DC Metro Area Juniors Descend on AJGA at Innisbrook

April 22, 2011 by  

The TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook (Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club, Palm Harbor, FL) hosted by Sean O’Hair begins today. The DC Metro area is well-represented by many of the area’s best junior golfers.

In the girls division, the DC Metro area has five competitors. From the Class of 2011 are Lisa Combs (Amissville, VA), Maia Schechter (Takoma Park, MD), and Lauren Coughlin (Chesapeake, VA). Elyse Smidinger (Crofton, MD) is from the Class of 2012, and Ju-Hee Bae (Chantilly, VA) is the youngest from the area and will graduate in 2014.

Coughlin, headed to play golf for Virginia in the fall, competed in this event last year and picked up a T23, carding 76, 75, 78 (229). Schechter, headed to North Carolina in the fall, and Combs both have a reputable junior golf resume and will be looking to do well as they head into their final junior golf season. Smidinger is coming off a win at the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls Golf Tour’s Finley Classic held at UNC Chapel Hill last month. A pair of 77’s led her to the top of the field of 36. No doubt she is looking to build on that win. Bae has already developed an impressive junior golf record, 4th out of 50 at the VSGA Junior Girls Championship last summer, 2nd in a field of 73 at the Virginia High School League’s (VHSL) Girls Championship last fall (68-70, 138), and backing that up with several top-10 performances at AJGA events.  Look for more of her now and in the future.

On the boys side, the field has eight players from the DC Metro area. From the Class of 2011 are Scott Davidson (Round Hill, VA) Brantley Kushner (Leesburg, VA) Jay Pinkos (Clifton, VA), and Tyler Wingo (Fairfax, VA). Davidson recently won a PJGT event, held locally at Bull Run. He put up good numbers (71, 67 – 138). Last fall at the VHSL AAA State High School Championship he placed 4th in a field of 61, shooting similar numbers (71, 68 – 139). He has plenty of AJGA experience with his best finish being 5th at the AJGA New Jersey Junior last summer.

Kushner is headed to Miami of Ohio in the fall. He has been a staple on the junior tours and has grinded his way to play college golf. He recently placed 6th in a field of 30 at the IJGT at Westfields (Clifton, VA). Pinkos is a seasoned junior player who recently competed in the AJGA’s Puerto Rico Open, finding a top-20 finish. His best AJGA finish to date was a 3rd place out of a 74-player field in the Palmetto Junior Classic last summer. Rounding out the 2011 Class is Wingo, who will be playing for Notre Dame this fall. His most recent AJGA event was a bit disappointing by his standards, granted it was the Polo Golf Junior Classic which is always a high talent-rich field. He finished 56 in a field of 77, posting 80-74, 154. His most impressive AJGA finish by far is his win at the AJGA Junior at Kingsmill Resort (Virginia) last summer. With rounds of 68, 67, 73 (208), this was a wire-to-wire victory that you can read about right here. He is a two-time Washington Post All-Met player who has a good chance of picking up that third selection this year.

The Class of 2012 is represented by Keegan Boone (Bethesda, MD), Alex Church (Timonium, MD), and Chris Hickman (Centreville, MD).  Boone had a great finish at the AJGA at The River Club (Leesburg, VA) last summer. He placed 6th in a field of 73, carding 75, 68 (143). No doubt his star is rising.  The DC Metro Junior Golf Featured Video offers images from this event. His most recent tournament was the IJGT Major at Kiawah Island where he placed 7th out of 64.  He is also the reigning 2010 Boys 14-15 Champion of the prestigious Bobby Bowers Memorial Junor Golf Tournament. Hickman is a solid player through and through with several Top-15 AJGA finishes. Similarly, Church is a veteran AJGA player who placed 5th in a field of 98 at the popular Woodward Video Junior at The Greenbriar last fall. He put up very solid rounds that weekend (73, 74, 71 – 218).

Ryan Cole (Mt. Airy, MD), Class of 2013. In our opinion, one of the best non-Senior Class players in the DC Metro area.  We have seen Cole rise through the local tours, to the regional tours and onto the national stage. Always near the top of the field at each level. He has a couple of Top-10 AJGA finishes already and has the ability to sprinkle his card with a round in the 60’s.

We’ve said it before and we will say it again, the DC Metro area has a ton of junior golf talent. The players representing this weekend are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Good luck to all and play well!

First-round tee times in the Boys Division run from 8 — 9:40 a.m. and 12:30 — 2:10 p.m. off Nos. 1 and 10 tees of Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club’s Copperhead Course. The Girls Division will play the North Course off of Nos. 1 and 10 tees from 8 — 9:48 a.m. This is a 54-hole stroke play tournament with cuts being made after 36 holes.

For more information on this tournament and to view “Scoring on the nines” see the AJGA website.

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