VAISANEN, ANDERSEN EARN MEDALIST HONORS IN BOYS DIVISION AT SRIXON QUALIFIER
Huachai shoots 1-under-par 71 to medal in Girls Division
PENSACOLA, Fla. — Ville Vaisanen of Bradenton, Fla., and Randall Andersen of Lakeland, Fla., each shot 2-under-par 70 to earn medalist honors at the Jerry Pate/Andrews Institute Southern Junior Srixon Qualifier. In the Girls Division, Nathada Huachai of Windermere, Fla., fired a 1-under-par 71 to take home medalist honors.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Jerry Pate/Andrews Institute Southern Junior Srixon Qualifier was held at A.C. Read Golf Club — Bayou and Lakeview Courses. The par-72 course was set up at 6,800 yards for the Boys Division and 6,020 yards for the Girls Division. The tournament field consisted of 59 boys and eight girls, ages 12-18, representing 14 states, including 24 Florida residents.
Vaisanen, who is originally from Finland, had a strong front nine, recording three birdies for a 3-under-par 33. On the back nine, Vaisanen added birdies on the 11th and 17th holes to finish with a 2-under-par 70. Vaisanen said it felt good to win, especially since he had been putting in additional practice time.
“I didn't play well in my last tournament,” Vaisanen said. “I've been working hard all summer and it has been showing lately, so that feels good.”
Andersen carded a birdie on hole No. 6, but also added two bogeys to his card to finish with a front-nine score of 37. Andersen improved his play on the back nine, recording birdies on four of the eight holes to shoot a 3-under-par 33 for an 18-hole score of 70. For the tournament that starts on Tuesday, Andersen hopes to continue playing the way he played in the qualifier.
“I just want to keep playing the way I am now and I should be fine,” Andersen said. “I just want to get myself in position on the last day to have a chance to win.”
Cole Wiederkehr of Tulsa, Okla., Michael Hebert of Palm Bay, Fla., and Reese Moseley of Bainbridge, Ga., shot 1-under-par 71 to earn spots into the tournament field. Joseph Byun of Lake Mary, Fla., shot an even-par 72 to finish tied for 6th to qualify for the tournament. Owen Franklin of Mobile, Ala., Ken Looper III of Mandeville, La., and Robert DeMaio of Weston, Fla., carded a 1-over-par 73 to also earn spots in the tournament. Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, earned the final qualifying spot after winning a three-hole playoff.
Trey Sullivan of Aledo, Texas, Malloy Moulis of Lafayette, La., and Tyler Smith of Brentwood, Tenn., would have qualified for the tournament but instead opted to take a Tournament Exemption under the AJGA Srixon Qualifier Series Option Policy.
In the Girls Division, Huachai played well on the front nine, recording three consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 2, 3 and 4. Huachai shot a 2-under-par 34 on the front nine, and added a 1-over-par 37 on the back nine to finish with a 71. Huachai credited her good play today to a change in irons, which she used for the first time in the qualifier.
“These irons are much more consistent and I'm able to hit the ball a little longer,” Huachai said. “I haven't been playing well lately, but these new irons will hopefully give me a chance to play better in the tournament.”
Two other girls qualified for the tournament. Mary-Michael Burns of Baton Rouge, La., shot a 7-over-par 79 and Ana Garcia of Niceville, Fla., shot an 8-over-par 80 to earn spots 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 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.
First-round tee times will run from 11 a.m. — 12:57 p.m. off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at A.C. Read Golf Club — Bayou and Lakeview Courses on Tuesday. For more information on the Jerry Pate/Andrews Institute Southern Junior, please call AJGA tournament headquarters at (850) 452-9157, or visit ajga.org.