WRAY TOP MEDALIST IN BOYS DIVISION; ONLY PLAYER TO SHOOT PAR
Kim's 76 holds as low score in Girls Division of Srixon Qualifier Series
AVON, Conn. -Trip Wray, III of Westwood, Mass., carded a par-71 to be the top qualifier in the Boys Division of the Srixon Qualifier Series for the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers. His counterpart in the Girls Division was Lois Kim of Bayside, N.Y., as she posted a 5-over-par 76.
The Srixon Qualifier Series, an 18-hole event conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, was held at the Blue Fox Run golf course. Ninety-seven junior golfers â€” 81 boys and 16 girls â€” from 18 states, including 24 from Massachusetts, 22 from Connecticut, and 22 from New York, competed in the event.
As he completes his first summer of AJGA play, Wray said he thinks qualifying for a tournament is more stressful than playing in one.
â€śI'm more nervous during a qualifier. Once you're there [the tournament], you can have fun and let loose,â€ť he said. â€śI was hoping to shoot low-70s. I played a little better than that.â€ť
Wray said he hit most fairways and greens on his way to winning the qualifier. As the only player in the field to shoot par, he said hitting the ball straight helped him maintain the lead. One of the highlights on the round was draining a 35-foot-putt for birdie on the par-5 No. 12.
â€śIt was lucky, but I'll take it,â€ť he said. â€śPutting is not my strength, but I putted well today.
Also qualifying for the tournament with 1-over-par 72s were Antonio Grillo of Vineyard Haven, Mass., and Bryan Sheridan of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Tim Buczak of Meriden, Conn., Mark Dee of Cheshire, Conn., and Kevin Fitzpatrick of Harrison, N.Y., qualified as they ended the round tied at 73. Sheridan opted not to play in the tournament in lieu of accepting one tournament exemption toward his Performance Based Entry status.
Of 11 players tied at 4-over-par 75, eight competed in a sudden-death playoff for the final five tournament spots. David Chung of Berkeley Heights, N.J., Michael Corbo of Mendham, N.J., Dylan Malafronte of Tampa, Fla., Thomas McCarthy of Tolland, Conn., and Jeremy Ramondetta of South Hadley, Mass., will also compete in the 54-hole tournament, which begins Tuesday at the Wethersfield Country Club.
The top five girls from the Srixon Qualifier Series advanced to the tournament. While she felt she could have played better, Kim said she enjoyed the group she was playing with, which she said helped her stay relaxed.
â€śI was having fun. The people I was playing with were laughing, so if I had a bad hole, I was able to forget about it,â€ť she said.
She is hoping she can do the same during the tournament and stay consistent with her drives and woods, which she said are the strongest parts of her game.
In addition to Kim, Ana Nam of Flushing, N.Y., at 77, Monique Kim of Harrington Park, N.J., at 78, Taylor Lee of Lafayette, Calif., at 79 and Samantha Morrell of North Kingstown, R.I., at 81, also qualified.
Because Lee opted not to play in the tournament in lieu of accepting one tournament exemption toward her Performance Based Entry status, Lucille McGovern of Escondido, Calif., defeated Laura Monty of North Granby, Conn., in a one-hole, sudden-death playoff to qualify. The girls were tied at 83.
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 the Greater Hartford Jaycees Junior presented by St. Paul Travelers, please contact Tournament Headquarters at (860) 529-3326.