SANSLOW AND GATES SPLIT MEDALIST HONORS IN SRIXON QUALIFIER
Kim wins medalist honors at The Club at Olde Stone
ALVATON, Ky. â€” Brandon Sanslow of Richmond, Ky., and Wesley Gates of Novi, Mich., recorded 1-over-par 73s to earn medalist honors in the Srixon Qualifier for the Houchens Industries Junior Open Sunday in the Boys Division. Kyung Kim of Wailuku, Hawaii, carded a 6-over-par 78 to earn medalist honors in the Girls Division.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Houchens Industries Junior Open Srixon Qualifier was an 18-hole shotgun held at The Club at Olde Stone. The tournament field consisted of 85 players, 69 boys and 16 girls, from 17 states. The Boys Division played the course at 6,769 yards and the Girls Division at 5,726 yards.
Sanslow, who played in last year's event, took what he learned last year and put it to good use. Sanslow admitted to hitting more 3-woods instead of drivers and keeping the ball below the hole on the greens to leave himself with easier putts. He also learned to keep it in the fairway.
â€śThe greens are pretty tricky, you have to get used to them,â€ť Sanslow said. â€śThe rough is also tough; you just can't play out of it.â€ť
Gates was content to let the course come to him and did not want to do anything to get himself into trouble. He was able to rebound from a double-bogey on No. 16 with a birdie on No. 17. Gates would finish strong making nine straight pars to finish his round.
â€śI played for pars out there, birdies were seldom,â€ť Gates said. â€śI didn't aim for flagsticks; I went for the center of the green and let my putter do the work.â€ť
Zachary Butler of Lexington, Ky., and Michael McDade of Sheperdsville, Ky., finished third in the Boys Division after posting 3-over-par 75s. Brian Steele of Springfield, Mo., Rohan Verma of Kingwood, Texas, and David Payne of Louisville, Ky., tied for fifth after shooting 4-over-par 76s.
Gates and Payne both opted to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event. Five other players in the Boys Division earning spots in this week's Houchen's Industries Junior Open were James Dawson of Bardstown, Ky., Elliot House of London, Ky., Clark Collier of Edmond, Okla., Robert Kirby of Bowling Green, Ky., and Tommy Armour IV of Cincinnati.
In the Girls Division, Kim is excited to be in the tournament field and is hoping to take what she learned from the qualifier to help her. Kim played consistently throughout her round and is looking to be a little more aggressive during the tournament rounds.
â€śThe slopes on the green got me a little, so I know where to hit it now,â€ť Kim said. â€śMy putting is working well, making those hard three to four footers saved me a lot today.â€ť
Kerri Dice of Chapel Hill, N.C., finished second in the Girls Division after posting a 14-over-par 86. Taylor Manning of Brentwood, Tenn., finished in fourth place, posting a 16-over-par 88.
Dice and Manning both opted to take an AJGA Performance Based Entry Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event. Two other players in the Girls Division qualifying in this week's Houchens Industries Junior Open were Sydney Bell of Franklin, Tenn., and Kelsey Burrell of Franklin, Ky.
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 49 states and more than 25 countries.
SRIXON Sports USA, Inc., based in Lawrenceville, Ga., has been distributing premium golf balls and equipment in the U.S. since 1997 and is a subsidiary of SRI Sports Limited. SRI Sports Limited is the number one golf club manufacturer in the world's second largest market, Japan, and is one of the world's leading patent holders in golf ball technology. SRIXON golf balls earned 26 tournament victories on multiple professional tours around the world in 2006.
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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
First-round tee times will begin at 7 a.m. Tuesday off the No. 1 tee at The Club at Olde Stone. For more information about the Houchens Industries Junior Open, please contact tournament headquarters at (270) 745-1752.