SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN HAS KELLY FEELING LUCKY AFTER FIRING 5-UNDER-PAR 67
Weaver takes down Medalist Honors in Girls Division with 2-under-par 70
SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. — Jimmy Kelly of Phoenix, fired a 5-under-par 67 to earn Medalist Honors at the PING Phoenix Junior Srixon Qualifier. In the Girls Division, Lauren Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz., played her way to the top of the leaderboard by shooting a 2-under-par 70.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the PING Phoenix Junior Srixon Qualifier was held on the Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club — Prospector Course. Seventy-four boys and 16 girls ages 12-18 each competed for a chance to play in the PING Phoenix Junior that will take place from August 15-18 at the Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club — Prospector Course.
Kelly breezed through the Prospector Course Monday when he carded seven birdies and an eagle to fire 67 and lead the Boys Division. Despite two double bogeys, Kelly was able to post his lowest score ever in tournament play.
“I was hitting my irons really good,” Kelly said. “This was my last chance of the summer, so I was determined to bust it out.”
The 17-year-old followed a double bogey on No. 18 by hitting driver off the No. 1 tee and a gap wedge approach to one foot. That birdie was followed by an eagle on the 535-yard second hole. Kelly finished with two more birdies to complete his back nine with a 5-under-par 31.
“I'm feeling pretty good,” Kelly said. “I've had to work hard for something I really want.”
In the Boys Division, 11 more juniors qualified and will be playing in this week's event. Ryan Sheffer of Tucson, Ariz., fired a 4-under-par 68 to finish second. Niko Bain of Glendale, Ariz., shot a 70 to finish tied for third. Daniel Chian of Covina, Calif., and Eric Frazzetta of Long Beach, Calif., both shot 71 to finish tied for fifth. Jarred Bossio of Olympia, Wash., and Roy Patterson of Tucson, Ariz., both shot 72 to finish tied for ninth. Drew Kirchhofer of Dallas, Sage Smith of Scottsdale, Ariz., Alex Johnson of Tucson, Ariz., and Kyle Kallan of Surprise, Ariz., all shot 73 to finish in a tie for eleventh. Robert Belz of San Antonio, Texas, qualified via a sudden-death, four-man playoff after shooting 74.
Four players opted to take one AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event. Mark Pollak of San Antonio, Texas, shot 70 to finish tied for third. Robert Nicanor of San Diego, Calif., and Dan Geis of El Segundo, Calif., both shot 71 to tie for fifth. Johnny Mac Arthur of Santa Clarita, Calif., shot 73.
The Girls Division had its own fiery Medalist in Weaver, who began her round 2-under-par through three holes. The 15-year-old tacked on a total of five birdies for her round with solid ball-striking and a smooth stroke on the greens.
“It all just came together,” Weaver said. “I only missed two greens, and I was putting the ball really well.”
Weaver's finish was especially gratifying because of the tough test the Prospector Course presented to her.
“It means a lot because the LPGA plays out here, and it makes me feel like I can compete,” Weaver said.
Seven more players qualified and are playing in this week's event. Bethany Glassford of Henderson, Nev., shot 76 to finish third. Alli Itria of Lubbock, Texas, and Stephanie Wagstaff of Asheville, N.C. shot 78. Alexandra Hopson of Laredo, Texas, shot 80. Sehee Kim of Maricopa, Ariz., Dana Stapleton of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Sarah Freeman of Goodyear, Ariz., all shot 81s.
Lauren Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz., opted to take one AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event after shooting 70. Also opting out were Lindsey Weaver of Scottsdale, Ariz., who shot 74 and Cheyenne Hickle of Gilbert, Ariz., who shot 79.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign counties.
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.
The first round of the PING Phoenix Junior will begin Wednesday, August 16 with tee times beginning at 7 a.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. For more information on the PING Phoenix Junior, contact tournament headquarters at (480) 677-6659 or (480) 677-6613, or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.