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MISSION HILLS DESERT JUNIOR
Srixon Qualifier Series
Mission Hills Country Club - Dinah Shore Tournament Course
Rancho Mirage, Calif. • June 26, 2005
 

SHIMON'S 67 EARNS MEDALISTS HONORS AT MISSION HILLS
Johnson and Chhuor set bar in Girls Division Srixon Qualifier

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Nick Shimon of Peoria, Ariz., shot a 3-under-par 67 on Sunday to earn medalist honors in the Boys Division of the Srixon Qualifier for the Mission Hills Desert Junior. Ashley Johnson of Bellflower, Calif., and Brenda Chhuor of Cerritos, Calif., were the top girls in the qualifier shooting low-rounds of 73.

The Srixon Qualifier Series, conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, was held at the Westin Mission Hills Resort — Pete Dye Course. Ten boys and three girls qualified for the 84-player event that begins on Tuesday, June 28, at the Mission Hills Country Club's Palmer Course.

All three medalists chose to take advantage of the AJGA's Opt Out Policy. This allows them to add one tournament exemption to their AJGA performance based entry status, instead of entering the Mission Hills Desert Junior field.

Shimon started off his round with three consecutive pars before chipping in from the fringe on the 420-yard, par-4 No. 4, to make birdie. He then went on to finish the front-nine 3-under, and held on for medalist honors.

“I chipped in on four, and that got things going,” Shiman reflected. “I just got in a groove after that.”

Those who qualified and will compete in the championship beginning Tuesday include: Daniel Watase of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Jeffrey Kang of Los Angeles, Michael Haenel Jr. of Paradise Valley, Ariz., John Yeun of Brea, Calif., Alex Shi Yup Kim, of Fullerton, Calif., Louis Amira of Valencia, Calif., David Caplinger of Indio, Calif., Kyle Borggrebe of West Hills, Calif., Kevin Henry Jr., La Quinta, Calif., and Conor McElyea of Santa Cruz, Calif.

Those who qualified in the top 10 but opted to have one tournament exemption added to their AJGA performance based entry instead of competing in the Mission Hills Desert Junior were: John Cisek of Coto de Caza, Calif., Aaron Smith of Westlake Village, Calif., Tyler Weworski of Carlsbad, Calif., and Justin Wei of San Marino, Calif.

In the Girls Division, Johnson utilized a balanced attack, with long drives off the tee and clutch putting throughout the day. After consecutive bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9, Johnson's putter caught fire. On the 150-yard, par-3 No. 11 Johnson found the hole from 50-feet away. She made birdie and then managed par on her remaining five holes.

“It's very exciting,” said Johnson, playing in her first AJGA event Johnson said. “But it's also overwhelming playing in such a great event.”

Chhuor had to make a late charge, as she started her round by bogeying two of her first four holes. She proceeded to make a key birdie putt on No. 4 and maintained that momentum throughout her round.

While Chhuor is unable to compete in Mission Hills Desert Junior, she is happy with her performance.

“I want to win a tournament this summer,” Chhuor said. “And hopefully earn more exemptions.”

Other Qualifiers for the Girls Division are Kylie Fuller of Temecula, Calif., Jasmine Chean of Irvine, Calif., and Robin Lee of Camarillo, Calif. Emily Mason of Highland, Calif., also earned an exemption and opted out of Tuesday's tournament.

Srixon Sports USA, Inc., based in Norcross, Ga., has been distributing premium golf balls and equipment in the U.S. since 1997 and is a subsidiary of SRI Sports. SRI Sports is one of the world's leading patent holders in golf ball technology and manufactures several golf balls played in the United States. SRI Sports-made balls have won 73 PGA TOUR events since 1989, including seven majors. For more information about SRIXON, please visit www.srixon.com.

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, which enters its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004.

For more information about the Mission Hills Desert Junior, contact tournament headquarters at (760) 324-9400 ext. 507.