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USGA Boys Junior: Florida's Vongvanij is Medalist

Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (July 18, 2006) -– Arnond Vongvanij of Bradenton, Fla., shot a 5-under-par 67 Tuesday to claim medalist honors at 8-under-par 136 as the stroke play qualifying portion of the U.S. Junior Amateur concludes Tuesday at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.

Hawaiian-born Vongvanij, a semifinalist in 2005 who lost to eventual champion Kevin Tway, posted five birdies in a bogey-free round, which followed his 69 on Monday. All of his birdie putts were from 12 feet or less.

“To me, it doesn’t make a difference,” said Vongvanij, 17, of the possibility of winning the stroke-play medal. “I just tried to play two solid rounds and make my way into match play. I happened to play really well and I’m happy with that. (Tuesday), I was focusing on hitting greens. When I hit it close, I made the birdie, but if not, I lagged it up for a two-putt. I’m going to stick with that game plan.”

Vongvanij, who goes by a family nickname of ‘Bank’, held a 1-up lead with three holes to play in last year’s semifinal match with Tway but missed 6-foot putt on the 18th hole to force extra holes.

“This is a really big event and all I’ve been doing in my practice is putting,” said the University of Florida-bound high school senior.

He holds a one-stroke lead over two other 17-year-old junior golf champions – Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Calif., and Philip Francis of Scottsdale, Ariz., who finished at 7-under 137.“We are all very good friends,” Vongvanij said. “That’s good. Now we are all on different sides (of the match play bracket).

Fowler, the 2006 California state high school champion, joined Vongvanij in shooting the lowest round to this point in the championship at 67.

“It was one of my goals to be on top or one of the medalists,” said Fowler, a three-time California high school player of the year, who advanced to the round of 16 last year. “But, going into match play it doesn’t really mean anything to be medalist. It matters who is holding the trophy at the end of the week; if you are medalist, great.”

“I’m playing real well,” said Francis, who will attend UCLA in the fall. “I’m putting well. Usually if I’m putting well, I’ll score well. My forte is that I strike the ball real well. In the tournaments I’ve won this year (four), the difference in those that I’ve won and haven’t won has been my putting.”

Fowler was humble but matter of fact in assessing his goal of winning this national event: “That’s what my goal is for the summer. I would like to try and get one. It’s my last year. I know it’s Philip’s last year too. All of us are going to be gunning for it.”

Tommy Chunghao Mou of Chinese Taipei, shot 31 on his second nine to tie for the second-best nine-hole score in the championship’s history. He birdied six of his last seven holes and shot 4-under-par 68.

The low 64 scorers qualify for the six rounds of match play, which begins Wednesday and ends with Saturday’s 36-hole championship final. All matches before the final are 18 holes.

The U.S. Junior Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are solely for amateurs.

Story written by Pete Kowalski of USGA Media Relations. E-mail him with questions or comments at pkowalski@usga.org.

* * * *

Final qualifying results from the USGA Junior Amateur, played at the Par-72 Rancho Santa Fe Country Club:

Pos Name Hometown   Rd1 Rd2 Tot +/-
1 Arnond Vongvanij Bradenton, Fla.   69 67 136 -8
T2 Rickie Fowler Murrieta, Calif.   70 67 137 -7
T2 Philip Francis Scottsdale, Ariz.   68 69 137 -7
4 Corey Nagy Charlotte, N.C.   71 68 139 -5
T5 Sang Yi Carrollton, Texas   71 69 140 -4
T5 Wesley Graham Port Orange, Fla.   70 70 140 -4
T7 Joe David Madison, Tenn.   73 68 141 -3
T7 Sihwan Kim Buena Park, Calif.   71 70 141 -3
T9 Matthew Pierce Jr San Juan Capistrano, Calif.   71 71 142 -2
T9 Cody Gribble Dallas, Texas   68 74 142 -2
T11 Tommy Chunghao Mou Chinese Taipei   75 68 143 -1
T11 Josh Jones The Colony, Texas   71 72 143 -1
T11 Sean Maekawa Paauilo, Hawaii   70 73 143 -1
T11 Peter Uihlein Bradenton, Fla.   72 71 143 -1
T11 Kevin Tway Edmond, Okla.   73 70 143 -1
T16 Tadd Fujikawa Honolulu, Hawaii   74 70 144 Even
T16 Daniel Stanley Boiling Springs, S.C.   74 70 144 Even
T16 Cory Whitsett Houston, Texas   71 73 144 Even
T16 Drew Kittleson Scottsdale, Ariz.   72 72 144 Even
T16 Robbie Ziegler Canby, Ore.   73 71 144 Even
T16 Chris Hamm Fredericksburg, Va.   70 74 144 Even
T22 John Hahn Hudson, Ohio   72 73 145 1
T22 Bo Hoag Columbus, Ohio   72 73 145 1
T22 John Douglas Archibald Simi Valley, Calif.   69 76 145 1
T22 Tyler Weworski Carlsbad, Calif.   73 72 145 1
T22 Harris English Thomasville, Ga.   75 70 145 1
T27 Danny Lee New Zealand   73 73 146 2
T27 Andrew Putnam University Place, Wash.   73 73 146 2
T27 T J Kua Lihue, Hawaii   75 71 146 2
T27 Aaron Sherry Ft Myers, Fla.   71 75 146 2
T27 Ajeetesh Sandhu India   74 72 146 2
T27 Hunter Howell Raeford, N.C.   77 69 146 2
T27 Jean-Philippe Paiement Canada   72 74 146 2
T27 Julian Suri St Augustine, Fla.   74 72 146 2
T27 Brad Schneider Tampa, Fla.   76 70 146 2
T36 Hyun Seok Lim Korea   78 69 147 3
T36 Alex Volpenhein Edgewood, Ky.   75 72 147 3
T36 Wesley Bryan Chapin, S.C.   72 75 147 3
T36 Mason Jacobs Metropolis, Ill.   79 68 147 3
T36 Wes Roach Knoxville, Tenn.   76 71 147 3
T36 Cody Paladino Kensington, Conn.   75 72 147 3
T42 Jack Fields Southern Pines, N.C.   72 76 148 4
T42 Eric Mina Fremont, Calif.   74 74 148 4
T42 Lion An Alpharetta, Ga.   72 76 148 4
T42 Ravi Patel Naperville, Ill.   74 74 148 4
T42 Christopher Deforest Cottekill, N.Y.   71 77 148 4
T42 William Cauley Jacksonville, Fla.   74 74 148 4
T42 Michael Ballo Jr Springdale, Conn.   75 73 148 4
T49 Brent Whitehead Marietta, Ga.   73 76 149 5
T49 Scott Pinckney Anthem, Ariz.   72 77 149 5
T49 William Miller Venetia, Pa.   76 73 149 5
T49 Richard Lee Chandler, Ariz.   77 72 149 5
T49 Joe Monte Chantilly, Va.   74 75 149 5
T49 Peter Gibbs Granite Bay, Calif.   72 77 149 5
T49 Morgan Hoffmann Wyckoff, N.J.   72 77 149 5
T49 Tyler Ichikawa Los Altos, Calif.   74 75 149 5
T49 Clayton Rotz Chambersburg, Pa.   71 78 149 5
T58 Clark Palmer Augusta, Ga.   78 72 150 6
T58 Steve Ziegler Broomfield, Colo.   76 74 150 6
T58 John Peterson Fort Worth, Texas   74 76 150 6
T58 Peter Williamson Hanover, N.H.   79 71 150 6
T58 Kent Bulle Glasgow, Ky.   75 75 150 6
T58 David Flynn Elk Grove Village, Ill.   74 76 150 6
T58 Ryan Sirman Tyler, Texas   78 72 150 6
Failed to Qualify              
  Chad Day Raleigh, N.C.   74 76 150 6
  Bryan Harris Rancho Mirage, Calif.   78 73 151 7
  Smylie Kaufman Vestavia, Ala.   74 77 151 7
  Nick Delio Valencia, Calif.   72 79 151 7
  Derek Ernst Clovis, Calif.   79 72 151 7
  Brinson Paolini Virginia Beach, Va.   75 76 151 7
  Tyler Graf Elm Grove, Wis.   76 76 152 8
  Jordan Smith Olathe, Kan.   75 77 152 8
  Samuel Chavez San Mateo, Calif.   74 78 152 8
  Colton Staggs Tulsa, Okla.   77 75 152 8
  John Kelly East Longmeadow, Mass.   80 72 152 8
  Mike Coatman Lincoln, Neb.   77 75 152 8
  Chris Johnson Columbia, Mo.   72 80 152 8
  Tyler Morris Encinitas, Calif.   77 75 152 8
  Anthony Aloi Plainsboro, N.J.   78 74 152 8
  Klinton Krieger Cheyenne, Wyo.   75 77 152 8
  Spencer Fletcher Los Altos, Calif.   74 78 152 8
  Cole Fisher Hot Springs, Ark.   81 72 153 9
  Bobby Bode Fort Lauderdale, Fla.   73 80 153 9
  Andrew Loupe Baton Rouge, La.   75 78 153 9
  Lion Kim Lake Mary, Fla.   75 78 153 9
  Michael Garden St Albans, Mo.   76 77 153 9
  Drew Davidson Canton, Ohio   75 78 153 9
  Josh Anderson Murrieta, Calif.   78 75 153 9
  Timothy Pawul East Setauket, N.Y.   80 74 154 10
  Will Hogan Ozark, Mo.   76 78 154 10
  David Chung Fayetteville, N.C.   77 77 154 10
  Bryan Pierce Arroyo Grande, Calif.   77 77 154 10
  Matthew Krembel Shalimar, Fla.   74 80 154 10
  Tripp McAllister Lake City, S.C.   79 75 154 10
  Chris Mory Haslett, Mich.   79 75 154 10
  Tanner Briele New Bern, N.C.   72 82 154 10
  Tommy Higham Shelley, Idaho   75 79 154 10
  Blake Redmond Sugar Land, Texas   70 85 155 11
  Daniel Meggs Charlotte, N.C.   79 76 155 11
  Payne Gniewek Trenton, Mich.   79 76 155 11
  Darren Wallace Canada   76 79 155 11
  Jonathan Randolph Brandon, Miss.   78 77 155 11
  Dustin Zhang Canada   83 73 156 12
  Austin Love Anderson, Calif.   76 80 156 12
  Ramsey Sahyoun Los Angeles, Calif.   73 83 156 12
  Max Bichsel Cranbury, N.J.   80 76 156 12
  Davis Lee Palisades Park, N.J.   80 76 156 12
  Mark Lantz Indianapolis, Ind.   80 76 156 12
  Robert Galbreath Jr Huntingdon Valley, Pa.   77 79 156 12
  Kenneth Rucker Eau Claire, Wis.   79 78 157 13
  Julien Goulet Canada   77 80 157 13
  Ross Mizell The Woodlands, Texas   81 76 157 13
  Matthew Hoffenberg Simi Valley, Calif.   77 80 157 13
  Ben Suarez Sulphur, La.   79 78 157 13
  Ian McConnell Riverview, Fla.   81 76 157 13
  Max Buckley Rye, N.Y.   81 76 157 13
  Johnny Delprete Palm City, Fla.   82 75 157 13
  Francis Santiago Lynnwood, Wash.   78 80 158 14
  David Sanders Mount Laurel, N.J.   78 80 158 14
  Patrick Hanzel Lincoln, Neb.   78 80 158 14
  Graham Baillargeon Canada   81 77 158 14
  Jack Paton Hillsborough, Calif.   81 78 159 15
  Jeremiah Wooding Riverside, Calif.   81 78 159 15
  Jack Versau II Coldwater, Mich.   79 80 159 15
  David Gies II Charlotte, N.C.   79 80 159 15
  Brandon Tomasovich Greeley, Colo.   78 81 159 15
  Nick Helser Lancaster, Ohio   83 76 159 15
  Lance Collins Lead, S.D.   78 81 159 15
  Erich Johnston Fort Wayne, Ind.   82 77 159 15
  Michael Miller Aledo, Texas   77 82 159 15
  Evan Emerick San Diego, Calif.   78 82 160 16
  Riley Pumphrey Georgetown, Texas   78 82 160 16
  Branden Dalton Fernley, Nev.   80 81 161 17
  Wes Strang Bethesda, Md.   80 81 161 17
  Michael Soowal Philadelphia, Pa.   77 84 161 17
  Ben Freeman Fargo, N.D.   82 79 161 17
  Eric Steger Noblesville, Ind.   77 84 161 17
  Michael Jurca St George, Utah   77 84 161 17
  Alan Lee Chile   79 83 162 18
  Niko Bain Glendale, Ariz.   82 81 163 19
  Nick Johnson Kansas City, Mo.   82 81 163 19
  Kevin Huntington West Chester, Pa.   80 83 163 19
  Aaron Gauldin Camp Point, Ill.   84 79 163 19
  Brian Wynia Sioux Falls, S.D.   82 82 164 20
  Matthew McKown Van Buren, Ark.   81 83 164 20
  Michael Lee Corlinth, Texas   79 86 165 21
  Chris Olson Midlothian, Va.   77 88 165 21
  Davis Mullany Gt Barrington, Mass.   84 82 166 22
  Isaac Idstein Canyon Lake, Texas   81 85 166 22
  Michael Kinkopf Columbus, Ohio   86 80 166 22
  Scott Juhl Springfield, Va.   83 84 167 23
  Oscar Neubauer Bethlehem, Pa.   84 83 167 23
  Kent Crymes Athens, Ga.   81 86 167 23
  Joseph Perkins Royal City, Wash.   91 79 170 26
  James Ionna Middletown, Ohio   86 88 174 30
  A J Olson White Bear Lake, Minn.   92 97 189 45
ABOUT THE U.S. Junior Amateur

While it is not the oldest competition, the U.S. Junior Amateur is considered the premier junior competition, having been around since 1948. The event is open to male golfers who have not reached their 18th birthday prior to the close of competition and whose USGA Handicap Index does not exceed 6.4. The U.S. Junior is one of 13 national championship conducted annually by the USGA, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

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