovee of Cherry Hills Village, Colo., 75.
In the Girls Division, Canadian Nicole Vandermade, 16, solidified herself as the medalist by firing a bogey-free 66.
“I birdied every par-5,” Vandermade said. “I've been hitting the ball really well. I just finally rolled putts in.”
“It's easier to one-putt when you put it close,” she said.
Vandermade said the round gave her confidence going into the
tournament. She said she was able to consistently put the ball 20-25
feet from the hole throughout the day.
Other qualifiers in the Girls Division were Alyssa Roland of Newtown Square, Pa., 72 and Anne Ormson of Granger, Ind., 74.
SRIXON Sports USA, Inc., based in Norcross, Ga., has been
distributing premium golf balls and equipment in the U.S. since 1997
and is a subsidiary of SRI Sports. SRI Sports is one of the world's
leading patent holders in golf ball technology and manufactures several
golf balls played in the United States. SRI Sports-made balls have won
73 PGA TOUR events since 1989, including seven majors. For more
information about SRIXON, please visit www.srixon.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 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
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 support, became the inaugural AJGA
Premier Partner in 2004.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and
professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on
the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA
alumni include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Mike Weir,
Charles Howell III, Jim Furyk, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr, Candie Kung
and Paula Creamer.
First-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. Tuesday at Chestnut Ridge
Golf Resort & Conference Center — Tom's Run. For more information
on the Smithfield Junior Championship, please contact tournament
headquarters at (724) 459-7919.