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Arizona Junior Golfers Qualify to Play in the IMG Academy Junior World Championships

By April 16, 2019April 25th, 2019No Comments
Ashley Menne pulled away from the pack by 10; Gavin Aurilia wins by two over three players.

Gavin Aurilia & Ashley Menne

The first local qualifier to enter the coveted IMG Academy Junior World Championship was recently contested at Whirlwind Golf Club’s Cattail Course April 13-14 with 19 Arizona junior golfers earning a spot into the championship to be held July 8-12 in San Diego.

In the Boys Championship division, Gavin Aurilia of Phoenix made 13 birdies en route to a 10-under-par 134 (66-68) and first place. Gabriel Salvanera of San Tan Valley made it to the championship with an 8-under-par 136 (67-69), and Nicholas Kling of Paradise Valley will join them after shooting 6-under-par 138 (70-68).

In the Girls Championship division, Ashley Menne of Surprise successfully defended her title with a blistering 12-under-par performance – 10 shots clear of the nearest competitor – featuring a 7-under 65 followed by a 5-under 67. Brooke Veres of Goodyear also made the cut at 2-under-par 142 (72-70).

Anawin Pikulthong of Gilbert shot 67-67—134 to qualify at 8-under par in the Boys 13-14 division. Alex Lynch of Scottsdale did the same at 6-under-par 136 (67-69), and Charlie Palmer of Mesa took the final spot with at 2-under-par 140 (73-67).

In the Boys 11-12 division, Jet Johnson of Scottsdale earned his place in the championship with a 2-under-par 142 (70-72). Brennan Korn of Phoenix took the second spot at even-par 144 (74-70), and Alec Hilgers of Litchfield Park will advance after capturing the third spot in the division (72-81—153, +8).

In the Boys 9-10 division, Arjun Somani of Chandler shot 71-76—147, 3-over par, to come in first place in the qualifier. Pierson Huyck of Phoenix earned the final spot at 13-over par (79-78—157).

In the Girls 13-14 division, Abbey Schutte of Goodyear fired a 1-under-par 141 (67-74) to qualify for the championship. Jennifer Seo of Chandler took the final spot at 4-over-par 146 (71-75).

In the Girls 11-12 division, Ailis Tribolet of Chandler shot 78-74—152, 8-over par, to qualify alongside Alexis Vakasiuola of San Tan Valley at 11-over-par 155 (79-76). And in the Girls 9-10 division,

Evyn Cannon of Scottsdale will move on after shooting 15-over-par 159 (80-79), and Ashley Shaw of Litchfield Park will do the same at 18-over-par 162 (84-78).


The 2019 IMG Academy Junior World Championships tees off July 8-12. From its humble beginnings in 1952 with a group of 50 young players at the then Mission Valley Country Club, today the IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships has grown to host 1,200 participants representing 56 countries and 42 states. The tournament is the largest international event in the world and is uniquely recognized for its cultural diversity. Hosted at famed Torrey Pines as well as other San-Diego-area clubs, in 1968 John W Brown, A.S. “Lou” Smith and Norrie West decided the San Diego Junior Golf Association would host the Junior World Golf Championships to create a tournament where juniors from all parts of the world could come together to play golf and grow culturally. Click here to learn more about the IMG Academy Junior World Championships.