COATNEY AND GANSKE SHARE MEDALIST HONORS AT K¹² QUALIFIER
Hsieh medals in Girls Division at Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Eric Coatney of Tulsa, Okla., and Paul Ganske of Lakeville, Minn., were co-medalists in the Boys Division after each fired a 2-under-par 70 at the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings K¹² Qualifier. Stephanie Hsieh of Alamo, Calif., earned Girls Division medalist honors after she carded a 1-over-par 73 at Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings K¹² Qualifier was an 18-hole stroke play event held at Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark. The tournament field consisted of 56 boys and 19 girls, ages 12-18, from 11 states. The Boys Division played the par-72 Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club layout at 6,915 yards, and the Girls Division played at 6,056 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.
Coatney said he played a “solid” round after he mixed four birdies and two bogeys for the day. He pointed to his play at the par-5 No. 2 as his favorite hole of the day.
“I actually hit my drive into the 11th fairway,” Coatney said. “From there, I hit a three-wood in and a sand wedge to 40 feet, and I made my putt from there for birdie.”
Ganske, who was 3-over-par on the course's four par-3s, made six birdies elsewhere to finish at 2-under-par.
“I made a lot of birdies. I'd always come back and make a birdie after I had a bogey,” Ganske said. “I putted really well.”
Also qualifying in the Boys Division were Jay Cox of Paris, Texas, Jack Fiscus of Tulsa, Okla., Slade Hames of Rogers, Ark., Donald Stimble of Shell Knob, Mo., Chad Mathews of Van Buren, Ark., Tommy Eagan of Cherokee Village, Ark., Dylan Lovell of Harrison, Ark., Patrick Holt of Rogers, Ark., Drew Comer of Fort Smith, Ark., Joe Atkisson of Springfield, Mo., Taylor White of Dakota Dunes, S.D., Drew Greenwood of Hot Springs, Ark., Alex Rodriguez of Plano, Texas, and Jack Garrett of Fouke, Ark.
Four boys opted to take one AJGA tournament exemption in lieu of playing this week's event: Jackson Ogle of Arcadia, Okla., Josh Lee of Orange Park, Fla., Jared Cohen of Ozark, Mo., and Skyler Arbuckle of Greenwood, Mo.
In the Girls Division, Hsieh got off to a quick start from the 8 a.m. shotgun that propelled her to a strong day.
“I birdied my third and fourth holes, so my confidence was really boosted then,” Hsieh said. “After that, I tried to play conservatively…put my shots in the middle of the fairway, hit greens in regulation, and two-putt on the green.”
Girls qualifying to play in the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings were Chantakan Chanpalangsri of Boca Raton, Fla., Audrey Monssoh of Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., Jinny Kim of Coppell, Texas, and Sara Croom of Russellville, Ark.
Kendra Mann of Harrah, Okla., joined Hsieh in opting out of this week's event.
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.
K¹² 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. K¹² 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 K¹² program. K¹² Inc. also operates the K¹² International Academy, an accredited, diploma-granting online private school serving students worldwide. The K¹² 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.
First-round tee times for the AJGA Arkansas Junior at Blessings will run from 7:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m. Tuesday, August 11, off the No. 1 tee at Blessings Golf Club. For more information, please call Tournament Headquarters at (678) 617-9917.