CHAPMAN, KOLLER MEDAL AT HOUCHENS INDUSTRIES JUNIOR OPEN QUALIFIER
However Challenging, The Club at Olde Stone Shines Success
ALVATON, Ky. — Darren Chapman of Destin, Fla., and Nicole Koller of Lewisburg, Ky., led all qualifiers Sunday to medal at the Houchens Industries Junior Open Srixon Qualifier.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Houchens Industries Junior Open is being held at The Club at Olde Stone. For the Srixon Qualifier, the par-72 course was set up at 6,846 yards for the Boys Division and 5,843 yards for the girls. The qualifier field consisted of 80 boys and 18 girls, ages 12-18, from 18 states, and included 34 Kentucky residents.
Chapman led the Boys Division by a two-stroke margin, carding a 75 after making birdie on hole Nos. 12, 13 and 14.
“You have to hit the fairway,” he said. “That's all there is to it. The greens are fast, but I love it. This place is amazing.”
Confident with his game, Chapman knows he played well and is excited for the upcoming event.
“I'm just going to bring five or six clubs,” said Chapman of tournament preparation. “I'm going to try and keep a light bag and work to hit the fairways and greens.”
Fifteen additional boys also qualified for the tournament. William Hunt of Paducah, Ky., Mark Reinhold of Cincinnati, Rennan Joo of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Gordy Hoagland of Louisville, Ky., Cameron Carrico of Owensboro, Ky., John O'Planick of Wooster, Ohio, Joe David of Madison, Tenn., Paul Hammerschmidt of Westerville, Ohio, Miles Bell of Lexington, Ky., Robert McDade of Shepherdsville, Ky., Cory Siegfried of Wayne, Pa., Elliott House of London, Ky., Benjamin Cohen of Pittsburgh and Jay Mulieri of Silver Spring, Md., earned spots in the Houchens Industries Junior Open.
Seven additional boys shot scores that would have qualified, had they not chosen to opt out of the tournament, and take a tournament exemption. William Mason of Bridgeport, W. Va., Jeff Quinn of Anthem, Ariz., Michael Cress of Dublin, Ohio, Eric Carnacchi of Dearborn, Mich., Collier Jones of Little Rock, Ark., Gary Quinn of Anthem, Ariz., and Joshua Roller of Springfield, Mo., all chose to utilize this option.
In her first-ever AJGA event, Koller, a 2008 graduate, hit 13 fairways and 9 greens, surpassing her expectations to medal in the Girls Division. She attributes her success to consistent play and remaining level-headed on the challenging course.
“When I thought I hit it bad or in the rough, I was OK because everyone else was also hitting it there,” she Koller.
Three additional girls qualified for the tournament. Emma Talley of Princeton, Ky., Tyler Etcheberry of Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Kristen Wilkinson of Glasgow, Ky., are playing in the tournament June 12-15. Sarah Beth Davis of Victoria, Texas, and Taylor Manning of Brentwood, Tenn., also qualified, but chose take a tournament exemption and forego playing in the tournament.
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 countries.
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.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which enters 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, Candie Kung, Grace Park, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer.
Tournament tee times will run from 7 a.m. — 1 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at The Club at Olde Stone on Tuesday through Thursday. For more information on the Houchens Industries Junior Open, please call AJGA tournament headquarters at (270) 393-4653, or visit ajga.org.