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Owen Bolles Wins Betsy King IMG Junior World Qualifier; Alexis Vakaiuola Takes Girls Title

By April 25, 2023No Comments


The first local qualifying tournament to enter the coveted IMG Academy Junior World Championship was recently contested April 22-23 in the Betsy King IMG Academy Junior World Qualifier, yielding 19 players to become championship bound. The Junior World Championships are held July 8-13 in San Diego.

Whirlwind Golf Club’s Cattail Course hosted the Boys Championship division, with the first qualifier Owen Bolles of Chandler earned top medalist honors after clinching the victory in a late playoff after rounds of 66-70. At 8-under par, he finished tied with another qualifier, Tyler Spielman of Cave Creek, to stack up the leaderboard until Bolles clinched the victory by making par on the first playoff hole (18). The third and final player from the Boys Championship division to qualify was Brody Leid of Phoenix just one shot back, 7-under par (67-70).

Whirlwind also hosted the Boys 15-18 division, with Oliver Uribe of Scottsdale shooting consistent rounds of 74-74 to land one stroke ahead of second place at 4-over par.

The Girls Championship division squared off at Ocotillo Golf Club, with two qualifiers heading to San Diego. Alexis Vakasiuola of San Tan Valley fired 75-71 to finish in first place at 2-over par, and Carolyn Fuller of Phoenix shot 77-71 to come in second place.

In the Girls 15-18 division, also contested at Ocotillo, Riley Doherty of Cave Creek and Rylee Stovall of Litchfield Park went neck and neck down the final stretch. Riley Doherty eventually edged out Stovall by two strokes, after carding 84-80, +20.

Bear Creek’s Bear Course hosted the Boys and Girls 13-14 divisions. A tie for first place at -5 on the boy’s side gave Zachary Schaefer (67-70) of Tucson and Arjun Somani (69-68) of Scottsdale a clear path to the championship. Schaefer prevailed in a playoff to claim the victory. Securing the third qualifying spot was Ethan Butters of Chandler after finishing just two strokes back of the leaders (70-69), -3. On the girl’s side, Alexis Lamadrid of Phoenix took total control in the final round to win by four strokes, shooting 69-67, -6, over Kaitlyn Moreland of Scottsdale, who shot 69-71, 2-under par to take the second qualifying spot.

Three players in the Boys 11-12 division moved on. Nolan Wilson of Litchfield Park shot even (58-60) at Bear Creek’s Cub Course to come out victorious by three strokes. Troy Stahl (62-59) of Phoenix came in second place at 3-over par, and Dominic Bustos of Phoenix shot +4 (61-61) to take the final spot.

The Girls 11-12 division, Mischa Wang of Scottsdale shot 58-64 on the Cub Course for the win at 4-over par, and Si Ge Eva Wang of Phoenix fired +6 (65-59) to join Wang in San Diego.

Jaxon Luzar of Chandler went back-to-back in the Boys 10 and Under division at -1 (59-58). He finished four strokes ahead of Cam Abood of Paradise Valley who finished at 59-62. They both earned spots to San Diego.

In the Girls 10 and Under division, Kimsey Terell of Phoenix finished at 5-over par (62-61) to take the first qualifying spot for the division, and Jessica Hoerr of Phoenix secured the second after shooting 65-63, +10.

The second IMG Academy Junior World Championship qualifier will be June 6-7 at the Antigua Milt Coggins AZ Jr Stroke Play held at both Papago Golf Club and Encanto 18/9.