By Jenni Gallimore, AJGA Intern
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the PING Phoenix Junior at ASU Karsten is a 54-hole stroke play competition played on the par-70 ASU Karsten Golf Course. The event features 57 boys and 21 girls, ages 12-18, from 16 states and two countries. The Boys Division is playing the course at 6,858 yards, while the Girls Division is playing the course at 5,927 yards.
AJGA’s return to ASU Karsten
Marking its 16th year at Arizona State University’s golf course, the PING Phoenix Junior at ASU Karsten is in its 23rd year on the AJGA schedule. The history of the event includes an impressive list of champions played in this event, such as Tiger Woods, who won back-to-back in 1991 and 1992. In addition, ASU Karsten is the home course to AJGA alumnus and former AJGA National Chairman Phil Mickelson, who played for ASU from 1988 to 1992.
This year, the tournament field features 78 players from 12 states, Colombia and Singapore. Over the course of three days, a 54-hole stroke play event will determine this year's champion.
Arizona-native Tyler Kertson carded a 2-under-par 68 to capture the first round boys lead. Two-time Rolex Junior All-American Allisen Corpuz of Honolulu, and Hannah O’Sullivan of Paradise Valley, Ariz., tied with a 2-under-par 68 to finish out the round. Corpuz was the third-place winner in 2011, and runner-up in 2012. In hopes for the pattern to continue, she carded a 5-under-par 65 to become the sole leader after the second round. Playing in his third AJGA tournament, Jens Verhey of Reno, Nev., took the second-round lead after carding a 4-under-par 66.
Off course excitement
Despite long rounds, juniors came out to participate in AJGA social activities. After the first round, Jonah Texeira of Sun Valley, Calif., strived to drive the ball more than 336.3 yards to beat William Gordon, of Davidson, N.C., in the long-drive contest.
In order to show their appreciation to the host course, juniors attended the Care for the Course party to fill divots on the driving range after the second round.