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Magnolia Grove Golf Club – Crossings Course
Mobile, Alabama
September 2, 2004

Even par leads 15 qualifiers into this weekend’s tournament

MOBILE, Ala. – Toby Ragland of Jacksonville, Fla., Parker Ferren of Tallahassee, Fla., and Jason Cuthbertson of Conway, Ark., battled a typically hot and humid Alabama summer day to fire even-par 72s and capture medalist honors at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior Qualifier on Thursday.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior Qualifier was played at the Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove Golf Club. The field consisted of 65 boys from 18 states. Fifteen qualified for the tournament which begins Saturday at Magnolia Grove.

Ragland’s round ended well, but getting there was an adventure.  He started his round 2-over par, but quickly moved to 1-under par through seven holes before eventually finishing at even par.  Ragland’s attempt to qualify for an AJGA event is unusual considering his fully exempt Performance Based Entry Status. 

“I’m fully exempt, but I missed the application deadline to get into the tournament,” admitted Ragland, who fired a 35-37—72.  “I was hoping I would just make it, because I really didn’t want to miss this tournament.  I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”

Ragland will have at least one familiar face joining him from the qualifier field—fellow medalist Parker Ferren who caddied for Ragland in the match play portion of the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship earlier this summer.  Ferren birdied holes No. 1, 2 and 3 on the way to his 33-39—72.

“The two tournaments I’ve qualified for, Toby has been there.  I need to bring him along anywhere I go,” the 17-year-old Ferren joked.  “I think I play well in qualifiers because I have nothing to lose.  As long as I can take the same attitude into the weekend, I’ll be fine.”

Starting his round on hole No. 13, Cuthbertson was 2-under par with three holes to play, but found trouble on the start of the back nine for a 34-38—72.

“I looked at the results from last year and saw that the cut was 77 or 78,” said the Arkansas native Cuthbertson.  “I knew that if I kept the ball in play and made a few putts that I would be in good shape to qualify.”

A well-traveled group of boys round out the qualifiers for the final tournament of the AJGA summer season.  Those qualifiers are Patrick Reed of Baton Rouge, La., Reed Howard of Hilton Head Island, S.C., Rikiya Kitagawa of Bradenton, Fla., Taylor Lucas of Collierville, Tenn., Freddie Janneck of Madison, Miss., Corey Nagy of Charlotte, N.C., Rocky Cleland of Hattiesburg, Miss., Chris Robertson of Huntsville, Ala., Austin Ehlenfeldt of Beaver Dam, Wis., Michael Blodgett of San Luis Obispo, Calif., Randy Guliuzo, Jr. of Belle Chasse, La., and Ryan Smith of Birmingham, Ala.

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 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.

The first round of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior begins at 7 a.m. Saturday.  Ninety-nine boys will be competing at the Falls Course at Magnolia Grove Golf Club, while 62 girls will start off the Nos. 1 and 10 tees at the Crossings Course.  For more information on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Junior, contact tournament headquarters at (251) 649-6111.