Mohansic Golf Course

Yorktown Heights, New York

July 16, 2004



Kim, Sheldon and Stepanek tie for medal in Girls Divison


YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.Matthew Belizze of North Salem, N.Y., battled gusty winds to fire a 2-under-par 68 and claim the top spot in the Boys Division of the Marsh Junior at Apawamis Qualfier.


In a three-way tie in the Girls Division, Julie Kim of Bayside, N.Y., Claire Sheldon of Milton, Mass., and Morgan Stepanek of Guilford, Conn., claimed medalist honors with an 8-over-par 78.


The Marsh Junior at Apawamis Qualifier was an 18-hole shotgun start conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at the Mohansic Golf Course in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Ninety-one players from 10 states competed for 11 spots in the Boys Division and three spots in the Girls Division. The Marsh Junior at Apawamis is a 54-hole stroke-play event beginning Tuesday, July 20, at The Apawamis Club in Rye, N.Y.


Starting on hole No. 12 in the shotgun-started event, Belizze birdied two of his first five holes and finished his front nine at 3-under-par 32.


“I really spent a lot of time chipping and putting the night before and it paid off,” Belizze said. “I made a lot of par saving putts.”


Belizze finished just as strong by making eagle at No. 10, a 495-yard par 5, with a 10-foot putt.


“This feels good,” Belizze said.  “This is my first tournament and I just wanted to qualify.”


Ten other boys qualified along with Belizze.  The list includes: Max Buckley of Rye, N.Y., John Guannuzzi of Wellesley Hills, Mass., Tyler Sosin of Fairfield, Conn., Zachary Carr of Wappingers Falls, N.Y., Christopher Barach of Niskayuna, N.Y., Matthew Loftus of Ridgefield, Conn., Justin Hughes of Simsbury, Conn., Chris Bushnell of Madison, Conn., David Chung of Berkeley Heights, N.J., Rob Hellauer of Lebanon, N.J. and Davis Brown of Stamford, Conn.


Kim overcame some apprehension to not only qualify, but medal at her first ever AJGA event.


“I was definitely nervous and just wanted to qualify,” Kim said. “I was pretty confident about my short game and feel I did alright.”


Both Sheldon and Stepanek had strong back nines highlighted by birdies. Stepanek’s came on the 358-yard No. 12, while Sheldon birdied the 486-yard par-5 ninth.


“I struck the ball well off the tee,” Sheldon said. “I have had problems with that before, and with the wind I was a little concerned.”


Gianuzzi, Hellauer and Sheldon all chose not to use their tournament exemption for the Marsh Junior at Apawamis and use it toward their player status for future AJGA events.


James Watson IV of Rocky Mount, N.C., qualified in a sudden death playoff in the Boys Division and Anna Cho of West Nyack, N.Y., qualified by finishing fourth with a 9-over-par 79 in the Girls Division.  


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.


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 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, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Grace Park, Christie Kerr and Beth Bauer.


For more information about the Marsh Junior at Apawamis, please contact tournament headquarters at (914) 967-2100.


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