DELUCA IS BOYS DIVISION MEDALIST AFTER SHOOTING 71 AT Ką˛ QUALIFIER
Anderson posts top score in Girls Division at Bellefonte Country Club
ASHLAND, Ky. — Daniel DeLuca, 17, of Lexington, Ky., carded a round of 1-over-par 71 Monday for medalist honors in the Boys Division of the Ką˛ Qualifier at the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior. Alexandra Anderson, 17, of Charlotte, N.C., claimed one of three spots in the Girls Division of the upcoming tournament after carding a 10-over-par 80.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Bellefonte Country Club in Ashland, Ky. The field featured 49 boys and 11 girls, ages 12-18, from 10 states. The par-70 course was played at 6,034 yards in the Boys Division and 5,627 yards in the Girls Division. Ką˛ Qualifiers give juniors an opportunity to "play their way in" to coinciding AJGA Open tournaments or earn a Tournament Exemption or Performance Star for a future event. The Ką˛ Qualifier Series offers opportunities for AJGA juniors at approximately 50 AJGA Open events.
DeLuca opened his round with a bogey on the par-3 7th hole, but he rebounded for a birdie on No. 9 and an eagle on the par-5, 480-yard 10th.
“I dropped a lot of putts early on, and my wedge play was pretty good,” DeLuca said. “Everything was pretty consistent.”
Also qualifying in the Boys Division were Mason Haynes of Elizabethtown, Ky., Tyler Hardison of Louisville, Ky., Tanner Pontius of Powell, Ohio, Robb Clark of Louisville, Joshua Robinette of Ashland, Joseph Richard of Owensboro, Ky., Brendan Byrne of Strongsville, Ohio, Michael Ashcraft of Allentown, Pa., Thomas Dransfeld of Huntingdon, W. Va., Jake Heinen of Hunting Valley, Ohio, Tyler Yaple of Dublin, Ohio, and Jeffrey Meade of Ashland.
Yaple and Meade qualified via a four-way, sudden-death playoff.
Boys opting to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing this event were Jared Howard of Dublin, Ohio, James Wistrom of Prospect, Ky., Mitchell Thomas of Farragut, Tenn., Casey Komline of Dorset, Vt., Emmanuel Petrich of Grand Blanc, Mich., Ryan Prokay of Grove City, Pa., and Chandler Fischer of Nicholasville, Ky.
Anderson played in last week's Midwest Junior Players Championship in Bloomingdale, Ill., and is looking to improve upon her finish at that tournament this week in Ashland. She highlighted her resilient play on No. 12 Monday for putting her in position to play in a second AJGA Open.
“I hit it in the sand, my sand shot flew the green, my chip flew the green, then I made a 20-foot putt for bogey,” Anderson said. “I was proud I didn't give up.”
Also qualifying in the Girls Division were Jessica Zhang of Mason, Ohio, and Sabrina Ferreri of Franklin, Ky.
Girls opting to take an AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing this week's event were Allie Knight of Knoxville, Ky., and Allison Hancock of Paris, Ky.
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 50 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.
Ką˛ Inc., a technology-based education company, is the nation's leading provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs to students in grades K-12. Ką˛ provides its curriculum and academic services to online schools, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and directly to families. Over 55,000 students in 23 states and the District of Columbia are enrolled in online public schools that use the Ką˛ program. Ką˛ Inc. also operates the Ką˛ International Academy, an accredited, diploma-granting online private school serving students worldwide. The Ką˛ academic program is used by many young people pursuing careers in athletics, music, art, acting, and other professions that require a high degree of scheduling flexibility. More information can be found at www.k12.com.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 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.
First round tee times for the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior will run 7 a.m. — 1 p.m. off the No. 1 tee at Bellefonte Country Club. For more information contact Tournament Headquarters at (606) 326-1744.