RATIGAN WINS GIRLS DIVISION SRIXON QUALIFIER BY 10 STROKES
Boys Division qualifiers determined by four-way tie and playoff lit by fireworks
CROWN POINT, Ind. — Andrea Ratigan of Tucson,
Ariz., ran away with the Girls Division of the Srixon Qualifier Series
at Indiana's Chicago Junior Open with a 72, outdistancing her nearest
competitor by 10 strokes. Celebrating the Fourth of July with a
four-way tie at 73 in the Boys Division were Bobby Caplin of St. Louis,
Mo., Brady Keegan of Eau Claire, Wis., Pete Tomkie of DeWitt, Mich.,
and Ryan Williams of Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Srixon Qualifier Series, an 18-hole event conducted by the AJGA,
is being held at the White Hawk Country Club — Red Hawk & Black
Hawk Courses. Eighty-four junior golfers from 14 states, including
eight from Indiana and 36 from Illinois, competed in the event. Players
started on the first holes of both the Red Hawk and Black Hawk Courses.
Ratigan, a rising senior, flew to Indiana for the week because she
wants to attend college in the Midwest. She said trees and grass in the
fairways forced her to slightly alter her game strategy.
“I have to hit farther in the air because there's not as much roll
as in Arizona,” she said. “I just wanted to qualify. I like golf; I
love to play, tournament or not.”
Rebecca Lederhausen of Hinsdale, Ill., was second in the Girls
Division with an 82 followed by Alexandra Lederhausen of Hinsdale,
Ill., one stroke behind with an 83.
The Lederhausens chose to opt out of the tournament in lieu of
accepting a tournament exemption for their Performance Based Entry
Also competing in the Indiana's Chicago Junior Open this week will
be Carissa Burdi of Carol Stream, Ill., with an 84; Anne Ormson of
Granger, Ind., with an 85; and Megan Trachok of Pittsburgh, Pa., who
scored an 86.
Despite windy conditions and tough fescue, Keegan said he chose to take a few risks.
“I went for everything today. I hit my driver on a couple of holes I shouldn't have, but it worked out okay,” he said.
Tomkie said he hopes to break into the top-15 at the tournament this week.
“I tried to shoot around even. I thought some holes on the back nine
were tougher,” he said. “I just tried to keep it in the fairway and
putt well. The greens were tough and the wind was tough.”
Heading into the qualifier, Williams said he wanted to shoot a 75.
At the turn, he was 1-under-par, but recorded a double bogey on his
13th hole, No. 4 on the Red Hawk Course. He said strong putting helped
him finish at 1-over-par.
“Ten and four were really deceiving holes,” he said. “My putting was
key. I made some five to eight-footers and easily could've shot 78 to
80 if they wouldn't have fallen.”
A back injury last year kept Caplin off the course for almost 10
months, but he said the time off and practice during the winter boosted
his mental game. Regardless, knowing he had to try to place a shot onto
the “island green,” which is surrounded by water on No. 6 of the Black
Hawk Course, was on his mind all day.
“I was nervous the whole time,” he said. “But I hit the green and two putted in for par. It was a lot of weight lifted off.”
Tied for fifth place at 74 were Ronald Owen of Ann Arbor, Mich., and
Scott Schuitema of Muskegon, Mich. With 3-over-par 75s and tied for
seventh were Jack Newman of Des Moines, Iowa, Ravi Patel of Naperville,
Ill., and Matthew Cermak of Chicago, Ill. Sam Bettinardi of Tinley
Park, Ill., and Kyle Thomas of Fishers, Ind., ended the day with 76s.
Trip Wray, III of Westwood, Mass., and Ryan Weinhaus of Chesterfield,
Mo., tied for eleventh at 77.
Keegan, Williams, Owen, Schuitema, Bettinardi and Thomas chose to
opt out of the tournament in lieu of accepting a tournament exemption
for their Performance Based Entry Status. Zachary Kozuchowski of
Fraser, Mich., qualified with a 6-over-par 78. One stroke behind with a
79 was Ryan Kolesar of Midland, Mich. Scoring 8-over-par 80s and
surviving a seven-person playoff that finished as local firework
displays were beginning were Ryan Szumski of Rockford, Mich., and Scott
Vasko of Westerville, Ohio.
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 a junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately
5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, 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, Dottie Pepper, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr
and Beth Bauer.
For more information on Indiana's Chicago Junior Open, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (219) 661-2323.