SPELLERBERG GOES LOW AND MEDALS WITH A 4-UNDER-PAR 68 AT RIVERCUT GOLF COURSE
Lee earns medalist honors in Girls Division at K¹² Qualifier for Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — John Spellerberg of Fremont, Neb., left little doubt that he'd be playing in the Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship at Rivercut Golf Course after shooting an impressive 4-under-par 68 during Sunday's K¹² Qualifier. Not to be outdone was Patricia Lee of Highlands Ranch, Colo., who stamped her ticket to Tuesday's first round by winning the Girls Division by four strokes after signing for a 1-over-par 73.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the K¹² Qualifier for the Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Mo. The field featured 65 boys and 16 girls, ages 12-18, from 12 states and British Columbia. The Boys Division played the par-72 Rivercut Golf Course at 6,962 yards, and the Girls Division played the course at 6,010 yards. K¹² 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 K¹² Qualifier Series offers opportunities for AJGA juniors at approximately 50 AJGA Open events.
After starting on No. 5, Spellerberg opened his round with alternating birdies and bogeys through his first four holes. However, on the traditional back nine he birdied Nos. 11-13 and then found another red number on No. 16 en route to carding a 3-under-par 33.
“I came into this round pretty optimistic,” Spellerberg said. “I played yesterday and thought I'd do well. I just wanted to hit fairways and greens, hoping my putter would work out today.”
He finished the round with eight birdies.
Also qualifying in the Boys Division for the Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship were Scott Hamel of Chesterfield, Mo., Ian Boat of Prairie Dunes, Kan., Andrew Marks of Warrensburg, Mo., Alex Rodriguez of Plano, Texas, Jacob Fair of Monett, Mo., Danny Wagner of Frontenac, Mo., Jonathan Fulp of Springfield, Mo., Grant Natori of Honolulu, Ryan Haxel of St. Louis, Mo., Robert Turley III of Overland Park, Kan., Kevin Bell of St. Louis, Mo., Joe Atkisson of Springfield Mo., Drew Wright of Norman, Okla., Spencer Lane of St. Louis, Mo., Jacob Burkholder of Sedalia, Mo., and Aaron Davis of Tulsa, Okla.
Boys opting to take one AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event were Matt Johnson of Little Rock, Ark., Brian Jung of Coquitlam, British Columbia and Drew Comer of Fort Smith, Ark.
In the Girls Division, Lee relied on her trusty putter and made five birdies during Sunday's round. While one of them was offset by a double-bogey on the following hole, she feels her game is headed in the right direction.
“When I was practicing this week, things were going well for me,” Lee said. “I'm just taking it one putt at a time, one shot at a time…If I can keep it at this rate, I should be set.”
Also qualifying in the Girls Division were Katie Grady of Mansfield, Texas, Michelle Woods of Manhattan, Kan., and Sun Young Jung of Springfield, Mo.
Girls opting to take on AJGA Tournament Exemption in lieu of playing in this week's event were Stephanie Hsieh of Alamo, Calif., and Cassie Wang of Lenexa, Kan.
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 an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and more than 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, 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.
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 Bass Pro Shops/Payne Stewart Junior Championship will run from 7:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m. off the No.1 tee Tuesday, July 28, at Rivercut Golf Course. For more information, please call Tournament Headquarters at (678) 617-9406.