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Amateur golf: Four locals ready to play

Robinson Ranch to host junior tournament next week

Posted: August 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Valencia’s Glen Lee will compete in the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series tournament for the second year in a row at Robinson Ranch.

 

Four local golfers will have a prime opportunity to test their skill against some of the nation’s top junior players.

Robinson Ranch Golf Club will host next week’s Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior All-Star Series tournament starting Tuesday.

One of the local participants, Valencia High’s Glen Lee, finished tied for 37th in the boys division at the same tournament last year.

The other three are: West Ranch sophomore-to-be Steven Moentmann and incoming freshman Jack McClafferty on the boys side and Hart junior-to-be Jamie Corr on the girls side.

To qualify for the tournament, golfers had to be registered members of the American Junior Golf Association and needed to earn enough credentials by playing well in previous tournaments.

“If you look at that junior field, look at where some of these guys are traveling to get here just for a junior tournament,” said West Ranch boys golf coach Jeff Holen.

Players already signed up are coming from Boise, Idaho, Brookfield, Wis. and Georgetown, Ontario, just to name a few spots. The majority are coming from different parts of Southern California.

For the SCV locals, the advantage is clear.

“That’s where I first started playing golf,” Lee said of Robinson Ranch.

Not only does the familiarity with the course work to the advantage of locals, it’s also a bonus to be able to stay home for the three-day touranment.

“It’s a lot more comfortable to sleep in your own bed when you’re playing a tournament at a tough course like this,” said Jamie Corr.

Corr, who has played in four other out-of-state AJGA tournaments this year, is happy to be playing a course she’s at least partially familiar with.

In high school competition, Corr has played the front 9 of Robinson Ranch several times. She played her first practice round on the back 9 on Thursday.

More so than knowledge of the course, Lee said maintaing focus throughout the competition is of primary importance.
“I usually do good on the first day, but I feel like I don’t do as well on the second and third day,” Lee said. “This year, I want to score better on the second day than I did on the first.”

Last year at this event, Lee was 8-over after two days, but fell to 21-over after in the final round.

The Robinson Ranch tournament is only to AJGA golfers ages 12 to 15. Of the four locals, Lee and Moentmann were the only two to play their way into a qualification. McClafferty and Corr earned spots via committee excemptions.

Another area junior golfer had different plans this week. Valencia’s Alison Lee took part in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, but struggled her way to a career-worst finish at the event.

Her two-day score of 28-over was good enough for 155th place and a missed cut for the Valencia High junior-to-be on Tuesday.

It was the fourth straight year Lee competed in golf’s most prestigious amateur tournament, which is taking place at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington, R.I. this year.

In four tries, she’s made one cut. That came in 2008 when she was 13 years old.

Leading up to the U.S. Amateur, Lee had spent the summer climbing the AJGA Polo rankings, moving up to No. 7 in the most recently updated list.

Since the end of May, she’s logged four top 5 finishes in junior tournaments and has brought her ranking up from 13th at the beginning of the summer.

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