The Dominion Country Club
San Antonio, Texas
July 11, 2004

12  boys and six girls gain entry into the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout through Sunday qualifier

SAN ANTONIO – Dax Clark of Shawnee, Okla., and Scott Pinckney of Anthem, Ariz., shared medalist honors Sunday in the Boys Division, while Caitlin Bliss of Katy, Texas, and Stephanie Smith of The Woodlands, Texas, tied for first in the Girls Division to lead 12 boys and six girls who qualified for the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout to be held at The Dominion Country Club later this week.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout is a 54-hole, stroke play event featuring junior golfers from nine states and Mexico.  101 Texans will be among the 120 juniors, who range in age from 12-18.  2004 marks the 13th year the AJGA has staged the event in the San Antonio area.  The tournament will run from Monday, July 12, through Thursday, July 15.

Clark and Pinckney each posted matching rounds of 1-under-par 71, while Bliss and Smith shot 9-over-par rounds of 81 to finish the day tied atop the field.

The 18-year-old Clark admitted the course set up well for his style of play as he continually hit his driver off the tee.  His strategy led to his hitting 14 greens in regulation.  Clark has participated in two AJGA events in the 2004 season, the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at The Woodlands and the OSSO Junior at Oak Tree.

“It’s wide open so you can bust driver a lot and leave some short shots into the greens,” Clark noted.  “I like courses that let you keep the driver in your hands.”

Pinckney used a hot putting stroke to earn his way into the field.  The 15-year-old has previously participated in the Ashworth Junior Series and the Nike Golf Junior All-Star Series, but the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout will be his first AJGA Open event.

“I hit the ball well and putted really well today,” he said.  “Today I probably missed only three fairways.  I’d rather qualify and earn my way into the tournament because I get to know the course that way.”

Tying for third at even-par 72 were Matthew Vela of San Antonio and Chase Neyland of Plano, Texas.  Finishing in fifth place was Cameron Fanning of Houston who posted a score of 1-over-par 73.

In the Girls Division, Bliss, 15, used a crafty gameplan and a deft touch around the greens en route to sharing medalist honors.

“I got up-and-down really well today,” she said.  “My short game was working pretty well.  I just tried to save pars when I could by getting up-and-down.”

Smith, also 15, used her first-ever AJGA competition to grab a share of medalist honors.

“My tee shot was what made it work today,” she said.  “My putting also helped me.  The course is nice and challenging.”

Tying for third place in the Girls Division were Sara Hemingway of Kingwood, Texas, and Kathryn Oliver of Waco, Texas, who shot 13-over-par 85.

Also qualifying for this week’s tournament in the Boys Division were Brandon Jones of San Antonio, Travis Woolf of Arlington, Texas, Will Griffin of San Antonio, Michael Mullin of Austin, Texas, Jared Shepherd of Kingwood, Texas, Andrew Workman of The Woodlands, Texas, Christopher Miller of The Woodlands, Texas, Aaron Smith of Westlake Village, Calif., and Michael Ramirez of Austin, Texas.

Earning entry into this week’s tournament in the Girls Division were Angela Birdwell of College Station, Texas, Abby Oberthier of Montgomery, Texas, Allyson Ferguson of Houston, Texas, Kelsey Vines of Austin, Texas, and Laura Dyson of Fairview, Texas.

Qualifiers who opted to have a Tournament Exemption added to their Performance Based Entry Status in lieu of participating in this week’s tournament were Boys Division participants Neyland, Fanning, Brian Scherer of Midland, Texas, Chance Pipitone of Houston and Jason Lowry of Southlake, Texas.  Girls Division participants who opted out included Bliss, Smith and Oliver.

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 has a membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 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, a supporter of the AJGA since 1983, became an AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.

For more information on the Valero Texas Open Junior Shootout, contact tournament headquarters at (210)698-2745.

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