RINKER, TEMPLETON SHOOT MATCHING 73s TO SHARE TOP SPOT AT AJGA QUALIFIER
Hage tops Girls Division to earn medalist honors at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club
PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Florida-natives Trevor Rinker of Winter Park, and John-Christian Templeton of Sarasota, earned spots in the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook after firing 3-over-par 73s during the AJGA Qualifier at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club. In the Girls Division, Jordyn Hage, also of Winter Park, shot a 9-over-par 79 to take home medalist honors.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Qualifier at the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook featured 63 boys and 15 girls — ages 12-18 — each trying to play their way into the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook. Eighteen states, Canada and Puerto Rico were represented in the field, including 47 players from the Sunshine State. The Boys Division played at 6,226 yards, while the Girls Division played at 5,791 yards on the par-70 Highlands North Course.
Rinker was 1-under-par going into the turn after a birdie on his first hole of the day. After some difficult holes on the back nine, Rinker was able to hold on to maintain a share of the lead.
“This was my first time playing here,” said Rinker. “The was was brutal, but I was able to make the best of it.”
Templeton had a different start to his day, carding bogey on the first hole. He bounced back with a back-nine birdie and is ready to take on the Copperhead Course during the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook.
“I had some good breaks today,” said Templeton. “I'm looking forward to competing against my friends in the tournament this weekend.”
In addition to Rinker and Templeton, the following players earned spots in the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook: Adam Baaklini of Fayetteville, Ga., Robbie Taylor of Brentwood, Tenn., Komsith Huachai of Windermere, Fla., Sean Kelly of Bradenton, Fla., Frank Berzanskis of Harmony, Fla., Craig Stevenson of Sarasota, Fla., and David Gosselin of N. Chelmsford, Mass. Other players who qualified, but opted to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption this week were Brant DeLongy of Winter Park, Fla., Abdul Sihag of Bradenton, Fla., Thomas Stewart of St. Augustine, Fla., and Nicholas Torrance of East Lyme, Conn.
After making a triple bogey on the 370-yard, par-4, No. 3, Hage was able to play steady the rest of the round in order to ensure a qualifying position into this weekend's Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook. A solid back-nine, which included a birdie on the par-5 13th, helped that goal become a reality.
“I know that I can lower my score quite a bit for this weekend,” the 16-year-old said. “The keys are to keep it in the fairway and eliminate the little mistakes.”
Also qualifying for weekend play are Robbi Howard and Marika Liu, both of Bradenton, Fla. Liu opted to take one AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event. Alexa Rancourt, also of Bradenton, will join Hage and Howard in the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook after qualifying in a sudden-death playoff for the final tournament spot.
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 49 states and 25 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 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.
For more information on the Mizuno Junior at Innisbrook, please call AJGA Tournament Headquarters at (727) 942-2000, Room 2787.